Barley is best known for its rich, nutty flavour. It’s also widely known for its use in making alcoholic beverages, and maltose. But Barley is much more than a delicious grain, it’s actually remarkably healthy in a number of ways. Below you can learn about some of the health advantages of adding barley to your diet.
1. Manages Blood Sugar
Researchers have found that eating barley for dinner may increase your insulin sensitivity by as much as 30% for your following meal. This is made possible by the slow digestion of starch. Barley is an ideal food for helping diabetics and per-diabetics to better manage their blood sugar. It’s also worth mentioning that properly managed blood sugar has been correlated to efficient brain activity.
2. Reduces Blood Pressure
The USDA has found that whole-grain diets, including barley, are effective at helping people lower their blood pressure. This is partly because whole grains like barley are slow-burning carbohydrates. The best low blood pressure diets are low-sodium, and high in potassium. Barley contains very little sodium and is an excellent source of potassium.
3. Promotes Bone Health
Barley is rich in calcium, magnesium, zinc, phosphorous, and manganese. These are all essential elements in promoting the healthy growth and maintenance of our bones. Calcium in particular is important for proper mineralization. Zinc is also noteworthy in the production of collagen, the protein that holds the body together.
4. Promotes Weight Management
Getting enough fibre is a critical part of any weight loss effort. That’s because fibre has a direct relationship to the reduction of your appetite, which makes you feel fuller after a mean, for a longer time. That makes it easier to reduce the overall number of calories that you eat in a sitting.
5. Alleviates Arthritis
One of the many nutrients barley contains is copper, which is believed to be useful in alleviating the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Copper helps manage the free radicals in your body, which aids in the regeneration of cells. Copper is also useful in the production of collagen and elastin, which helps make your joints functional.
6. Quality Source of Niacin
There aren’t many good dietary sources of niacin, more commonly known as vitamin B, but barley is one of the few. Niacin is useful in a number of cardiovascular roles. For example, it can help you lower your cholesterol and lipoprotein. It’s also effective at reducing your risk of suffering a blood clot.
7. Inhibits The Formation of Gallstones
Because barley helps lower the number of triglycerides in your body, it’s an effective means of preventing the formation of gallstones in the body. The insoluble fibre in barley is also believed to reduce the production of bile acid, which directly contributes to the formation of gallstones.
8. Promotes Heart Health
The potent combination of potassium, fibre, and B6 vitamins found in barley make it ideal for supporting a healthy heart. The fibre in particular is great at reducing cholesterol, which greatly lowers your risk for heart disease. One 2007 study found that eating barley correlates with reduced visceral fat and cholesterol, which are risk factors for disease.
9. Prevents Cancer
Most foods don’t have selenium, a mineral that is important in the function of your liver. Selenium is also associated with proper inflammatory responses, boosting immune system response, and even lowering the growth rates of tumours. Fibre is also associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer.
10. Reduces Inflammation
Apart from selenium, barley is also a good source of choline, which helps with learning, muscle movements, sleep, forming memories, transmitting nerve data, absorbing fats, and reducing inflammation.