Health Benefits of Barley
Barley is a staple food item cropped from the barley plant. In scientific terms, barley is called
. This is an annual grass-like plant that is cultivated throughout the world. Probably, this is an ancient food grain, that dates back to the Stone Age. According to the statistics of crop production, this is one among the top 5 cereal crops. Non-shattering and high yielding barley varieties are produced commercially for increasing the world crop production.
Barley’s versatility cannot be compared to other food grains. Indeed, no other edible item has as many uses as barley. Often, this is used in brewing beer and other brewed beverages. In cooking, it is used to make delicious soups, cakes, breads and casseroles. Also, the grains and straw are used as fodder for domestic animals. Besides versatility, barley is healthy too.
Health Benefits of Barley:
- Barley is a good source of dietary fiber, that feeds the friendly bacteria in the large intestine. These bacteria ferment insoluble fiber content of barley for the formation of butyric acid. In turn, the acid functions like a main fuel for the intestinal cells. Apart from this, it is effective in maintaining healthy colon.
- Barley has huge amounts of niacin. This helps in reducing the chances of cardiovascular diseases. It lowers the assembling of platelets, that results in blood clotting.
- Dietary fiber present in barley helps in binding bile acids and aids to dispose them via feces. Hence, cholesterol levels in the body are reduced to a considerable extent.
- Barley’s rich source of insoluble fiber assists in combating the formation of gallstones.
- This cereal is very helpful in treating conditions such as ischemic membranes, insulin resistance, diabetes and atherosclerosis.
- Copper in barley reduces rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. Copper is also essential for lysyl oxidase activities. Lysyl oxidase is an enzyme needed for cross-linking of elastin and collagen. These are required for the flexibility of bones, blood vessels and joints.
- Barley is also rich in phosphorus, which is an integral part in the structure formation of body cells. This is highly essential for mineral matrix formation of bones. Apart from these, it is an important substance in nucleic acids, ATP and lipid-containing structures like cell membranes and nervous system.