What are the benefits of barley water?

The health benefits of barley water include:

1. Fiber boost

Share on PinterestBarley water is an excellent source of fiber, which helps to keep the digestive system healthy.

Many of barley’s health benefits come from it being an excellent source of dietary fiber. Fiber is essential for keeping the digestive system healthy, contributing to healthy bowel movements, and helping people avoid problems such as constipation.

Researchers have linked a diet high in dietary fiber to a reduced risk of developing some chronic diseases. For example, people who eat plenty of fiber have a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Barley is a soluble fiber, meaning it can dissolve in water and provides the body with useful energy. Fiber can also be insoluble, meaning it passes through the digestive tract without breaking down and does not provide the body with energy.

The American Dietetic Association recommend that adult women eat 25 grams (g) and adult men eat 38 g of dietary fiber every day. Most people in the United States do not meet this target, so barley may be an easy way for people to increase their intake.

In addition to its high fiber content, barley also contains a mix of beneficial vitamins and minerals.

2. Lowers cholesterol

A 2010 analysis of clinical trials found that barley may reduce the level of LDL or “bad” cholesterol in the blood.

While the results varied depending on the participant’s overall health and the doses and quality of barley used, the author’s concluded that eating or drinking barley products can be considered part of a plan to reduce total and LDL cholesterol.

3. Helps balance gut bacteria

The balance of natural gut bacteria plays an essential role in keeping a person healthy. Studies have shown that consuming barley-based foods leads to a reduction of a gut bacteria called bacteroides.

While these bacteria are not usually a threat, they are the most common species found in anaerobic infections, which occur after an injury or trauma. These infections can affect the abdomen, genitals, heart, bones, joints, and the central nervous system.

4. Lowers blood sugar levels

Barley-based foods have been shown to help boost the number of beneficial bacteria prevotella in the gut. These bacteria have been shown to help lower blood sugar levels for up to 11–14 hours.

Keeping blood sugar levels in check can help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. It can also help those who have diabetes manage their blood glucose levels.

5. Encourages weight loss

Barley prompts the body to release hormones that regulate appetite by making the person feel fuller for longer. These hormones may also boost the metabolism, which can contribute to weight loss.

How to make barley water

Share on PinterestBarley water can be made with pearl barley, lemons, honey, and water.

Barley water is easy to make. Many people choose to add natural flavorings, such as lemon, to the water to give it a better taste.

To make 6 cups of lemon barley water, a person will need:

  • ¾ cup of pearl barley
  • 2 lemons (juice and peel)
  • ½ cup of honey
  • 6 cups of water

A person can follow the steps below to make barley water:

  1. Rinse the barley under cold water until water runs clear.
  2. Put the barley in a saucepan, along with lemon peel and 6 cups of water.
  3. Bring the mixture to the boil over a medium heat.
  4. Turn down the heat and simmer for between 15 and 30 minutes.
  5. Strain the mixture into a heatproof bowl and discard the barley.
  6. Stir in the honey until it dissolves.
  7. Pour into bottles and refrigerate until chilled.

Note that while the honey will enhance the flavor, it will also add sugar. People looking to reduce sugar in their diet may wish to replace honey with a pinch of stevia.

10 Best Benefits of Barley

If you are suffering from medical conditions like hypertension, arthritis, asthma, impotence, skin problems, anemia, obesity, constipation, diabetes, kidney problems or heart diseases, perhaps it’s time for you to learn about the health benefits of barley. The benefits are mostly attributed to the eight essential amino acids which it contains, meaning that it represents a complete protein in our diet. Recent research says that consuming whole grain barley is better for blood glucose management due to it having a low glycemic index value.

There are so many studies that have occurred in recent years, which suggest that even our regular diet lacks important nutrients. One of the most important nutrients that we often tend to neglect is fiber. Barley is an excellent source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, which assures you good overall health in the long term.

Before we move on to the health benefits, you will be pleased to know that you can consume it in many kinds of preparations like salads, soups, and stews. Therefore, it does not only add value to your health but also to your palate.

Barley is a popular type of grain. Photo Credit:

Health Benefits of Barley

Barley is used for skin care, boosting immunity, and preventing disorders such as osteoporosis, gallstones, and diabetes. Let us look at the common benefits in detail:

Keeps the Gastrointestinal (GI) Tract Healthy

Barley, being an excellent source of fiber, can help rid your body of toxins. Its grass, which is rich in dietary fiber, acts as a fuel source to the friendly bacteria in our large intestine. These bacteria help in fermenting the fiber content of barley, thereby forming butyric acid, which is the primary fuel for intestinal cells. It is greatly effective in maintaining a healthy colon. By keeping the intestine in proper health, it helps you increase the movement time of feces and also keeps your stomach clean.

Protects against Gallstones

Barley effectively helps women avoid developing gallstones. Since it is rich in insoluble fiber, which helps you reduce bile acid secretion, thereby increasing insulin sensitivity and lowering the triglyceride levels. An article in the American Journal of Gastroenterology says that women consuming a fibrous diet have a 17% lower risk of gallstones as compared to other women.

Prevents Osteoporosis

The phosphorus and copper content in barley grass guarantees overall health of bones. If you have osteoporosis, it can help be more of a natural remedy. Its juice is known to have 11 times more calcium content than milk. Calcium, as we know, is one of the key components in preserving bone health. We need manganese for normal bone production, as well as in cases of iron deficiency anemia. The manganese content found in barley works in association with B-complex vitamins.

Helps to Prevent Iron Deficiency Anemia (IDA)

Being highly nutritious, barley is particularly helpful as it strengthens your immune system and reduces the chances of cold and flu. Iron improves blood volume and prevents anemia and fatigue. It aids in proper kidney functioning and the development of red blood cells. Furthermore, it contains copper, which forms hemoglobin and red blood cells.

Skin Care

Barley is a good source of selenium, which helps preserve skin elasticity, thereby protecting it against free radical damage. Moreover, it also improves our heart, pancreas, and immune system functioning.

Controls Cholesterol Levels

The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition has published a study, which suggests that barley and all its products are helpful in lowering LDL cholesterol levels. This is mainly because of the presence of beta-glucan.

The insoluble fiber in it yields propionic acid that helps keep blood cholesterol levels low. Being an excellent source of both soluble and insoluble fibers, it is also recommended by doctors for its naturally low-fat content and minimal cholesterol content.

Manages Diabetes

Barley effectively helps control type 2 diabetes mellitus because of its high-fiber content, as per a study published in the Research in Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2014. Its grain has all the essential vitamins and minerals, particularly beta-glucan soluble fiber.

The December 2006 edition of Nutrition Research proved that insulin-resistant men who consumed barley beta-glucan soluble fiber had significantly reduced glucose and insulin levels as compared to other test subjects.

Anti-cancer Properties

According to a study by Yawen Zeng et al., barley grass has anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties (Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity 2018). Also, consuming the whole grain variety reduces the risk of cancer due to phytochemical content such as folate, flavonoids, and lignans.

Additionally, the Institute for Preventive Medicine, Nutrition and Cancer, Folkhälsan Research Center, Finland, has confirmed that lignans have anti-carcinogenic properties and they help treat many types of cancer. Barley contains certain types of phytonutrients known as plant lignans, which are transformed by the friendly flora in our intestines into mammalian lignans. One of these new lignans is called enterolactone, which helps prevent breast and other hormonal cancers as well as coronary heart diseases.

Protects Heart Health

Atherosclerosis is a condition when the artery walls thicken due to the coagulation or deposition of fatty materials like cholesterol. Barley contains niacin (a B vitamin) that can help reduce the overall cholesterol, lipoprotein levels, and minimize cardiovascular risk factors.

A study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association suggests that whole-grain diets are vital for people suffering from high blood pressure. Barley, being rich in fiber, is able to lower blood pressure as well as aid in maintaining optimal weight.

Prevents Asthma

According to a research published in the Plant Molecular Biology journal, 14.5 kDa is a barley endosperm protein and a major allergen in baker’s asthma disease. This is an airborne occupational ailment, mostly prevalent in confectioneries and bakeries. It proves to be a very effective preventive measure for such kinds of major wheat-flour allergens.

Forms of Barley Nutrition

Barley Grass is the seedling of its plant. This grass is usually harvested about 200 days after germination, while the shoots are not even a foot tall. People consume it in this form because the young leaves are rich in minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and amino acids. Although its grains have much more dietary fiber in comparison, the grass has high levels of chlorophyll that helps to detoxify your body from harmful toxins.

Hulled Barley is also known as covered barley and is usually eaten after removing the inedible, fibrous outer hull. It is a great source of healthy nutrients. It takes a long time to soak when used in regular cooking. However, the time is worth it, considering the utility of the dehulled variety when you’re finished. Once the hull is removed, it’s known as dehulled, pot or scotch barley, which is commercially popular and is a very marketable product. The process of removing the bran and polishing is known as “pearling”.

