Commonly known as ‘jau’ in India, barley is a member of the grass family and a major cereal grain. This wholegrain resembles wheat berries but is somewhat lighter in color. It is extremely versatile with its rich nut like flavor and an appealing chewy consistency. Barley grains, being rich in maltose, are made into malt and used as syrup sweetener.
Health Benefits of Barley:
Being a great source of nutrients, antioxidants and minerals, barley is loaded with amazing health benefits which are given below.
1. Lowers Cholesterol Levels:
Barley is rich in both soluble and insoluble fibers. The soluble fiber dissolves and binds with fatty acids, thus lowering total cholesterol levels as well as low-density lipoprotein (LDL), also known as bad cholesterol. The insoluble fiber, on the other hand, yields propionic acid that helps in keeping the blood cholesterol levels low. Low cholesterol levels significantly reduce the risk of stroke and heart attacks.
2. Weight Loss:
Consuming barley makes you feel fuller for a longer period and hence suppresses appetite. Moreover, the fiber in barley facilitates the removal of fat substances from the body. Thus, barley can aid in weight loss.
3. Protection Against Cancer:
Barley contains a phytonutrient called plant lignans. One such lignan called enterolactone helps to prevent breast cancer as well as coronary diseases. The dietary fiber provides the good bacteria in the large intestines that help in proper functioning, thus protecting against colon cancer.
4. Checks Diabetes:
Eating barley is particularly beneficial for diabetic patients as it stabilizes the blood glucose levels. This is because the beta-glucan fiber found in this whole grain has the ability to slow down the body’s absorption of carbohydrates from foods, leading to a reduction in glucose and insulin levels.
5. Beneficial in Anemia:
Barley contains the mineral copper which helps in the formation of hemoglobin needed for the production of red blood cells. Thus, it helps in abating anemia.
Barley juice is extremely beneficial for the digestive system. It aids in digestion by enabling the digestive juices to work overtime, thus reducing the bloated feeling in the stomach. It helps to shed calories by preventing the build-up of fat and increasing the rate of metabolism.
7. Prevents Gallstones:
Being rich in insoluble fiber, barley helps in reducing bile acids secretion, thus increasing insulin sensitivity and reducing the levels of triglycerides. Hence, barley can help women to avoid gallstones effectively.
8. Improves Immunity:
Barley contains twice the amount of vitamin C than that in oranges which supports your immune system by reducing the chances of cold and flu. Iron enhances the blood volume, thus preventing anemia and fatigue. It facilitates proper kidney functioning and development of body cells. The manganese enables you to feel good and energetic which in turn benefits the nervous system and immune system.
9. Protects the Body Organs:
Barley protects important organs like heart, pancreas and liver by keeping the dangerous diseases like heart diseases, colon and breast cancers and prostate problems at bay. The phosphorus in this grain helps to keep the bones and teeth healthy and aids in the functioning of kidneys and heart muscles.
10. Antidote Properties:
According to the research studies, barley possesses antidote properties due to which it can prevent the spread of poison in the body.
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