The most important health benefits of barley
Barley was first cultivated as far back as 7000 BC. It is rich in various essential vitamins, minerals, enzymes and amino acids.
Barley grass is easy to digest. This allows the body to quickly use nutrients. These properties give barley powder its therapeutic effects and health benefits.
What is barley?
Barley is one of the most well-known grains in the world as it is the oldest cultivated grain in the world. It grows in diverse climates around the world.
Which is what makes it a staple in many of the world’s cuisines.
Dry malt should be stored in an airtight container away from moisture and light.
With it remaining that way, it continues indefinitely, Which makes it a good choice for emergency food supplies.
Cooked barley should be refrigerated and consumed within three or four days. Plain malt can be frozen for up to six months. Which makes it suitable for adding to a quick-cooking meal.
Barley grows in temperate climates all over the world and was one of the first grains cultivated by ancient civilizations.
As a matter of fact Archaeological evidence indicates that barley was cultivated in Egypt more than 10,000 years ago.
Although it grows in parts of West Asia and Northeast Africa, However, it is widely used as food for humans and animals. It has also been used in the production of liquor.
By producing 144 million tons in 2014, Barley is the fourth most produced grain in the world. After corn, rice and wheat.
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Nutritional value of barley
Half a cup (100 grams) of uncooked hulled barley contains the following nutrients:
- Calories: 354
- Carbohydrates: 73.5 grams
- Fiber: 17.3 grams
- Protein: 12.5 grams
- Fats: 2.3 grams
- Thiamine: 43% of the recommended daily intake.
- riboflavin 17% of the recommended daily intake
- Niacin: 23% of the recommended daily intake
- Vitamin B6: 16% of the recommended daily intake
- Folate: 5% of the recommended daily intake
- Iron: 20% of the recommended daily intake
- magnesium: 33% of the recommended daily intake
- Phosphorus: 26% of the recommended daily intake
- Potassium: 13% of the recommended daily intake
- Zinc: 18% of the recommended daily intake
- Copper: 25% of the recommended daily intake
- manganese: 97% of the recommended daily intake
- Selenium: 54% of the recommended daily intake
In addition Barley contains antioxidants such as vitamin E, beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin.
This helps protect against and repair cell damage caused by oxidative stress.
Health benefits in barley
Rich in amino acids
Barley is rich in many amino acids, antioxidants and enzymes that are essential for health.
Eating barley powder regularly may provide the body with adequate amounts of folic and pantothenic acids, as well as carotenoids. Including beta-carotene.
People who do not get sufficient amounts of these acids from their diets may take barley powder as a dietary supplement.
The body needs these essential amino acids and antioxidants to fight disease and infection. Boosting the immune system and rid the body of harmful free radicals.
Promote digestive health
Barley powder content of very essential nutrients, It is effective in helping the body fight a variety of infections and viruses.
Barley is one of the most cultivated grains in the world. It is rich in dietary fibre. Which provide health benefits for the digestive system.
Dietary fiber helps regulate the digestive system and may help produce short-chain fatty acids.
short-chain acids may catalyze, called propionic acid and acetic acid, The cells that make up the liver and muscles.
In addition Dietary fiber contains a high percentage of beta-glucan. Which bind to bile acids and help eliminate them through the stool.
Does barley help lower cholesterol
One of the most powerful health benefits of barley is its cholesterol-lowering effect. As it is rich in propionic acid, It is an enzyme that plays a role in the production of cholesterol in the liver.
Propionic acid effectively lowers blood cholesterol levels and maintains healthy cholesterol levels.
The dietary fiber present in barley , which contains a high percentage of beta-glucan, helps lower cholesterol by binding to harmful toxins in the body and removing them through excretion.
When these toxins are excreted with dietary fiber from the body, The liver needs to make extra bile acids and use more cholesterol. Which ultimately lowers circulatory levels.
Improve blood sugar levels
A recent study revealed that barley can quickly improve people’s health by lowering blood sugar levels and the risk of developing diabetes.
The secret lies in the special blend of dietary fibers found in barley. Which can also help reduce people’s appetite and risk of heart disease.
Since the human body cannot digest fiber, High-fiber foods add bulk to your diet without adding calories.
This makes high-fiber foods beneficial for people trying to lose weight
A review of 10 studies on whole grains found that some grains, like barley and oats, Increased feeling of fullness after a meal.
in two studies, People who ate barley for breakfast had lower hunger levels at lunch and ate fewer meals at subsequent meals.
One way that barley may affect hunger and fullness is through decreased levels of the hormone ghrelin. It is a hormone responsible for feelings of hunger.
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The high barley content may also help prevent gallstones.
in most cases, Gallstones do not cause any symptoms. However, From time to time, Large gallstones can get stuck in the gallbladder duct.
which causes severe pain, In such cases, surgery is often required to remove the gallbladder.
The type of insoluble fiber found in barley may help prevent gallstones from forming and reduce the possibility of gallbladder surgery.
In one 16-year study, Women with the highest fiber intake were 13% less likely to develop gallstones that would require gallbladder removal.
This benefit appears to be dose related. Each 5-gram increase in insoluble fiber reduced the risk of gallstones by about 10%.
Reduces the risk of heart disease
Whole grains are consistently associated with better heart health ; Therefore, adding barley regularly to your diet may reduce the risk of heart disease.
Colon Cancer Prevention
A diet rich in whole grains is associated with a lower likelihood of many chronic diseases , including colon cancer.
once again, The high fiber content of barley plays a major role.
Insoluble fiber, in particular, helps reduce the time it takes for food to clear the gut. which appears to be particularly protective against colon cancers.
In addition Soluble fiber may be associated with harmful carcinogens in the gut. which leads to their removal from the body.
Other compounds found in barley may protect, Including antioxidants, phytic acid, phenolic acids and saponins, further protect against cancer .
the potential risks
Whole grains are generally a good addition to anyone’s diet. However, Some people may want to avoid barley.
Barley is a whole grain that contains gluten like wheat; So, It is not a suitable choice for anyone with celiac disease.
In addition Barley contains a short-chain carbohydrate called fructan. It is a type of fermented fiber.
fructans may cause; Gas in people with irritable bowel syndrome or other digestive disorders.
Barley and the food industry
Because of its well-documented health benefits, Barley grain foods are receiving unprecedented interest from food scientists, nutritionists, food manufacturers and consumers.
Barley is an ideal food ingredient to help treat many health problems. Since barley is more tolerant of drought and saline soil conditions.
As well as being a winter crop, it requires a relatively short growing period and minimal pest control products.
Manufacturers and scientists followed the approach of partially replacing wheat flour with barley flour in formulating wheat-based foods such as bread, noodles and pasta.
Barley flour was added to bread and pasta products. which all require different degrees of gluten, levels ranging from 20 to 30%.
While higher percentages were used in cakes, which require little gluten.
Despite the progress that has been made in increasing the nutritional applications of barley over the past two decades, Barley-based foods are rarely found among the main foods we eat daily.
In fact, there is a need for sustained and coordinated efforts by barley researchers and food manufacturers to increase consumer interest in eating barley-based foods.