Pearl Barley is easily available in grocery stores and is probably one of the most common ingredients for breakfast and snacks recipes all over the world. It is actually the hulled barley that is processed and the bran is removed. It is processed into a host of products like flours and flakes, which resemble oatmeal or grits.

Barley Green Powder is well known for its medicinal benefits. It is actually the powdered form of barley grass. These grasses are found in a variety of flavors and have superior solubility. Therefore, you can also consume them in the form of juice.

Barley Flour is often used, alternatively, as wheat flour or cake flour. The flour obtained from grinding whole barley is richer in nutrition than the pearl variety flour since the bran in the former remains undamaged. It contains some gluten and has been very popular in confectioneries that tend to experiment with alternate kinds of flours. It has a mild, nutty flavor, and has comparatively lower rates of calories and higher levels of fiber.

Barley Water is effective when your kidneys need rest from excessive stress. People suffering from kidney and bladder ailments can drink barley water for therapeutic uses.

How to select Barley?

When you think of buying it, you first need to decide what form you should buy. Barley is found in various forms, and each of them has a varied nutritional value. Whole grain barley has the ultimate nutritional value, found in its grain, leaves, and even the extract of the grass.

Barley is widely available as a commercial product all over the world in various forms. You need to know the exact form that will cater best to your needs. The pearled, flaked and hulled forms have different uses, so decide what you want to make before making the purchase. It is found both in bulk containers and packaged forms; ensure its freshness before taking it home. If you buy it in containers, check the expiration date and also be sure that it’s sealed properly. Even a small amount of moisture in packaged barley can spoil the grain, so be careful. Store it in clean, glass airtight containers and place it in a cool, dry place. During summer, it’s advisable to keep it in the refrigerator.

Pearl Barley Vs. Brown Rice: Which Is the Better Grain

September 09, 2015 · Written by Foodtolive Team

Barley is a seed that often goes unappreciated and passed on in favor of something that we are more used to, like rice or oats. However, the benefits of pearl barley shouldn’t be discounted as this particular food is highly nutritious and has a vast positive effect on your health as a whole. In this regard, it’s often compared to brown rice, which has been respected as one of the healthiest foods for many centuries.

It’s a good comparison as both these grains are similar in many ways. The first thing that comes to mind is their nutritional value. It is rather high for both, barley and rice as they are packed with essential minerals and other precious nutrients. Barley has a higher content of sodium and it’s a better source of dietary fiber. Therefore, it is a better choice for diets and weight loss programs.

All in all, pearl barley nutritional value is very high, but the same can be said about rice. So, there are other factors you will need to consider to decide which the healthier food is. Let’s focus on the health benefits offered by these two foods.

Brown Rice:

  • High content of manganese.
    Manganese is an essential nutrient that keeps your nervous system healthy. It plays a part in the production of cholesterol and some types of hormones. It is also a potent antioxidant that helps your body protect itself from the detrimental effects of free radicals.
  • High content of fiber and selenium.
    According to the results of some studies, selenium can reduce the risk of colon cancer. When combined with dietary fiber, the level of protection it provides increases. Therefore, if you are at a risk group for this particular kind of cancer, you should include more brown rice and other selenium-rich foods into your diet.
  • Lowering the level of LDL cholesterol.
    As all other seeds, brown rice helps flush “bad” cholesterol from your body and replace it with “good” HDL cholesterol. This promotes your cardiovascular health.

Pearl Barley:

  • Blood sugar control.
    Barley, in general, is the best choice of grain for diabetics as it helps keep your blood sugar levels under control. According to some studies, eating a barley dinner improves your insulin sensitivity up to 30%.
  • It lowers glycemic index.
    Barley contains beta-glucan, an element that has a significant sway when it comes to lowering your glycemic index and normalizing your body’s insulin response. This alone makes it a much healthier than rice.
  • It reduces blood pressure.
    Like other grains, pearl barley helps control your cholesterol levels and promotes cardiovascular health in general. It lowers your blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • It helps with weight control.
    Not only does barley contain more dietary fiber, it also takes longer to digest than many other grains. Therefore, it’s a perfect choice for the people who want to lose weight as eating some barley-based meal will make you feel full longer. Pearl barley nutrition value is so high, that you will get enough energy to keep you going for many hours.

Considering all this, there are two major questions you should ask yourself. Is brown rice good for you? Is pearl barley good for you?

The answers to both of them are “yes”. However, barley is a more nutritious option that is definitely healthier and better for the people who aim to lose weight and those who have problems controlling their blood sugar levels. All in all, you should consume both these grains on a regular basis as they are good additions to any healthy diet.

How to Cook Pearl Barley

One thing you need to be aware, though, is that pearl barley takes much longer to cook than rice. Therefore, you will need to consider this when planning your meals. Barley is most often used in stews and soups. However, you can also add it to cold salads as its rich nutty taste goes well with fresh vegetables.

To cook the grain, you ‘ll need to take one part of pearl barley and two parts of water. It’s imperative to soak barley prior to cooking. In a perfect case scenario, you should let it soak for 4 hours at the least. Change water from time to time.

Sponsored by Food to live

Well-soaked barley will soften and you will be able to cook it in about an hour. Let it simmer and stir it occasionally to prevent it sticking to the walls of the pot. Using a pressure cooker will make the process of cooking barley very easy as the machine will do everything on its own. However, you will need to soak the grain even when putting it into the cooker.

You can cook barley “risotto-style” to create a delightfully delicious chewy dish. It soaks up the flavor from spices, so the taste of your culinary experiment is sure to be good.

It’s best to buy pearl barley in bulk as there are so many interesting things you can cook with it that it always pays to have some barley in your pantry.

It can be stored for many months as long as you keep it dry.

6 Carbs to Add to Your Diet to Help You Stay Slim

Pictured Recipe: Farro, Kale & Squash Salad

Call it the Battle of the Carbs. On one side are good carbohydrates-found in fruits, vegetables, dairy and whole grains-that your brain and body need. Then there are bad carbs-the ones in doughnuts, white bread, soda and other sugary, processed foods. Over time, filling up on bad carbs raises your risk of heart disease and diabetes, not to mention a bigger waistline.

So here’s a winning strategy. Replace refined carbohydrates with whole, unprocessed carbs, and you’ll boost your heart health and lower your risk of diabetes. And because good carbs are typically rich in feel-full fiber, they can help you lose weight. A 2018 JAMA study shows that eating unrefined, high-quality foods, including good carbs, counts more toward weight loss than counting calories.

Here are 6 healthy, whole-grain carbs-plus tasty recipes and helpful cooking tips-worth adding to your meals.

1. Quinoa

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Pictured Recipe: Quinoa Power Salad

Consider it amped-up couscous. A 1/2-cup serving of this delicately flavored whole grain provides 2 grams of fiber, which can help you feel full longer. It also has 4 grams of protein, which can help tame your appetite.

To cook: Bring 2 cups water or broth to a boil in a medium saucepan; add 1 cup quinoa. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until the liquid has been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Note: Rinsing the grains first removes any residue of saponin, its naturally bitter protective coating. Try toasting quinoa before cooking to enhance its flavor.

Recipes to Try: Healthy Quinoa Recipes

2. Black Rice

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Pictured Recipe: Kung Pao Broccoli

Black is the new brown when it comes to rice, say some nutritionists. While both black and brown rice are similar in nutrients, black rice-an ancient grain sometimes called “forbidden” rice-is higher in vitamin E and anthocyanins, which are powerful antioxidants. And it’s higher in fiber and lower in calories, so it can help you shed pounds.

To cook: Combine 1 cup rice and 2 cups water in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, until all the water is absorbed, about 30 minutes. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Related: 10 Delicious Ways to Jazz Up Whole Grains

3. Barley

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Pictured Recipe: Bean & Barley Soup

Barley is available “pearled” (with the bran removed) or “quick-cooking” (parboiled). While both contain soluble fiber, pearl barley has a little more. A good source of potassium and other heart-healthy nutrients, barley can help you slim down. In one small Japanese study, eating barley helped people reduce their cholesterol, shrink their waistlines and lose dangerous visceral fat.

To cook: For pearl barley: Combine 1 cup barley and 2 1/2 cups water or broth in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer; cook, covered, until tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 40 to 50 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes.
For quick-cooking barley: Bring 1 3/4 cups water or broth to a boil in a medium saucepan; add 1 cup barley. Reduce heat to a simmer; cook, covered, until tender, 10 to 12 minutes.

Recipes to Try: Hearty Barley Recipes

4. Oatmeal

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Pictured Recipe: Flower-Power Oatmeal Bowl

Eating oatmeal regularly not only lowers your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and colon cancer, but its high fiber also helps keep you feeling full and satisfied. And oats are kind to your waistline: research shows they can help reduce belly fat and overall body fat.

