Barley is a wonderfully versatile cereal grain with a rich nutlike flavor and an appealing chewy, pasta-like consistency. Its appearance resembles wheat berries, although it is slightly lighter in color. Sprouted barley is naturally high in maltose, a sugar that serves as the basis for both malt syrup sweetener. When fermented, barley is used as an ingredient in beer and other alcoholic beverages.
Health Benefits of Barley
- Promote healthy blood sugar: The fiber content in barley will prevent
blood sugar levels from rising too high. Those suffering from Type 2
diabetes should consume more barley.
- Reduce cholesterol: Beta-glucan from barley's soluble fiber is
responsible for lowering cholesterol.
- Lower the risk of some types of cancer: Barley is rich in selenium and
together with fiber it helps prevent colon cancer and breast cancer.
- Heart friendly: Regular consumption of barley reduces heart disease. In
2005 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that whole grain
barley and barley -containing products are allowed to claim that they reduce
the risk of coronary heart disease. It is a good source of niacin, a B
vitamin that provides numerous protective actions against cardiovascular
- Weight management: Barley is good for the control of weight and obesity
as it is rich in beta-glucan soluble fiber. Eating fiber-rich foods may help
increase satiety or a feeling of fullness.
- Protection against childhood asthma: Consumption of barley could help
reduce the risk of childhood asthma by about 50%.
According to the religion of Islam, the Prophet Muhammad prescribed barley,
known as "At-Talbina" in Arabic, for seven diseases:
- high cholesterol
- heart disease
- soothing and calming effects for the bowel
- Slowing of age