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8 Benefits of Barley You Must Know Today

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Belonging to the grain family, Barley is one of the oldest cultivated grains consumed in the world. And throughout its history, it has never lost its importance.

The reason is, there are numerous barley benefits that we cannot at all ignore.

From containing the 8 essential amino acids to being one of the most low-calorie grains, barley benefits are never-ending.

So, for a while let the current popular whole grains like Quinoa or Oats take a back seat and let’s discover the amazingly surprising uses of barley.

1. Barley Benefits the Gallbladder

Barley water for kidney patients
Barley can prevent Gallstone formation

Most of the gallstones are cholesterol deposits that are linked to more bile acid secretion. About 1 cup of barley contains 6 gms of dietary fibre.

This insoluble dietary fibre helps the digestive system by reducing the bile acid secretion in the body and promoting the movement of food fast through the small intestine.

The reduced bile acid secretion also lowers the level of triglycerides, which helps in fighting risks of gallstones formation.

In a research by Nurse’s Health Study, women who consumed the most fibre overall were 6% less likely to undergo gallbladder removal. [1]

2. Barley benefits for the heart

Barley benefits the Heart
Barley benefits the Heart

Besides being a rich source of insoluble fibre, barley also contains soluble fibre that majorly helps in lowering cholesterol levels.

Atherosclerosis is a type of heart disease that is very common and is often caused by plaques of cholesterol forming in the arteries.

Beta-glucan is one primary soluble fibre found in barley and this helps in lowering cholesterol and hence keeping risks of cholesterol driven heart diseases at bay. [2]

3. Barley benefits in diabetes

Barley for weight loss
Barley helps in fighting diabetes

The soluble fibre present in barley is definitely beneficial for people with diabetes. Soluble fibre in barley controls blood sugar level by delaying the process of stomach emptying.

This reduces the entry of glucose into the blood and also lowers the spike in blood sugar level post meals[3]. 

Also, a fibre rich diet is always advised for people with type 2 diabetes, where diet plays a major role in managing the disease. Barley has a low GI which makes it a good option for diabetic people.

4. Barley benefits the Immune system

Barley health benefits
Barley improves the Immunity System

Like I already mentioned, barley contains a powerhouse of nutrients. It is known that deficiency of amino acids has the ability to impair the immune system [4].

The good news is, barley is filled with amino acids even the essential ones. Moreover, barley contains, Vitamin B, Iron, Copper, Magnesium, Copper, Zinc, Selenium. All these help in keeping our immune system intact.

The Iron and copper specifically help in fighting fatigue and anaemia. To include barley to your diet, you can go for barley water.

However, along with the above benefits of barley water, one must keep in mind that it contains gluten. Hence it should be avoided by gluten intolerant people.

Did you know?

Almost half of the amount of barley produced globally is used as animal food.

Barley is used in the manufacture of malt that is a major ingredient of alcoholic drinks like beer and whiskey.

Barley was once Europe’s most important crop, until the 16th century.

1.2 percent of Canada’s GDP accounts from beer from barley. [5]

Russia is the greatest producer of barley.

Barley is used as a soup thickener in the food industry.

5. Barley benefits during pregnancy

Benefits of barley water
Drinking Barley Water helps in pregnancy

Another use of barley water is that it can be a great health-boosting drink for pregnant women.

Barley water helps in regulating digestion and preventing constipation during pregnancy due to its dietary fibre content.

Moreover, one more benefit of barley water is that pregnant women can drink it to flush out body toxins and excess water, which causes pregnancy edema.

This is characterized by swelling of foot and ankle during pregnancy. Another noteworthy benefit of barley water is that it helps increase breast milk production.

Barley contains Tryptophan that increases prolactin levels, which contributes to increased milk production[6]. 

No wonder, barley is one of the top lactogenic foods.

6. Barley benefits against cancer

Barley Benefits in fighting Cancer
Barley Benefits in fighting Cancer

Barley is a source of the plant nutrient known as lignan which gets transformed into mammalian lignans. These help in fighting certain cancers.

Moreover, barley can help combating cancer in the following ways

Colon cancer

The fibre in barley increases the bulk activity and decreases the time of transit for the faecal matters. These activities protect the colon and reduce risks of colon cancer. [6]

Leukemia, prostate cancer 

Barleys contain alpha-tocopherol succinate, an antioxidant, that showed anti-leukaemia and anti-prostate cancer effects.

Hormonal cancers 

Enterolactone is a type of the mammalian lignan, mentioned above helps in protecting cells against hormonal cancers as well as breast cancers. [7]

7. Barley benefits for urinary tract infections

Barley benefits for Urinary Tract Infections
Barley benefits for Urinary Tract Infections

One of the common uses of barley water is as a diuretic drink. It helps getting rid of toxins and infectious bacteria through urine.

Thus benefits of barley water can help treat infections in the urinary tract. Besides this, drinking barley water can help cleansing kidneys too.

8. Barley benefits for weight loss

Barley promotes weight loss
Barley promotes weight loss

Out of many uses of barley, its benefits in weight loss makes it ideal for any healthy weight loss diet. The factors that make barley and ideal weight loss grain are

  • The fibre contents of barley make it a stomach-filling grain. Therefore, adding barley into your meals will make you feel full for a long time. Hence reduces the chances of snacking more.
  • Barley water promotes digestion as well as effective metabolism of body fats that help in weight loss.
  • As the nutrition chart says, barley is low in calories even compared to its whole grain counterparts, hence another way of promoting weight loss.

FAQs

Q. Why is barley water good for you?

A. 4 Benefits of Barley water are:

 a. Using barley water daily acts as a detoxifier for the intestines as well as the whole body.

b. Helps in preventing constipation.

c. Drinking as well as applying barley water on acne helps in treating it.

d. Drinking barley water instead of sweetened beverages can help in weight loss.

Q. Is barley better for you than rice?

A. Depending on the lower GI of barley and high fiber content than rice, barley is better than rice. However, having brown rice is still healthy and can definitely be consumed.

Q. How do you make barley water?

A. There are different uses of barley water. Here’s a simple and easy way to prepare it.

a) Wash the barley and soak it for 4-5 hours.

b)Strain it and take 1 cup of the soaked barley and add 3-4 cups of water to it.

c)Boil it in a pan and let the barley and water simmer for about an hour.

d) Let the barley be cooked until soft.

e) Let it cool down.

f) Take a mesh and strain it into a cup.

Q. What is the use of barley?

A. Uses of barley-

a) Can be used instead of rice.

b) Barley water can be taken as a health drink.

c) Barley can be used as a body detoxifier.

d) Barley can be used as a face pack with barley flour and lemon juice. It regulates the skin sebum production.

There are foods that are endowed with health benefits just like we found about barley.

To know more about foods and their health factors, and  to use them for the benefits of our body, consult a Truweight Nutritionist today.

Let your diet plan be guided by the experts. And one bonus offer, the first consultation is totally FREE. Avail it here today!

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2 Comments
  1. Priya says

    Very useful blog for me. Post some more tips for healthy life . Thanks for sharing.

    1. mehnaz says

      Hi Priya,

      Thanks for writing to us. Do keep following our blog for more such articles. 🙂