To cook: Bring 1 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan; add a pinch of salt. Add 1/2 cup old-fashioned or “rolled” oats. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand, covered, for 2 to 3 minutes.

Related: The Right Way to Prepare Oatmeal and 5 Tips for Making It Better

5. Popcorn

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Pictured Recipe: Lemon-Parm Popcorn

A review of 15 studies found that eating three servings of whole grains a day is linked to lower body fat and BMI. You can get one of those daily servings-and kill a snack attack-with 3 cups of popcorn (what you get by popping 1 heaping tablespoon of kernels).

To cook: Toss 1 heaping tablespoon popcorn kernels into an air popper.

Related: How to Make DIY Microwave Popcorn 4 Ways

6. Farro

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Pictured Recipe: Bacon, Tomato & Farro Salad

Known for its nutty flavor and chewy texture, this ancient wheat grain is packed with protein, and has more fiber than many other whole grains. Farro is most often available semi-pearled, with part of the bran removed. Whole farro has more nutrients, but you’ll need to soak it overnight and cook it longer.

To cook: Combine 3 cups water or broth and 1 cup farro in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Stir, reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until the farro is tender, 15 to 25 minutes. Drain.

Related: Whole Grain Cooking Guide
Some original reporting by Nicci Micco, M.S.

Barley, Hordeum Valgar, is one of the earliest crops cultivated by humans. This whole grain has been grown in the Middle East and Ethiopia for more than 10,000 years!

Barley has been one of the fundamental crops (the so-called eight “founder” crops) that enabled the stabilization and growth of human civilization since those earliest cultures. Barley soon spread from the Middle East to the Fertile Crescent and Northern Africa, and then on to Greece and other parts of Southern Europe where it took hold between 5,000 – 6,000 B.C.E.

The famed empires of Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, and Ancient Rome all depended heavily on barley cultivation. Along with many other crops, including a variety of whole grains, Christopher Columbus introduced barley to the “New World” in 1494, and the British extended its cultivation in their North American colonies (now the United States and Canada) in the 17th century.

Whole grain barley is very high in dietary fiber, which allows it to be digested slowly. Combined with a high level of magnesium, whole grain barley is considered an incredibly beneficial food for diabetics and those with a high risk for developing diabetes. The carbohydrates in barley are absorbed and converted into glucose within the bloodstream gradually, which helps to maintain energy and cellular function without raising blood glucose levels rapidly. Other whole grains also exhibit many of these anti-diabetic benefits, but it’s possible that whole grain barley is the best of them all.

When barley is consumed truly whole, it is referred to as “hulless” barley, meaning the nutrient-dense germ and bran remain intact, along with the endosperm and pearl. The first step in processing barley removes the hull (germ and bran), leaving a still nutritious grain relatively high in fiber, but diminished in several micronutrients. This is called “scotch” barley.

The most commonly consumed modern form of barley is known as “pearl” barley, where the endosperm is also removed. This processed form lacks in most macronutrients that make whole grain barley so precious, such as protein, fiber and polyunsaturated fat (though most of the carbohydrates still remain, ready to rush into the bloodstream and cells as glucose), and micronutrients like magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc and B vitamins. Look for hulless barley whenever possible, whether on its own or as an ingredient in freshly produced foods, such as whole grain breads, cereals and soups.

Glycemic Index of Whole Grain Barley: 20-22 = Low (very low for a grain), and a reasonable 50 for “cracked” barley.

Glycemic Index of processed Pearl Barley: 22-29 raw, which is still low, 35 or more cooked, which is medium, and over 60 in flakes which is high.

Resources and Further Reading

All about the history and benefits of barley:

A strong and convincing endorsement for hulless barley:

A study on whole grains and their potential for treating and preventing diabetes, along with the negative impacts of refined grains:

Although barley may not be as popular as other whole grains like oats, wheat, or even grain-of-the-moment quinoa, the heath perks associated with barley nutrition shouldn’t be overlooked.

What are the benefits of eating barley? A very high fiber content (both soluble and insoluble), vitamins and minerals like selenium and magnesium, antioxidants called lignans, plus heart health and diabetes protection are just some of the barley nutrition benefits that make it one of the best whole grain choices.

What Is Barley?

Barley (Hordeum Vulgare L.) is a member of the grass family and one of the most popular types of cereal grains in the world. According to the Whole Grain Council, a 2007 ranking of cereal crops grown around the world, it was listed as the fourth largest produced grain worldwide (behind wheat, rice, and corn), with about 136 million tons produced every year.

As of 2013, reports showed that barley was grown in over 100 nations worldwide, with the largest producers being Russia, Germany, France, Canada and Spain.

It is actually one of the oldest consumed grains in the world. It was a staple grain for peasants during medieval times for centuries and today is still included in the diet of many European, African and Middle Eastern nations that have been eating it for thousands of years.

It provides a range of important vitamins and minerals, some of which include:

  • fiber
  • selenium
  • B vitamins
  • copper
  • chromium
  • phosphorus
  • magnesium
  • niacin

Uses Throughout History

Domesticated barley comes from the wild grass variety known as Hordeum vulgare spontaneum. It first was grown in grasslands and woodlands throughout parts of Western Asia and northeast Africa thousands of years ago.

Researchers believe that it began being grown for food beginning in Mesopotamia from the second millennium BC onward.

A high percentage of the barley grain grown around the world today is used to make it into other products, like alcohol, syrup (called malted barley) and brown barley bread. Historically, barley uses have included making beer and other alcoholic drinks, like whiskey or barley wine, malt, barley tea, flour, bread and porridges.

Sprouted barley is naturally high in maltose, which is a type of sugar that is used for various purposes. This is why maltose from this grain is used to make barley malt syrups that serve as a natural sweetener.

Barley meal (or barley flour) is the base ingredient in a traditional porridge found in Scotland, for example. Barley bread is a type of brown bread made from barley flour that makes dates to the Iron Ages.

The meal has also been used to make “gruels,” another traditional type of porridge, in the Arab world and parts of the Middle East, like Israel, Persia and Saudi Arabia, for centuries.

Barley soup is traditionally eaten during Ramadan in Saudi Arabia, and it is included in cholent, a traditional Jewish stew that is often eaten on Sabbath. In Africa, this grain is one of the major food crops that provides nutrients to impoverished populations.

This grain has a long history of being used in alcoholic drinks because some of the same special compounds that make barley nutrition so healthy are also very favorable for fermentation. Certain sugars in the grain are fermented to make beer and whiskey.

Alcoholic drinks made with barley have long been prepared by boiling the grain in water, then mixing the barley water with white wine and other ingredients. Since at least the 18th century, this grain has been used to make strong beers in England, Ireland and Scotland, using traditional English brewing techniques.


Barley is available in a variety of forms, including pearled and hulled grains, grits, flakes and flour.

What kind of barley is healthiest? Hulled barley (or covered barley) is considered the most nutrient-dense type.

It’s eaten after removing the inedible, fibrous, outer hull of the grains, but it is still considered a whole grain, unlike pearled barley. Once removed, it is called “dehulled barley,” but it has its bran and germ intact, which is where many of the nutrients can be found.

Pearled barley is more processed and refined, so it lacks some of the barley nutrition benefits described more below.

The pearled version is dehulled, which has been steam processed further to remove the bran. This reduces the nutrient content of barley and makes it a more processed product, often being used in many packed products including flours, flaked grains or grits.

Pearled barley cooks quicker because its bran has been removed, but this also removes nutrients and won’t provide as many benefits as the hulled grain.

Top 9 Benefits

1. High Source of Fiber

We can’t talk about barley nutrition without mentioning its high fiber content. Each one-cup serving provides approximately six grams of fiber.

Most of the fiber found in barley is insoluble fiber, the type which studies show aids in healthy digestion, glucose and lipid metabolism and heart health.

Consuming foods that are high in fiber also makes you feel fuller, since fiber expands within the digestive tract and takes up a high volume of space. This means you feel more satisfied after a meal, are better able to control blood sugar levels and have less cravings.

The fiber found in whole grains has been shown to have positive effects on glycemic response, blood lipid attenuation, intestinal enzymatic activity, digestibility of foods and gut microbiota.

2. Can Help Improve Digestion

Fiber can help fight constipation and diarrhea by forming bulk within the digestive tract, therefore regulating bowel movements. A 2003 study observed the effects of adding more barley to the diet of adult women and found that after four weeks, barley intake had beneficial effects on both lipid metabolism and bowel function.

Fiber is also important for maintaining a healthy balance of bacteria within the digestive tract.

Another important and well-researched benefit of barley nutrition? Its high supply of fiber may even be beneficial in preventing certain types of cancers within the digestive system, including colon cancer.

