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Barley: The Complete Food

  • Barley: The Complete Food

Barley is a member of the grass family and cereal. This whole grain resembles wheat but is somewhat lighter in colour. It is said to be the first ever crop to be grown by a human before the humans were just hunters and gatherers. Being the earliest grain food for humans is not a sub-standard crop, it is packed with important nutrients. Its early use was pure medicinal, but soon it became part of the food too. In Asia and the Middle East it was used to treat skin, blood and liver disorders and in early Greek for gastrointestinal problems. Now in recent years, people have started to consume barley again because of the numerous health benefits it has.

The ever gaining popularity of this grain is not a fluke, people have become health conscious nowadays and hence the sudden demand for it. In the department of vitamins, it has beta-carotene, vitamin E, vitamin K, vitamin C, nicotinic acid, pantothenic acid, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and folic acid. Potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, chlorophyll, lutein, amino acids, protein, fibre, and enzymes are the minerals and other important components found in barley grain. The list of these nutrients is enough for one to include this superfood in his/her diet.

Even the grass of this seed plant is of many purposes; it reduces oxidative stress, lowers the cholesterol levels, reduces atherosclerosis and also helps in stabilising blood sugar levels. Its grass is alkaline; hence it helps in maintaining the pH level of the body. This is an important function of barley as it prevents minerals such as calcium leaching out of bones and into the bloodstream. It has a high level of chlorophyll in it, which is a great help for a cleansing of the body and promoting the health of your circulatory, digestive and immune systems. It protects cells against carcinogens because of its high level of antioxidant.

Along with maintaining the internal health of the body, it also maintains external health. Consumption of such superfood can be useful to maintain hair colour and even promotes hair growth. It helps in maintaining and improving skin elasticity and skin tone. It prevents old age and mid-age problems like osteoporosis, atherosclerosis and keeps diabetes in check. Always fall sick? Maybe a low immune system; eating barley daily is the best solution as it boosts the immune system. This is because of the high level of vitamin C found in them (twice the amount found in oranges). The high level of vitamin C also helps in absorbing iron; hence preventing anaemia.

Benefits are many, but so are the way it can be consumed. It is consumed in leaves form for detoxification of the body. Hulled barley and pearl one both are cooked for consumption. Its flour is the powder form of pearl barley, with so many benefits it is an easy substitute for wheat flour. This superfoods green powder is a soluble powder form of barley grass and it is also available in different flavours, as it is used to produce its juice. Its water is prepared with barley, water and other assorted fresh juices; a beneficial drink if someone has kidney or bladder ailments.

There is no doubt that one should include barley in their diet, with so many benefits and nutrients it gives us, it fits so perfectly in the bracket of the complete food.

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