Have you thought about the many health benefits of barley?
When you think of barley, an array of beautiful artisan bread and soups probably spring to mind. Perhaps you think of a malty beer. But barley is so much more than these excellent products.
It’s a grain that can keep your body working wonderfully, and it can even help you lose weight! Here are a few barley health benefits that we’ve listed for you.
1. High Fiber And Low In Fat
Barley contains a lot of fiber. One cup of barley contains an average of 32 grams of fiber. This satisfies the American Heart Association‘s recommended daily dose!
You’ve probably heard many things about fiber. Yes, fiber keeps you ‘regular.’ Maintaining a diet that is high in fiber is sure to keep your digestive tract in working order.
Not only is fiber great for your guts, but it can also do wonders for your waistline.
Barley is chock-full of soluble fibers. These fibers form a gooey, sticky substance while being digested, and this substance can help you to feel fuller for a longer time.
We must admit, it is a little gross to think about soluble fibers turning into slime within the confines of your stomach. But it’s far less harrowing than suffering through another fad diet that won’t work!
2. Aids In Having A Healthy Heart
The high fiber content of barley can do wonders for your digestion and can aid in weight loss. But did you know that it can also keep your heart healthy?
That’s right. Because barley has so much fiber, and fiber is good for your heart, barley can help prevent heart disease.
Heart disease is responsible for about 25% of all deaths in the US every year. Incorporating barley into your diet can prevent you from becoming a part of this statistic!
Well, barley contains a type of soluble fiber known as beta-glucan.
Beta-glucan lowers LDL cholesterol, the “bad” cholesterol. It also raises HDL cholesterol, otherwise known as “good” cholesterol.
Maintaining a healthy balance between the cholesterols is integral is preventing heart disease.
Btw, another amazing food which can help you with your heart health is the queen of fruits, mangosteen. You can learn more about mangosteen health benefits here.
3. High Blood Sugar Is Not A Problem
Anyone struggling with their blood sugar levels, specifically those with diabetes, will know how difficult it can be to choose the right foods. Don’t despair. Choose barley!
Remember that type of soluble fiber we mentioned before? Beta-glucan strikes again, and this time it hits the sugar absorption rate in your guts!
This slimy stuff not only keeps your appetite at bay, but it also extends the amount of time it takes for your body to absorb sugars. This extended time helps lower your blood sugar levels significantly.
Barley also contains a significant amount of magnesium. It’s about 244 mg per cup. Magnesium is essential, as it helps your body to regulate blood sugar.
Many people with diabetes find that they naturally lack a healthy amount of magnesium.
Because barley contains this particular type of fiber and plenty of magnesium, it can be used to help keep diabetic individuals within a healthy blood sugar range. It can also be used to prevent the onset of diabetes.
A cup of barley a day may just keep a lot of ailments away!
Consuming barley is easy. Barley is inexpensive, In can be used as a garnish in a dish, or as a side dish itself. But barley may not be for everyone.
If you’re not keen to eat the whole grain, you can also boil the barley in a large amount of water, and drink the water when it’s cooled of course. And maybe add a little honey or lemon juice.
The effects of barley, whether you choose to eat it or drink it, remain the same. It decreases appetite, lowers blood sugar, more regular bowel movements, possible weight loss, and a healthy heart.
However, there are a few key individuals who should either avoid barley entirely or should first consult with their physician before deciding on making such an addition to their diet.
- Those with celiac disease should avoid grains such as barley.
- Those with gluten intolerances should consult with their physician before attempting to consume barley.
- Those with IBS should consult with their physician before consuming large amounts of barley.
- Those taking insulin should be aware that barley can drastically lower blood sugar levels.
If you feel that any of these conditions apply to you, please consult a professional before taking action.
Now that you know more about how amazing barley health benefits are, are you thinking of adding it to your diet if you still haven’t?