The soluble fiber found in barley essentially “feeds” probiotic bacteria in the gut, helping to produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), including butyrate, that have anti-inflammatory effects and may help treat symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Is barley good for kidney patients? It can be, since it is a grain that’s lower in phosphorus but high in a number of nutrients, which is important for people with kidney disease to monitor.

According to the National Kidney Foundation, a plant-based (or mostly vegetarian) diet that includes several servings of whole grains daily can be beneficial for those with kidney disease because whole grains provide fiber and a good balance of protein, sodium, potassium and phosphorus.

3. Helps with Weight Loss

Fiber provides volume to a healthy diet without any additional calories since the body cannot digest fiber. This makes the fiber found in barley nutrition beneficial for appetite control and weight loss.

An article published in the Journal of Nutrition states, “The role of dietary fiber in energy intake regulation and obesity development is related to its unique physical and chemical properties that aid in early signals of satiation and enhanced or prolonged signals of satiety.”

A study in 2008 found that when adults added high amounts of barley nutrition’s beta-glucan fiber to their diets for six weeks, their weight significantly decreased, as did their levels of hunger.

Many other studies have found that compared to more refined grain products, like white bread for example, consuming whole grains significantly reduces hunger levels and positively impacts metabolic responses to carbohydrates by absorbing starches at a slower pace. This is believed to be one reason why epidemiologic studies have shown that fiber intake is associated with a lower body weight.

4. Helps Control Blood Sugar Levels

Research suggests that barley nutrition can benefit blood sugar level management, making it a smart grain choice for those with diabetes or any form of metabolic syndrome because it helps to slow the rate at which sugar is released into the bloodstream.

Barley nutrition contains eight essential amino acids, the building blocks of protein, as well as high amounts of soluble fiber, which control insulin release in response to barley’s sugar in the form of carbohydrates.

Inside the cell walls of barley is a type of soluble fiber called beta-glucan. Beta-glucan is a viscous fiber, meaning our body cannot digest it and it moves through our digestive tract without being absorbed.

As it does this it binds with water and other molecules within the digestive tract, slowing down the absorption of glucose (sugar) from food intake.

One animal study conducted in 2010 found that after rats were given high levels of barley for a seven-week period, the addition of barley helped reduce their weight, decreased hepatic lipid (fat) accumulation and improved insulin sensitivity compared to the rats not consuming barley.

Another animal study conducted in 2014 found similar positive effects of adding barley to the diet. Because of its special fiber compounds, barley nutrition has even been found to help control blood sugar levels better than other whole grains, like oats for example.

5. Helps Lower High Cholesterol

A diet rich in fiber has been correlated with a lower incidence of heart disease, partially due to its ability to help lower high cholesterol levels. Barley nutrition’s high source of insoluble fiber is mostly responsible for giving it is heart health benefits because it inhibits the amount of bad cholesterol that can be absorbed by the intestines.

In a 2004 study, 28 men with high cholesterol levels were put on a diet containing high amounts of barley, with roughly 20 percent of overall calories coming from whole grain barley. After five weeks, total cholesterol, HDL “good” cholesterol and triacylglycerols levels all showed significant improvements.

Researchers concluded that by increasing soluble fiber through consumption of barley, as part of an overall healthy diet, people can reduce several important cardiovascular risk factors.

Tiber helps to form a type of acid known as propionic acid which helps inhibit enzymes that are involved in the production of cholesterol by the liver. The fiber found in barley nutrition also provides beta-glucan, a substance that is needed to bind bile in the digestive tract to cholesterol and therefore to help pull it through the colon and out of the body in stool.

6. Helps Prevent Heart Disease

One of the biggest advantages of barley nutrition is that eating whole grains is correlated with improved heart health and reduced risk markers associated with cardiometabolic diseases, especially when eaten as part of a balanced, high-fiber diet, according to a large body of research.

This grain contains certain nutrients, including vitamin B3 niacin, vitamin B1 thiamine, selenium, copper and magnesium, which are useful in lowering LDL and total cholesterol, high blood pressure and other risk factors associated with heart disease.

These minerals help to control the production and metabolism of cholesterol, prevent dangerous blood clotting, aid in arterial health and are crucial for nerve signaling functions that help control cardiovascular processes like heart rhythms.

These nutrients are especially useful in slowing the dangerous progression of atherosclerosis, a condition in which plaque builds up within arteries and can lead to heart disease, a heart attack, or stroke. Barley nutrition helps blood vessels to remain clear, improving blood flow and reducing inflammation.

7. Provides Antioxidants

Barley benefits the body in many ways because it contains antioxidant phytonutrients known as lignans. Lignans are correlated with lower incidences of cancer and heart disease because they are helpful in reducing inflammation and fighting the toll that aging can have on the body.

According to a 2018 article published in the journal Molecules, “lignan compounds are of increasing interest because of their potential beneficial properties, i.e., anticancerogenic, antioxidant, estrogenic, and antiestrogenic activities.”

Foods that provide lignans are considered to be “functional foods” because they offer protection against a range of degenerative diseases, such as type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, erectile dysfunction and more.

The main type of lignan that is found in barley is called 7-hydroxymatairesinol. Studies have shown that this lignan may offer protection against cancer development and heart disease because it helps the body metabolize bacteria and sustain a healthy ratio of “good-to-bad” bacteria within the gut, reducing overall inflammation.

The antioxidants found in barley nutrition help boost serum levels of enterolactones, which are compounds associated with controlling hormone levels and therefore fighting hormone-related cancers, such as prostate and breast cancer.

8. High in Vitamins and Minerals

Barley nutrition is a good source of important nutrients, including selenium, magnesium, copper, niacin, thiamine and many other vital nutrients too.

Barley nutrition helps many functions due to its high mineral content. Copper, for example, is important for maintaining cognitive function into old age, supporting metabolism, the nervous system and producing red blood cells.

Selenium found in barley benefits your appearance by improving skin and hair health and supports a healthy metabolism. Selenium also works with vitamin E to fight oxidative stress.

Manganese found in barley nutrition is important for brain health and supporting the nervous system. One cup of cooked barley also provides 20 percent of your daily magnesium needs.

Magnesium is needed for numerous important enzyme relations within the body, including the production and use of glucose. It also helps control muscle functioning, dilating blood vessels, and many more functions.

9. Protects Against Cancer

A diet that includes whole grains has been shown to protect against various forms of cancer, including gastrointestinal cancers, breast, colon and prostate cancers. Whole grains contain compounds that have the ability to fight free radical damage and inflammation including lignans, polyunsaturated fatty acids, oligosaccharides, plant sterols and saponins.

These beneficial compounds have mechanistic effects that include binding to harmful carcinogens and removing them from the body. Whole grains also produce protective short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) and help improve the environment of the gut and therefore boost immunity by helping with antioxidant and nutrient absorption.

The grain’s antioxidants and enterolactones also seem to play a role in defending against hormone-based types of cancer. Other plausible mechanisms by which whole grains may defend against cancer (especially colon cancer), according to a 2011 systematic review, include increased stool bulk and dilution of carcinogens in the colonic lumen, reduced transit time and bacterial fermentation of fibers.

Nutrition Facts

According to the USDA, 1/4 cup of uncooked/dry hulled barley provides about:

  • 160 calories
  • 34 grams carbohydrates
  • 6 grams protein
  • About 1 gram fat
  • 8 grams fiber
  • 0.9 mg manganese (45 percent of RDA)
  • 17 mg selenium (25 percent of RDA)
  • 0.2 mg thiamine (20 percent of RDA)
  • 61 mg magnesium (15 percent of RDA)
  • 121 mg phosphorus (12 percent of RDA)
  • .025 mg copper (11 percent of RDA)
  • 2 mg niacin (10 percent of RDA)

Barley vs. Other Grains?

When compared to many other grains, even other ancient whole-grains, barley is lower in fat and calories but higher in dietary fiber and certain trace minerals.

Is barley better than rice? A one-cup serving of cooked barley has less calories but more fiber than an equal serving of quinoa, brown rice, amaranth, sorghum, millet or wild rice.

Is barley better than wheat? Barley and wheat have similarities but are two different types of grasses.

There are also various types and forms of wheat, such as wheat bran and farro, so it’s hard to say which one is “best.”

Barley has some more fiber than whole grain wheat. It’s about 17 percent fiber from volume, while wheat is about 12 percent.

Both are associated with health benefits like lowering cholesterol and helping you to feel full.

Risks and Side Effects

Is barley gluten-free? No, just like whole grain wheat and rye, it naturally contains the protein gluten.

This means it may not be a suitable grain for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities. Glutenous proteins can greatly be reduced by sprouting and fermenting grains, however some still remains intact.

