Barley is a temperate grain raised everywhere, all around the world. It one of the earliest developed cereals that were even grown in Epipaleolithic and Neolithic ages. Neolithic folks used barley as raw material to brew a kind of beer, then known as ‘barley beer’. It has also been a staple food in European countries, African Plateaus, Central and Western Asia and specifically in Tibet.
In Ancient and medieval times, Barley was consumed with lower class of society, generally used to make bread and rye while wheat was depleted by upper class. The overall production of barley, worldwide was around 144.8m metric tonnes in 2013. Russia has been the biggest producer of Barley and Ukraine as the biggest exporter. Like the other cereal grains, Barley is an important source of dietary fibre, minerals and vitamins.
Here are some indicating health benefits of barley-
1. Metabolism Enhancer
The higher ‘dietary fibre’ content of Barley prevents constipation and regulates digestive system making it robust and restriction-free.
2. Heart Friendly
The bottom line is that Barley exclusively contains potassium and Vitamin B6 in abundant amount, lowering down the cholesterol level of the body, hence preventing the risk of heart stroke. Potassium has always been a heart friendly mineral. Research has shown that a regulated consumption of potassium reduces the risk of various heart diseases by regulating blood pressure.
3. Bone Builder
The multiple constituents of Bone friendly minerals including iron, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, zinc and manganese in barley makes it a surprisingly exhaustive whole grain cereal.
4. Blood Regulator
Researchers have proved through studies that barley consists of a perfect proportion of phosphorous, calcium and magnesium which lowers blood pressure within span of few weeks. Barley is a great source of healthy dietary fibre which is highly insoluble and reduces blood pressure by maintaining proper diet.
5. Reduces Weight
The dietary fibre in barley acts as augmenting agent which reduces appetite. The Beta-glucans found in barley are a kind of dietary fibre that reduces insulin resistance, boosts immunity and reduces risk of obesity.
6. Reduces Risk of Cancer
Barley comprises of a life saving mineral- Selenium. This detoxifying mineral lowers tumour growth pace and improved immunity. The dietary fibre and Selenium reduces risk of colorectal cancer.
7. Muscle Builder
Barley consists of choline which supplements muscle movement and aids in memory improvement. It is also essential for liver functioning and improves health of brain cells.
8. Increases Immunity
Barley has high content of Vitamin C, niacin and lignins which increases immunity by cleansing of intestinal tract and kidney.
Thereby, this whole grain staple which has ever been a perfect source for all essential minerals, the first gift of human beings to themselves, still serves the purpose of a great diet supplement. Barley is recommended for all ages, irrespective of health disorders, it is a great food for your health. However, barley should be taken in restricted amounts during pregnancy; if you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, or if you have allergies to cereal grains.