Barley is a hardy cereal that has coarse bristles extending from the ears. It's widely cultivated, chiefly for use in brewing and stock feed. Its benefits with regards to human consumption have been widely ignored or underestimated. True, we have them in our pantries but do we know what this grain can offer us health-wise? To start with, the grain is low in calories, have high fiber contents, and they contain a lot of essential vitamins and minerals. Hulled barley is even more nutritious because of its bran content. Here are some facts that could shed light on the benefits you can derive from barley. Most important are the amino acids present in the grain which makes it an essential grain for our body. The consumption of whole-grain barley can also help in regulating blood sugar. Consider these essential benefits of the barley grain:
The high nutritional contents of barley can strengthen the body's immune system. This would reduce the occurrence of diseases like flu and colds. The iron content can improve the volume of blood in the body which can prevent anemia and fatigue. Barley compounds also influence the proper functioning of the kidney and the development of body cells. The copper found in the grain is an essential element in hemoglobin formation in red blood cells.
Being an excellent fiber source, the ingestion of barley can keep the body free from toxins. The dietary fibers of barley can serve as a fuel to the good bacteria in the digestive tracts, especially the large intestine. These "good bacteria" ferment the fiber to produce butyric acid. This is the primary fuel of intestine cells. The butyric acid, in turn, is essential in the maintenance of a healthy colon. The digestive system includes the stomach, the intestines, and the colon. So a robust system means a clean stomach and a decrease in the movement time of your feces. Such fecal movement can decrease the chances of constipation, hemorrhoids, and colon cancer as well.
You can reduce high levels of triglycerides by barley consumption. A high concentration of triglycerides in the blood could indicate an elevated risk of stroke. Barley can also reduce the formation of gallstones in the liver. This is due to the insoluble fibers in barley which can lessen the secretion of bile acids that are responsible for the creation of gallstones. Barley can work advantageously in many ways, especially in women. Since it also contains a lot of insoluble fiber, the secretion of bile acid is decreased. This will result in increasing the sensitivity of insulin and the lowering of triglyceride levels. According to studies, women who include barley in their diet have a lower risk of having gallstones when compared to other women.
Barley's selenium content can help preserve skin elasticity. This action can provide skin protection against skin loosening and free radical damage. Selenium has also shown positive health effects on the pancreas, heart, and the functioning of the immune system. A deficiency in the element can, therefore, lead to cancers of the colon, skin, prostate, stomach, liver, and breast.
Bone protection is also covered by the phosphorus and copper contents of barley grass. Its consumption can be a natural remedy for osteoporosis. When you take barley in juice form, its calcium content is significantly more than milk. The body also needs magnesium which helps in blood and bone production and barley also contains this element. The manganese component works with B-complex vitamins in the maintenance of the body's overall health. To summarize, barley contains elements which are all required for healthy bone health.
Diabetes, which is a scourge to the well-being of many individuals, can be easily prevented. You can do this by involving yourself in rigorous physical activities, including whole grains in your diet, and lose weight. For those already who have type-2 diabetes, whole grain barley should be part of their daily intake. The grain has a high-fiber content as well as other nutritional elements like minerals and vitamins. The beta-glucan soluble fiber found in barley can slow down the absorption of glucose in the digestive tract. This means lower blood sugar levels. Tests conducted on insulin-resistant men showed significant decreases in glucose and insulin levels. That is when compared to other subjects who didn't consume this fiber.
When the insoluble fibers in barley get processed, they will yield propionic acids. This acid is essential for keeping blood cholesterol at lower levels. Barley is both rich in soluble and insoluble fibers. Doctors recommend the consumption of barley for its low-fat content and zero-cholesterol properties. Also, for its ability to reduce cholesterol levels in the body.
The thickening of artery walls from the deposition of fatty substances is a condition known as atherosclerosis. This is fast becoming a common disease to many. One compound called niacin, which is a B-vitamin complex is a component in barley. It can help reduce the overall lipoprotein and cholesterol levels in the body that can cause cardiovascular diseases. Barley is especially recommended for postmenopausal women. Those who have high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure or even cardiovascular issues. They should include barley in their diets more.
There are some diseases where the consumption of barley can be beneficial. For one, it can help prevent rheumatoid arthritis. Barley's copper content can help reduce the symptoms of this disease. The element disarms free radicals, and this can induce cell regeneration. Copper can also help strengthen the bones and make joints more flexible. As we've mentioned, barley can be beneficial for atherosclerosis. Barley slows down the build-up of plaque in the walls of blood vessels. Finally, it can help prevent certain types of cancers too. Plant lignans in barley can protect the body against hormone-dependent cancers. This applies to heart diseases as well. By reducing free radicals, visceral fat, and blood pressure, barley can decrease the risks of heart diseases.
This is good news for those trying to lose weight. Barley can indeed help in losing those extra pounds. The action works in two ways. First, because of the presence of several kinds of amino acids. Second, because of barley's fiber content. Barley can regulate blood sugar levels, thus avoiding sudden blood sugar peaks or drops. These fluctuations usually associate with the fat storage process. Compared to other grains, barley is much lower in calories. Consuming barley will make you feel full longer so there will be no food craving for more extended periods. This means less food, less weight.
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.