Gluten may be difficult for some people to properly digest and may cause a range of reactions among those with gluten intolerance, including malabsorption of nutrients, leaky gut syndrome, low energy levels, bloating, constipation and other symptoms.

Although sprouting barley can help lower its gluten content, it will still have gluten proteins intact even once sprouted and should be avoided by anyone with a known gluten allergy or intolerance. If you have a sensitive digestive system, IBS or signs of leaky gut syndrome, it may be smart to avoid it and other grains, at least for a period of time to allow your gut to heal.

The same nutrients found in this grain can be found in many vegetables and fruits, therefore barley and other grains are not entirely necessary in every healthy diet. If you have no negative reactions to grains or gluten, then this grain can be a beneficial part of your diet.

How to Select and Cook

When buying barley, you want to look for 100 percent whole grain hulled or dehulled barley but ideally not pearled.


To get the most benefits from barley nutrition, it’s recommended that you first soak and sprout hulled, uncooked barley grains, or you can choose to buy sprouted barley flour for baking. Sprouting whole grains helps unleash their nutrients so the body can actually absorb and use the various vitamins and minerals found within the grain.

This is because all whole grains contain certain antinutrients, like phytic acid, which bind to nutrients and make them very difficult to absorb.

Soaking and sprouting grains can help lower the level of antinutrients significantly, making grains more beneficial and also easier to digest. It can also reduce the amount of gluten present to some degree.

Numerous studies have found that when grains are soaked and sprouted, improvements in digestibility and nutrient absorption are commonly seen and also vitamin, mineral, protein and antioxidant levels are increased.

To sprout your own, you can soak whole, raw barley grains for eight to 12 hours and then sprout them over the course of about three days.

How to Cook

Before cooking raw barley, rinse the grains thoroughly under running water. Make sure to remove any hulls or floating particles since these can carry bacteria.

Cook it using a ratio of one part barley to three parts boiling water or broth. This means you add 1/3 cup of the grain to 1 cup of liquid when boiling the grains.

Bring both the cleaned grains and liquid to a boil and then lower the heat, allowing it to simmer on a low heat setting until it’s tender and cooked through. Pearled barley usually takes about 1 hour of simmering to cook, while the preferred type of hulled barley takes about one-and-a-half hours.

How to Add It to Your Diet (Plus Recipes)

This ancient grain is described as having a rich, nutty flavor and a dense, chewy texture. If you like the taste and texture of other ancient, whole grains like farro, buckwheat or wheat berries, then you’ll likely enjoy this grain, too.

It is a great addition to comfort foods like soups and stews, since it absorbs a lot of flavor and adds a filling, chewy element to dishes.

You can add more barley nutrition benefits to your diet by using the hulled variety anywhere you’d normally use other whole grains-, like quinoa, rice or buckwheat. You can use it in the following recipes:

  • It is a delicious addition to soup and stews. Try it in this Crockpot Turkey Stew or Vegetable Beef Barley Soup Recipe. Mushroom Barley Soup is another popular use for this hearty whole grain.
  • For breakfast, try this grain in this Quinoa Porridge Recipe.
  • As a healthy side dish, you can use it in place of rice. Try Barley with Tomatoes and Basil or Barley Salad.
  • To make barley bread, you’ll need basic ingredients like whole grain barley flour, eggs, milk or water, olive oil, yeast, honey, and salt. Try this recipe.

Final Thoughts

  • Barley (Hordeum Vulgare L.) is a member of the grass family and is one of the most popular types of whole grains in the world. It’s high in fiber, manganese, copper, magnesium, B vitamins, selenium and more.
  • What is barley used for? For thousands of years this grain has been used to make beer and other alcoholic drinks like barley wine, malt (a sweetener), tea, flour, brown breads and porridges.
  • Studies show that barley health benefits include helping to lower high cholesterol and blood pressure, supporting digestive health, helping with weight management, supporting healthy blood sugar levels and metabolic health, and more.
  • Does barley have gluten? Yes, like rye and wheat, it naturally contains the protein gluten. This means that for people with an intolerance to gluten, barley side effects may include indigestion, allergic reactions, skin rashes and more. If this applies to you, other gluten-free grains like quinoa, buckwheat or brown rice are better options.

Barley Controls Blood Sugar Better

Dutch researchers used a crossover study with 10 healthy men to compare the effects of cooked barley kernels and refined wheat bread on blood sugar control. The men ate one or the other of these grains at dinner, then were given a high glycemic index breakfast (50g of glucose) the next morning for breakfast. When they had eaten the barley dinner, the men had 30% better insulin sensitivity the next morning after breakfast.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, January 2010; 91(1):90-7. Epub 2009 Nov 4.

Barley Lowers Glucose Levels

White rice, the staple food in Japan, is a high glycemic index food. Researchers at the University of Tokushima found that glucose levels were lower after meals when subjects switched from rice to barley.
Rinsho Byori. August 2009; 57(8):797-805

Barley Beta-Glucan Lowers Glycemic Index

Scientists at the Functional Food Centre at Oxfod Brookes University in England fed 8 healthy human subjects chapatis (unleavened Indian flatbreads) made with either 0g, 2g, 4g, 6g or 8g of barley beta-glucan fiber. They found that all amounts of barley beta-glucan lowered the glycemic index of the breads, with 4g or more making a significant difference.
Nutrition Research, July 2009; 29(7):4806

Insulin Response better with Barley Beta-Glucan

In a crossover study involving 17 obese women at increased risk for insulin resistance, USDA scientists studied the effects of 5 different breakfast cereal test meals on subjects’ insulin response. They found that consumption of 10g of barley beta-glucan significantly reduced insulin response.
European Journal of Nutrition, April 2009; 48(3):170-5. Epub 2009 Feb 5.

Barley Beats Oats in Glucose Response Study

USDA researchers fed barley flakes, barley flour, rolled oats, oat flour, and glucose to 10 overweight middle-aged women, then studied their bodies’ responses. They found that peak glucose and insulin levels after barley were significantly lower than those after glucose or oats. Particle size did not appear to be a factor, as both flour and flakes had similar effects.
Journal of the American College of Nutrition, June 2005; 24(3):182-8

Barley Reduces Blood Pressure

For five weeks, adults with mildly high cholesterol were fed diets supplemented with one of three whole grain choices: whole wheat/brown rice, barley, or whole wheat/brown rice/barley. All three whole grain combinations reduced blood pressure, leading USDA researchers to conclude that “in a healthful diet, increasing whole grain foods, whether high in soluble or insoluble fiber, can reduce blood pressure and may help to control weight.”
Journal of the American Dietetic Association, September 2006; 106(9):1445-9

Barley Lowers Serum Lipids

University of Connecticut researchers reviewed 8 studies evaluating the lipid-reducing effects of barley. They found that eating barley significantly lowered total cholesterol, LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, and triglycerides, but did not appear to significantly alter HDL (“good”) cholesterol.
Annals of Family Medicine, March-April 2009; 7(2):157-63

Cholesterol and Visceral Fat Decrease with Barley

A randomized double-blind study in Japan followed 44 men with high cholesterol for twelve weeks, as the men ate either a standard white-rice diet or one with a mixture of rice and high-beta-glucan pearl barley. Barley intake significantly reduced serum cholesterol and visceral fat, both accepted markers of cardiovascular risk.
Plant Foods and Human Nutrition, March 2008; 63(1):21-5. Epub 2007 Dec 12.

Barley Significantly Improves Lipids

25 adults with mildly high cholesterol were fed whole grain foods containing 0g, 3g or 6g of barley beta-glucan per day for five weeks, with blood samples taken twice weekly. Total cholesterol and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol significantly decreased with the addition of barley to the diet.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, November 2004; 80(5):1185-93

Barley Pasta Lowers Cholesterol

University of California researchers fed two test meals to 11 healthy men, both containing beta-glucan. One meal was a high-fiber (15.7g) barley pasta and the other was lower-fiber (5.0g) wheat pasta. The barley pasta blunted insulin response, and four hours after the meal, barley-eaters had significantly lower cholesterol concentration than wheat-eaters.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, January 1999; 69(1):55-63

Barley’s Slow Digestion may help Weight Control

Barley varieties such as Prowashonupana that are especially high in beta-glucan fiber may digest more slowly than standard barley varieties. Researchers at USDA and the Texas Children’s Hospital compared the two and concluded that Prowashonupana may indeed be especially appropriate for obese and diabetic patients.
Journal of Nutrition, September 2002; 132(9):2593-6

Greater Satiety, Fewer Calories Eaten with Barley

In a pilot study not yet published, six healthy subjects ate a 420-calorie breakfast bar after an overnight fast, then at lunch were offered an all-you-can-eat buffet. When subjects ate a Prowashonupana barley bar at breakfast they subsequently ate 100 calories less at lunch than when they ate a traditional granola bar for breakfast.

