When it comes to healthy grains like oats, wheat, rye and flax seeds; one grain is sometimes left out and it shouldn’t be. Barley is a very ancient grain, cultivated more than 10,000 years ago in Ethiopia and Asia.
Barley has a subtle nutty flavor and adds plenty of nutrients to any meal. It is most often used in bread, making beer and soups; however, it can be added to oatmeal, muffins, pancakes. salads and even granola.
What makes Barley a “super” grain?
Barley has a lot of the B-group vitamins like thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate and pantothenic acid. It also has vitamin E, iron, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus and selenium. Barley is rich in phytochemicals, like, lignans, phenolic acids, phytic acid, plant sterols and saponins which are antioxidants that help protect us from a variety of disease.
- Helps with weight loss
- Controls blood sugar levels and improves insulin response, helping to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes
- Can help lower blood pressure
- Improves lipid profile and reduces cholesterol; thus lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease
- Reduces inflammation due to it’s antioxidants and phytochemicals
- Barley is a great source of soluble fiber, beta-glucan, which is excellent for gut health
- It is high in potassium and low in sodium and fat
The standard serving of Barley is 1/2 cup so it doesn’t take a lot to get some excellent health benefits. Look for ways to add Barley to your meal plans and reap the benefits for your good health!