Barley health benefits includes improving digestion, helps with weight loss, protects against gallstones, support the skin, prevent asthma, prevent heart disease, a good source of antioxidants, helps manage diabetes, a great source of minerals and vitamins, boost immunity, and beneficial during pregnancy.
What is Barley?
Even though barley may not be as popular as other whole grains such as wheat, oats, or quinoa, it packs some of the most impressive health benefits. A high fiber content, ample of minerals, antioxidants and vitamins, diabetes protection and heart health, are just some of the nutritional benefits of barley.
Barley is an incredibly versatile grain with a rich nutlike flavor and an interesting chewy, pasta-like consistency. It resembles wheat berries, even though it is slightly lighter in color.In addition to that, it is an outstanding food source for dietary fiber, selenium, and tryptophan, niacin, manganese, copper, and phosphorus. At 270 calories per cup, barley is a low-calorie food. It is also one of the oldest consumed grains in the world. It was a staple grain for farmers during medieval times for hundreds of years and to this day is included in the diet of many African, Middle Eastern and African nations that have been consuming barley for thousands of years.
11 Impressive Health Benefits of Barley
1. Improves Digestion
Fiber helps fight diarrhea and constipation by creating bulk within the digestive tract, thus controlling the bowel movements. A study carried out in 2003 showed the effects of incorporating more barley to the meals of adult women and discovered that after a month, the barley consumption had a positive impact on bowel function and lipid metabolism.
Barley’s fiber is also essential for keeping a healthy balance of bacteria in the digestive tract. Another well-researched and the key benefit of barley nutrition is that it may help in preventing certain types of cancers within the digestive system, which includes colon cancer.
2. Helps with Weight Loss
The fiber contained in barley is essential for a fat-burning diet. As mentioned before, fiber helps to create bulky stools which then speeds up the elimination process of wastes and toxins in the body. In addition to that, foods containing fiber make you feel full and satisfied for extended periods you. This enables you to cut back on consumption now, and also prevents overeating. Therefore, the fiber found in barley will curb your craving for food, which will help you to burn off more calories and thus weight.
3. Protects Against Gallstones
Since it is rich in insoluble fiber, barley helps women avoid developing gallstones. The insoluble fiber helps you minimize bile acid release, thus increasing insulin sensitivity and reducing triglycerides levels. An article published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology showed that women who consumed a fiber-rich diet were at a 17% lower risk of developing gallstones in comparison with other women.
Barley is packed with selenium, which helps preserve skin elasticity, thus protecting it from loosening and free radical damage. Furthermore, it also enhances our pancreas, heart, and immune system functioning. Selenium deficiency can result in cancers of the colon, liver, skin, prostate, breast, and stomach.
5. Prevents Asthma
Barley is a key allergen in baker’s asthma condition and also a barley endosperm protein. Baker’s asthma is an airborne disease, normally prevalent in bakeries and confectioneries. It acts as quite an effective preemptive method for such types of main wheat-flour allergens.
6. Prevents Heart Disease
Barley comprises of key nutrients, such as vitamin B1 thiamine, vitamin B3 niacin, copper, magnesium, and copper which are all useful for lowering cholesterol, high level of blood pressure, and other risk factors related to heart disease. These key minerals assist in controlling the metabolism and production of cholesterol, prevent harmful blood clotting, help in improving arterial health and are essential for nerve signaling operations that help regulate heart functions, such as heart rhythms.
Barley’s nutrients are particularly helpful in slowing the dangerous advancement of atherosclerosis, a health condition where plaque builds up within arteries and can result in a heart attack, heart complications, or even a stroke. The nutritional value of barley helps blood vessels remain blockage free, thus improving blood circulation and minimizing inflammation.
7. Good Source of Antioxidants
Barley is packed with antioxidant phytonutrients called lignans.Lignans are associated with lower occurrences of heart disease and cancer since they are helpful in reducing inflammation and combating the effects that aging can have on the body. The key kind of lignin present in the body is known as 7-hydroxymatairesinol. Research suggests that this element may protect against the development of heart disease and cancer since it helps the body metabolize bacteria and also maintain the perfect ratio of good-and-bad bacteria within the gut, thereby reducing the overall inflammation.
The oxidants present in barely assist in boosting serum levels of enterolactone, an element that is correlated with regulating levels of hormones and thus fighting hormone-related cancers, like breast and prostate cancer.
8. Helps Manage Diabetes
It effectively assists in controlling Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes can be prevented by losing weight, either through physical activity or by incorporating plenty of whole grains in the diet. Barley is a food rich in fiber, plus it comprises of all the key minerals and vitamins, an especially beta-glucan soluble fiber that decelerates down glucose absorption. The 2006 December publication of Nutrition Research showed that insulin-resistant participants who added barley beta-glucan soluble fiber had considerably lower insulin and glucose levels as compared to other test subjects.
9. A Great Source of Minerals and Vitamins
It is packs numerous key nutrients, which includes magnesium, selenium, niacin, copper, thiamine, and other essential minerals and vitamins.For instance, copper is vital for maintaining cognitive function into old age, supporting the nervous system, the metabolism, and producing red blood cells. Similarly, selenium found in barley benefits your physical appearance by enhancing hair and skin health and also supports a healthy metabolism.
Manganese found in barley is essential for brain health and supporting the nervous system. A cup of cooked barley offers 20% of your daily recommended magnesium needs. Magnesium is essential for key enzyme relations in the body, which includes the use and production of glucose.
10. Boosts Immunity
The beta-glucan present in barley is rich in antioxidants.it also comprises of vitamin C, a nutrient that is well known for boosting the immune system.
11. Beneficial During Pregnancy
As discussed above, barley is a powerhouse of essential nutrients, antioxidants, and fiber. Drinking barley water every day can help promote better digestion and ease morning sickness. Furthermore, it can help control blood sugar levels, thus preventing the risk of gestational diabetes.