Dr. Perricone’s No. 3 Superfood: Barley

This ancient grain is sadly overlooked by today’s culinary trendsetters, yet it is one of the grains with the greatest health benefits, delightful flavor and versatility. Barley can be used as a delicious breakfast cereal, in soups and stews and as a rice substitute for dishes such as risotto.
Not only is barley a low-glycemic grain, it is high in both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber helps the body metabolize fats, cholesterol and carbohydrates, and lowers blood cholesterol levels. Insoluble fiber—commonly called “roughage”—promotes a healthy digestive tract and reduces the risk of cancers affecting it (e.g., colon cancer).
Dietary fiber is critical to health—yet few people in our modern society even come close to the recommended daily intake. Many experts believe that good health begins in the colon, and without sufficient dietary fiber in the diet, we run the risk of a host of diseases, ranging from hemorrhoids to colon cancer.
The fiber found in barley provides food for the beneficial bacteria in the large intestine. This is important as the “good” bacteria can crowd out the disease-causing bacteria in the intestinal tract, resulting in greater health and disease resistance.
Barley is sold in many forms, all of which are nutritious. But hulled barley, in which the outer hull (the bran) is left intact, is richer in fiber and contains more fiber and nutrients than other forms, such as pearl barley or Scotch barley.
Eating hulled barley on a regular basis:

  • Lowers blood cholesterol levels
  • Protects against cancer because its high fiber content helps speed food through the digestive tract, and because its a good source of selenium, shown to significantly reduce the risk of colon cancer
  • Is a good source of niacin, the B vitamin that is cardio-protective
  • Slows starch digestion, which may help keep blood sugar levels stable
  • Provides high concentrations of tocotrienols, the “super” form of vitamin E
  • Provides lignans, phytochemicals that function as antioxidants. Women who consume lignans (also present in high levels in flaxseed) are less likely to develop breast cancer.

Learn More About Dr. Perricone’s Superfoods:

  • Açaí
  • The allium family
  • Barley
  • Beans and lentils
  • Buckwheat
  • Green foods
  • Hot peppers
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Sprouts
  • Yogurt and kefir
  • More on superfoods and healthy diet advice

The Health Benefits of Barley

This chewy carb has become increasingly popular because of its numerous nutritional properties. For starters, it’s loaded in vitamins and can help regulate bowel functions. Reap barley health benefits by incorporating this healthy food into your diet.

What Is It?

This antioxidant-rich grain is most commonly used in soups because its texture is great for absorbing flavors. Don’t limit this healthy food to broth though; it’s just as nutritionally valuable in stir-fry or pilaf. It’s also cholesterol-free and has less than 1 gram of fat per serving.

Barley Health Benefits


One cup of barley has around 6 grams of fiber, which supports good health and some claims suggest it can even help prevent colon cancer. Barley is especially effective for people with type 2 diabetes, as it contains beta-glucan soluble fiber, which is great for managing blood sugar. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice journal found that type 2 diabetics who consumed 18 grams worth of pearl barley reported a 30 percent decrease in blood glucose levels.

Lowers Cholesterol

The soluble fiber found in this healthy food dissolves and binds with fatty acids in the body. This can lower total cholesterol levels and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, which is typically referred to as the “bad” kind. It also reduces the risk of coronary heart disease.


You’ll most likely spot two types of barley in your local grocery store: hulled and pearled. Barley health benefits are present in both forms, but pearled barley has, in essence, been “peeled” of multiple layers, and has fewer nutrients than the hulled version.

  • By Rebecca Brown

Barley is a kind of whole grain which was first grown about 10,000 years back in Ethiopia as well as in some parts of Southeast Asia. It absolutely was utilized by our historical forefathers not just for food as well as for making alcoholic drinks, but in addition for therapeutic reasons. Consuming barley has various advantages.

Barley is a cereal grain created from the annual grass Hordeum vulgare. Barley is among the mostly grown grains on earth. It features a nutty taste, a texture much like pasta and is also probably the most nourishing cereal grain. Barley can be used an alternative for rice also it tastes fantastic whenever served with a curry or stir fry. Barley is an extremely essential component in the preparation of soups throughout cold winter days. So as to make the digestive system run easily, a diet fiber rich is vital. A slothful digestive system is among the premiere reasons behind colon cancer and thus sustaining a clean bowel is essential to good health. A customary consumption of barley has additionally been discovered to assist the body make chemicals referred to as ‘short-chain fatty acids’. The 2 short-chain fatty acids namely ‘propionic acid as well as acetic acid’ are utilized as fuel by the cells that comprise the liver and You do not have use of view this node. In a 2007 worldwide ranking of cereal crops, barley was fourth in both terms of quantity produced (136 million tons) as well as in area of cultivation (566,000 km²).In case you drink beer and whiskey then you definitely should be wondering what makes them such delicious and tempting beverages. It’s the taste and flavour which are associated with fulfilling your taste buds. A few of the best-selling alcohols include a component known as barley that is a critical for producing excellent beer and also the finest whiskeys. There is no need that just individuals who enjoy alcohol can consume this particular grain. Others like barley water as well as barley tea render equal advantages. A local to the eastern Balkans, barley is recognized as one amongst the seven sacred cereals. Much like pasta in texture, barley features a lovely and nutty flavor. A member of the Grass family, barley is a kind of cereal that grows to about 0.7 to 1.2 meters in height. It really is ear-shaped and based upon the number of granules on the ear, there are various types of barley: hulled, pearl, pot/scotch, barley flakes and grits. For thousands of years, humans have appreciated the spiritual importance and health improvements of barley. The range of potential nutritious advantages in consuming barley is considerable.

Barley Barley-farm Barley-flour
Barley-grains Barley-grass Barley-powder
Barley-stem Cooked-Barley Plant-illustration-of-Barley

In case you are having a hard time struggling with asthma, arthritis, impotence, skin problems, anemia, obesity, constipation, diabetes, hypertension, kidney problems or heart disease, possibly it’s time for you to find out about the health advantages of barley. Current study states that consuming whole grain barley manages blood sugar levels to a large degree. The health advantages of barley are mainly due to the eight important amino acids it consists of, and therefore it signifies an entire protein within our diet.

Listed Here are a few health advantages of consuming Barley:

1. Keeps Colon and Intestine Healthy

Barley, just as one excellent source of fiber, keeps your body toxin-free. Barley grass, that is full of dietary fiber, behaves as a fuel source to the friendly bacteria of the large intestine. These bacteria assist in fermenting the fiber content of the barley, therefore forming butyric acid, that is the primary fuel for intestinal cells. Barley is significantly efficient at maintaining a healthy colon. By keeping the intestine in proper health, barley helps you to reduce the movement time of feces and keeps your stomach clean. It significantly decreases the chances of colon cancer and hemorrhoids too.

2. Helps You Lose Weight

Barley reduces weight, partially due to various kinds of essential amino acids, and partially due to its fiber content. Barley modulates your blood sugar levels, therefore preventing the sugar peaks and drops generally linked to the fat storage process.

Barley, when compared with other grains, is lower in calories and at the same time frame it can make a satisfactory meal, helping you feel full longer, so that you don’t need to eat as often.

3. Reduces Symptoms of Arthritis

Barley has Copper, which might also be helpful in decreasing the the signs of rheumatoid arthritis. Copper disarms free-radicals, therefore helping cell regeneration. Copper is important in cross-linking collagen and elastin, making bones and joints flexible.

4. Protect against Colon Cancer

Barley is considered to be useful in avoiding certain types of cancer, particularly colon cancer. It is because the dietary fiber present in this whole grain offers the good bacteria within the big intestines that will help encourage proper functioning and health.

5. Prevents Gallstones

Barley efficiently helps women avoid developing gallstones. Since barley is full of insoluble fiber, it really allows you to decrease bile acid secretion, therefore increasing insulin sensitivity as well as decreasing the levels of triglycerides. Reportedly, in an article of the American Journal of Gastroenterology, women have a 17% lower risk of having gallstones when compared with others not consuming a fibrous diet.

6. Helps Develop and Repair Body Tissue

Barley is additionally full of phosphorus that helps with cell regeneration. Phosphorus works well for forming bone. It is really an essential building block of the genetic code and plays a huge role in healthy cell membranes and our nervous system.

7. Prevents Osteoporosis

The phosphorus as well as copper content in barley grass ensures overall good health of bones. The phosphorous content in barley effectively cures bone and tooth problems. In case you have osteoporosis, barley is usually the natural remedy. Barley grass juice has 11x greater calcium content than milk. Calcium, as we know, is among the key components in safeguarding bone health. The manganese content in barley works in colaboration with B-complex vitamins, therefore keeping the overall health intact. We require manganese for normal bone production, along with cases of an iron deficiency anemia.

