December 29, 2020 4 min read
Barley is one of the most cultivated grains on earth and has been around for thousands of years. It has a nutty taste and feels like pasta, and can be eaten as part of a full meal or incorporated into soups. It can also be taken in form of barley water or barley juice. Barley benefits are why barley is the cereal of choice in many households.
Here are some of them.
Barley is a rich source of calcium and phosphorous, which are crucial for the development and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth. Barley juice actually has more calcium than milk, so if you're on a dairy-free diet and you want to increase your calcium intake, try barley juice. In addition to these, barley also contains copper and manganese, which also help keep bones and teeth strong.
Free radicals in the body cause cell destruction, leading to oxidative stress and inflammation. One effect of chronic inflammation is arthritis. Barley benefits include relieving symptoms of arthritis, which are often caused by inflammation. Copper in barley eliminates free radicals and helps repair cells damaged by them, thereby reducing the inflammatory response.
One of the most important barley benefits is its high fiber content. Fiber bulks up the food and slows down its movement through the gut. This improves digestion and reduces the risk of colon cancer. The fiber also acts as a prebiotic, providing safe passage for probiotics through the harsh acidic stomach environment which would otherwise destroy them. It also provides food for the friendly bacteria in the colon of the gut.
Healthy gut bacteria in turn contribute to a healthy immune system, and they have also been found to promote mental health. They also produce a number of short-chain fatty acids (SFAA) which are useful for a number of functions:
One of the barley benefits you can't ignore is its ability to help in weight management. High levels of fiber in barley help to keep food in the stomach longer. This keeps you satiated for a longer period of time and prevents you from eating too much or too frequently. This is very useful if you're on a weight management program and you can't keep your hands off the food cabinet!
Barley also contains fewer calories than other grains, which is also useful if you need to watch how many calories you're eating.
Propionic acid produced when barley fiber is fermented by friendly gut bacteria is useful for lowering bad cholesterol in the body. It inhibits the production of cholesterol in the liver by inhibiting the activity of the enzymes involved in cholesterol production.
Beta-glucan, one of the components of barley fiber, also plays a role in lowering cholesterol by binding to bile acids and excreting them out of the body. Bile acids are manufactured from the breakdown of cholesterol by the liver. The more bile acids are excreted, the more cholesterol is broken down to create more bile acids. This lowers the levels of cholesterol in the blood. Lower levels of cholesterol reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, which is good for cardiovascular health.
Oranges are the best-known source of vitamin C, but you'd be surprised to know that there are better sources of vitamin C. One of these is barley, which has almost twice the amount of vitamin C in oranges. This vitamin plays an important role in the immune system. It strengthens it and reduces the chances of infection, especially from the cold and the flu.
Barley has large amounts of compounds known as plant lignans. These are converted by friendly gut bacteria into mammalian lignans. One of these lignans known as enterolactone helps lower the likelihood of developing hormonal cancers such as breast cancer.
Selenium in barley has also been found to lower the risk of developing colon cancer.
Niacin is also known as vitamin B3. It's one of the water-soluble vitamins in the B complex. Barley is rich in niacin, which has numerous benefits for the body.
Barley benefits extend to the skin as well. High levels of selenium in barley play a major role in keeping your skin healthy. One of the major causes of aging is the loss of elasticity in the skin which leads to wrinkles. Selenium tightens the skin and keeps it supple, preventing sagging and the formation of wrinkles.
Free radicals in the skin also cause oxidative stress, which damages the skin cells and leads to premature aging. Selenium protects skin cells from free radicals and prevents damage and subsequent aging. Other antioxidants in barley water also help to eliminate toxins in the skin and in the rest of the body. This makes the skin look younger and improves the skin tone.
Vitamin C in barley also helps to maintain healthy skin by repairing cells damaged by oxidative stress. Cellular damage can also be caused by skin infections. Vitamin C improves immunity, which reduces infections and leads to healthy-looking skin.
Barley benefits don't stop at the skin-they go all the way up to the hair. Vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in barley nourish hair follicles and help promote hair growth. Iron in barley helps with the productions of red blood cells, which transport oxygen and other nutrients to the hair, while copper promotes the development of hair pigment.
With its numerous benefits, barley is a great way to improve your nutrient intake. It is packed with nutrients, tastes great, and is easily available in many different forms. In this article, we discussed some of the most common barley benefits for your reference.