8. Prevents gall stones

In accordance with research published in American Journal of Gastroenterology, eating foods full of insoluble fibre just like barley helped avoid gall stones. Insoluble fibre helps move the food quickly from the intestines, as well as decreases the secretion of bile acids which makes it a great nutrient for the digestive system.

9. Reduces Visceral Fat

A Japanese research followed 44 men with high cholesterol and discovered which adding barley to their diet considerably decreased serum cholesterol and visceral fat, known contributors to cardiovascular risk.

10. Supports Immune System

The vitamin C content in barley is almost two times than that of oranges. This particular vitamin especially fortifies your defense mechanisms and decreases the likelihood of cold and flu. Iron increases the blood volume and also helps prevent anemia as well as exhaustion. It helps with proper kidney functioning and also the growth and development of body cells. Furthermore, barley consists of copper, that forms hemoglobin as well as red blood cells.

11. Promotes Optimal Health

Fiber in barley reduces the amount of time food remains inside your colon. Additionally, it is just a excellent method of obtaining selenium, that has been proven to reduce the risk of colon cancer. Selenium is a vital element for thyroid health. Additionally it is an anti-oxidant defense as well as an immune builder. Selenium has additionally been proven to repair damaged cells within the body.

12. Preserves Skin Elasticity

Barley is a great source of Selenium, which lets you protect skin elasticity, therefore safeguarding it against free radical damage and loosening. Moreover, additionally, it enhances our heart, pancreas, and defense mechanisms functioning. An insufficiency of selenium can result in cancers of the skin, colon, prostate, liver, stomach, and breast.

13. Controls Blood Cholesterol Levels

Barley’s insoluble fiber yields propionic acid that can help keep the blood levels of cholesterol low. Barley, being an excellent source of both soluble and insoluble fibers, can also be specifically suggested by doctors because of its naturally low-fat content and zero cholesterol qualities.

14. Manages Diabetes

Barley works efficiently on Type 2 diabetes. However, we are able to avoid this kind of diabetes by slimming down, involved in strenuous physical exercise and including abundant whole grains within our diet. Therefore, foods high in fiber like barley ought to be contained in the daily diet of diabetic patients. Barley grain has all of the important minerals and vitamins, especially beta-glucan soluble fiber, which decelerates glucose absorption. The December 2006 edition of Nutrition Research has demonstrated that insulin-resistant men who consumed barley beta-glucan soluble fiber had considerably decreased glucose and insulin levels when compared with others test subjects.

15. Prevents Heart Disease & Cancer

Barley consists of certain kinds of nutrients referred to as plant lignans, that are changed by friendly flora within our intestines into mammalian lignans. One of these simple new lignans is known as enterolactone, which will help us to avoid breast and other hormonal cancers in addition to coronary or heart disease.

16. Selenium in Barley Improves Skin Elasticity

Barley benefits are not only seen restricted to physical health, but in addition for the skin too. Probably the most essential uses of barley for skin is maintenance of skin elasticity. The high amount of Selenium present in Barley is a crucial ingredient that works well for conserving the elasticity of the skin that stops premature aging of the skin and safeguards the skin from the damaging effects of free-radicals and oxidative stress.Therefore, lessens the appearance of the three signs and symptoms of aging of the skin – wrinkles, fine lines and sagging skin. Therefore, barely water could be enjoy as a effective natural anti-aging drink that can help in maintaining younger and lively texture of your skin.

17. Barley is Protective against Childhood Asthma

Another effective usage of barley nutrition is that it works well for avoiding childhood asthma, probably the most widespread respiratory problems among children all across the globe. Increased usage of whole grains including barley decreases the likelihood of childhood asthma simply by nearly 50%.

The powerful antioxidants, especially vitamin C and E present in barley works well for normalizing breathing and lower the prevalence of wheezing. The possibilities of asthma along with bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR) is also reduced with high consumption of barley.

18. Protects Against Atherosclerosis

Atherosclerosis is really a situation once the artery walls thicken because of the coagulation or even deposition of fatty components just like cholesterol. Barley consists of niacin (a B vitamin complex) that decreases the all round cholesterol as well as lipoprotein levels and reduces cardio risk factors. Postmenopausal ladies having high blood pressure levels, high cholesterol levels, or even cardiovascular diseases are specially suggested to have barley a minimum of 6 times per week.

19. Barley Improves Intestinal Health and Regularizes Bowel Movement

Barley could possibly be the greatest solution for all those struggling with bowel problems as well as constipation. Barley not just enhances all round intestinal health, but additionally adds bulk to the stool and decreases transit time of feces, which decreases the chance of hemorrhoids as well as colon cancer.

The dietary fiber contained in barley works well for maintaining the healthy balance of the gut-friendly bacteria within the large intestines that ferment the insoluble fibers and produce short-chain essential fatty acids which acts a fuel for the cells of the large intestine. Additionally, it creates propionic as well as acetic acid which fuel the liver and muscle cells correspondingly.

20. Inhibits Formation of Gallstones

Barley helps in reducing amounts of triglycerides. Some might prevent gallstones having an increased consumption of Barley. Also, barley is full of insoluble fiber. There exists a hypothesis which insoluble fibre decreases the secretion of bile acid which plays a role in gallstone formation.

21. Prevents Asthma

14.5 kDa is really a barley endosperm protein along with a major allergen in baker’s asthma disease. It is really an airborne occupational ailment, mainly common in confectioneries and bakeries. Barley turns out to be extremely effective precautionary measure for such types of major wheat-flour allergens.

22. Indispensable for Woman

UK researchers looked at how fiber intake affects pre-menopausal women. They discovered that a diet fiber rich from whole grains, like barley, provided up to a 50% decrease in breast cancer.

Another research looked at postmenopausal women and showed a decrease in risk of 34% for breast cancer in females who consumed whole grains, like barley.

23. Improves Immunity

Barley is full of plant lignans, that are great for friendly flora within your intestines. In turn, barley helps your immunity.

Additionally, barley has lots of vitamin C, that also helps your defense mechanisms. Barley enables you to feel full, satisfied, and relaxed.

24. Slows Arteriosclerosis

Barley slows down atherosclerosis, that is the plaque build-up which narrows blood vessels. It is a great source of vitamin B (niacin). Niacin might help avoid free-radicals, whilst decreasing bad cholesterol and blood clots.

25. Healthy Teeth

Barley is full of phosphorus, calcium, and Vitamin C. They are wonderful contributors to healthy teeth and bones. Barley juice particularly, has lots of calcium. Additionally, it consists of manganese, phosphorus, and copper that are great for your teeth and bones.

Hair Benefits of Barley

Healthy hair is part of a healthy body. Lack of nutrients or even extented illness can negatively affect nice hair, resulting in hair problems like thinning, alopecia, hair loss, premature greying, dandruff etc. Therefore, the hair follicles likewise need nutrients to keep their health and growth of the hair. Barley contains all of the essential nutrition which includes proteins, carbohydrates, dietary fiber in addition to vitamins and antioxidants which are vital for hair health and provides the following proper hair care benefits.

1. Restores Hair Colour

Usage of green barley grass works well for restoring the hair colour. Moreover, barley offers the mineral copper that’s involved in the formation of melanin, a pigment which supplies colour in your hair.

2. Promotes Hair Growth

Barley is full of micronutrients thiamin and niacin which help in hair growth. Additionally, it consists of Procyanidin B-3 that is isolated from barley and recognized as a hair growth stimulant.

3. Combats Hair Loss

Anaemia is among the most typical reasons for hair thinning. Barley is the minerals iron and copper which boost the manufacture of red blood cells, therefore preventing anaemia and therefore revitalizing hair growth.

4. Barley for lustrous Hair

Barley is full of iron and Vitamin B complex, each of which are essential to avoid hair loss as well as encourage hair growth. Niacin and Procyanidin, each of which promote hair growth, have already been isolated in Barley. When consumed these nutrition provide your body enough minerals for hair growth. Since barley can bother hair follicles, it is usually recommended not to use it on the hair.

History of Barley

Barely have been grown for more than 10,000 years with its origin tracing back to the Near East, particularly the Balkans and Middle East. It absolutely was the first tamed grain along with proof at Aceramic Neolithic sites in Syria. Barley was initially utilized as food for humans and animals by ancient civilizations and of course, for making alcohol based drinks. The very first proof of barley wine goes back to 2800 BC in Babylonia. Besides utilizing barley water to avoid numerous diseases as well as conditions, the Greeks considered this cereal like a staple bread-making grain. The tradition of consuming barley for strength and energy was utilized by the Roman athletes. Wheat would be a expensive grain and not readily available in the Middle Ages, therefore making barley as well as rye a few of the key components in preparing bread in Europe. This grain was brought to South America by the Spanish within the 16th century while the United States gained information about this particular healthy food through the English and Dutch settlers within the 17th century. Canada, the Russian Federation, the United States, Germany, France and Spain are a handful of the main commercial cultivators of barley.

Nutrition Facts of Barley

Amount: 1 cup

Total Weight: 200 g

Nutrients Amount
Basic Components
Ash 2.2 g
Proteins 20 g
Water 20.2 g
Calories From Carbohydrate 614
Calories From Fat 19
Calories From Protein 70
Total Calories 704
Dietary Fiber 31 g
Sugar 1.6 g
Total Carbohydrates 155 g
Fats & Fatty Acids
Monounsaturated Fat 298 mg
Omega-3 Fatty Acids 110 mg
Omega-6 Fatty Acids 1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.1 g
Saturated Fat 488 mg
Total Fat 2.3 g
Choline 75.6 mg
Folate 46 mcg
Niacin 9.2 mg
Pantothenic Acid 564 mcg
Riboflavin 228 mcg
Thiamin 382 mcg
Vitamin A 44 IU
Vitamin B6 520 mcg
Vitamin E 40 mcg
Vitamin K 4.4 mcg
Calcium 58 mg
Copper 840 mcg
Iron 5 mg
Magnesium 158 mg
Manganese 2.6 mg
Phosphorus 442 mg
Potassium 560 mg
Selenium 75 mcg
Sodium 18 mg
Zinc 4.3 mg

Forms of Barley Nutrition

Barley Grass is definitely the seedling of the barley plant. This grass is generally gathered about 200 days after germination, whilst the shoots are not even a foot tall. People consume barley within this form because the young leaves are full of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and amino acids. Even though barley grains have a lot of more dietary fiber when compared, the grass has high amounts of chlorophyll which detoxifies the body from toxic compounds.

Hulled Barley

Hulled Barley can also be referred to as covered barley and is also usually consumed after eliminating the inedible, fibrous outer hull. Once the hull is taken away, it’s referred to as dehulled barley, pot barley or scotch barley. Hulled barley is a superb method to obtain healthy nutrients. Hulled barley takes a long time to soak when utilized in frequent cooking. However, the time makes it worth while, thinking about the utility of dehulled barley when you’re finished. Dehulled barley is commercially common as pearl barley, and is also a really marketable product. The process of taking out the bran and polishing is called “pearling”.

Pearl Barley

Pearl Barley is definitely obtainable in the grocery stores and possibly one of the most common elements for breakfast and snacks recipes across the world. They are in fact hulled barley which is processed and the bran is taken away. This really is processed in a host of barley products like flours and flakes, that look like oatmeal or grits.

Barley Green Powder

Barley Green Powder is known because of its therapeutic advantages. It really is the powder form of barley grass, sometimes combined with additional minerals and vitamins. Today, a lot of companies sell barley powder which comes from pure barley grass. These grasses are located in a number of tastes and also have exceptional solubility. Consequently, you may also consume them as barley juice.

Barley Flour

Barley Flour is frequently utilized alternatively as wheat flour or even cake flour. The flour found from whole barley is richer in nutrition compared to pearl barley flour since the bran within the former form remains undamaged. This particular non-wheat flour is extracted from grinding whole barley. It includes a few gluten and has been extremely popular in confectioneries which have a tendency to test out alternate kinds of flours. It features a moderate, nutty flavor, and also this flour has got relatively reduced rates of calories and higher amounts of fiber.

Barley Water

Barley Water is beneficial once your kidneys require rest from extreme stress. People struggling with kidney as well as bladder problems may take barley water for restorative uses.

Barley is accessible as a commercial product around the world in a variety of forms. You must know the exact form which will cater best to your needs. The pearled, flaked as well as hulled forms have got various utilities, therefore determine what you would like to make prior to making the purchase.

Barley can be found in both bulk containers as well as packaged form; ensure its freshness before you take it home. If you purchase barley in containers, look into the date and in addition make sure that it’s sealed thoroughly. Even a tiny amount of moisture content in packaged barley may spoil the cereal, so be cautious if purchasing it in containers. Store barley in clean, glass containers having airtight covers and place it in the cool, dry place. Throughout the summer, it’s preferable to keep barley within the refrigerator.

How to buy Barley

Barley can be simply present in pre-packaged and bulk containers. The latter is sensible, but looking for moisture is important.Make sure you look into the date of packaging and expiration stamped on the package.

Barley Storage Tips

Since barley is prone to pests as well as moisture, just like other grains, it must be kept in an air-tight container in the cool, dark place. In this way it may last for as much as year. In case you are residing in a warm climate, then you can store barley within the refrigerator.

Barley flour, whenever kept in a sealed container, can last for about a month on the kitchen shelf as well as for 2 to 3 months within the refrigerator. It may also be frozen for 4 months.

Recipe using Barley

Barley is really a delicious and healthy whole grain, that like oats, is relatively cheap to prepare.

1. Barley Water

Losing weight is actually a war that individuals are fighting today. People are prepared to try everything to lose a few kilos. Advantages of barley water to lose weight are very well known and it is among the best natural home remedies to lose weight. How to concoct barley water for weight loss? It is advisable to make the barley water in your own home rather than purchasing the barley water from the shop since the latter is packed with artificial preservatives and sugar. Listed here is a super easy recipe that you can use to make his barley water.

At first boil 1.5 kg of barley pearls until they turn soft. (add two volumes of water to one volume of barley). Then stain and thoroughly collect the extract. In case you don’t prefer the taste of the barley water, you can include two teaspoons of lemon or orange juice or vanilla extract to add flavors to the barley drink. You may also add three teaspoons of brown sugar to sweeten it. In case you store it in the cool refrigerator, it may last for an extended period.

2. Barley and Lentil Soup

Listed here is a healthy and hearty barley soup that you could include in your healthy breakfast recipes to shed weight. This is among the best methods to enjoy barley nutrition. It mixes the goodness of the protein-rich lentils together with high-fiber vegetables.


Barley and Lentil Soup

  • Barley – 1/2 Cup
  • Lentils – 1 Cup
  • Chopped Carrots, Celery and Mushrooms – 1 Cup
  • Onions – 1 Cup
  • Tomato Paste – 1 tbsp
  • Vegetable Broth – 6 Cups
  • Bay Leaf – 1
  • Finely Chopped Parsley – 1 tbsp
  • Black Pepper – 1/2 tsp
  • Salt to taste


  • Sprinkle a few olive oil in the frying pan and fry the onions and garlic for 4 minutes. Add some vegetables stirring occasionally. Then add the vegetable broth, lentils, barley, tomato paste and bay leaf. Boil the soup for 60 minutes at reduces heat or until the lentils are tender. Combine it well, add some salt, pepper and parsley and remove from flame.
  • Inculcation of barley in the healthy diet is certain to fulfill the majority of the body’s essential dietary requirements and don’t forget to share your barley experience with us.

3. Barley Mushroom Risotto

“This barley risotto is tasty and wonderful. It can make a pleasant side dish for steak or roasted meats. Particularly when you would like to serve something quite different.”


Original recipe makes 6 servings

  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


  • Bring chicken broth to a boil in the saucepan. Melt butter in the large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, and saute for 5 minutes. Add the barley, thyme, bay leaf and 2 cups of the hot broth. Bring to a boil, and lower heat to low, and simmer until the majority of the broth is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Pour in remaining broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring and letting it become absorbed just before adding more. This method takes about 50 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat olive oil in the big skillet. Saute mushrooms in the hot oil until tender. Add garlic, and cook for approximately 3 more minutes. Stir within the barley mixture and parsley. Remove bay leaf, and serve.

4. Beaker’s Vegetable Barley Soup

“Easy to make and delicious. Vegetable broth, barley, and a lot of veggies makes this soup hearty and filling. I use and suggest organic products. Please add a review if you make it. Enjoy!”


Original recipe makes 8 Servings

  • 2 quarts vegetable broth
  • 1 cup uncooked barley
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce


  • Pour the vegetable broth in a big pot. Add the barley, carrots, celery, tomatoes, zucchini, garbanzo beans, onion, and bay leaves. Season with garlic powder, sugar, salt, pepper, parsley, curry powder, paprika, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 90 minutes. The soup can be very thick. You might adjust by adding more broth or fewer barley if desired. Eliminate bay leaves before serving.

5. Mom’s Italian Beef Barley Soup

“The best beef barley soup. Thickens with only the barley. Tastes best in the slow cooker. Serve topped with parmesan cheese and with a salad.”


Original recipe makes 6 servings

  • 2 pounds cubed beef chuck roast
  • 5 cups water
  • 4 cubes beef bouillon, crumbled
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 3/4 cup uncooked pearl barley
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • In a slow cooker, mix beef, water, bouillon, onion, tomato sauce, barley, salt and pepper.
  • Cover, and cook on Low for 5 hours.

87% 87% Awesome

Health benefits of barley

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