The numerous advantages of barley (jau) make it a must-have food.
Barley ( Scientific name- Hordeum vulgare) can be used in a variety of dishes, including soups and stews. Barley is also used to make beer and other alcoholic beverages.
Carbohydrates, soluble and insoluble fibers, salt, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and fatty acids are all components found in barley that may be useful to your diet.
Barley reduces the chance of developing a variety of cardiovascular illnesses. It also guarantees that the kidneys, urinary tract, liver, bones, and joints operate normally.
This article covers various health benefits of barley, its varieties, and possible side effects.
Continue reading to learn more.
Health Benefits of Barley (Jau)
Barley is rich in all of the nutrients necessary for good health. It protects the heart from a variety of cardiac disorders. It also ensures the regular functioning of the kidneys, urinary tract, liver, bones, and joints. Barley also has several other advantages, which are all mentioned further down.
1. Reduces Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Levels
Barley can help you maintain healthy blood pressure and lower high cholesterol levels in your bloodstream if you eat it regularly. Barley is high in soluble fiber, which helps lower LDL levels in the blood.
According to a 2006 study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, eating more whole grains that are high in either soluble or insoluble fiber helps to lower blood pressure and maintain a healthy weight.
In 2009, another study was conducted on healthy and hypercholesterolemic men and women to see if there was any change in serum lipid and cholesterol levels after eating barley. The study lasted 4 to 12 weeks and found that barely dramatically reduced total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels in the body while not affecting HDL cholesterol.
2. Helps to prevent gallstones
Barley has been shown to successfully inhibit gallstone formation in women. Because it is high in fiber, it decreases bile acid secretion, enhancing insulin sensitivity and lowering triglyceride levels in the body.
Women who eat a fiber-rich diet are known to have a decreased risk of gallstones than those who do not.
Barley is also said to help prevent kidney stones and maintain kidney health by washing and purifying the kidneys, albeit there is no solid evidence to back this up.
3. It Lowers Your Child’s Chances Of Getting Asthma
Did you know that barley can also help your baby?
The early administration of specific whole grains to children and its connection with allergy disorders were investigated in a 2013 study conducted in Finland on 3,781 consecutively born infants.
According to the findings, offering barley to infants between the ages of 5 and 5.5 months appears to lessen the chance of acquiring asthma in childhood.
4. Helps with constipation and digestion
Barley aids digestion and helps to reduce constipation.
Among all the cereals, barley is claimed to have the highest fiber content. 13 grams of fiber are found in one cup of barley. The insoluble fiber in barley acts as a probiotic, promoting the growth of good bacteria in the colon, while the roughage promotes digestion and reduces constipation.
For healthier digestion, the Maharishi University of Management, an Ayurvedic institute, recommends adding barley to our diets in the form of soups or side dishes, as well as sipping barley water throughout the day.
Barley’s fiber helps food pass through the intestines and out of the body, which helps to prevent constipation.
5. Aids in the treatment of anemia
Anemia (the body’s “loss of blood”) is a prevalent ailment that affects people all over the world. It can be caused by a lack of iron or B vitamins (vitamin B12 in particular).
The good news is that anemia is readily treated with proper nutrition, and the even better news is that barley is just what you need to get rid of it.
Barley grass powder, in the form of barley grass, is a good source of iron and vitamin B12. Barley contains iron, which aids in the production of red blood cells and increases blood volume, as well as vitamin B12, which aids in the prevention of disease and weariness. To get the most out of barley grass juice, drink it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.
6. Encourages strong bones and teeth
Phosphorus, manganese, calcium, and copper are just a few of the vital vitamins and minerals found in barley. All of these nutrients are necessary for strong bones and teeth.
Barley juice is extremely high in calcium, with 11 times the calcium content of milk. This helps to keep the bones and teeth healthy and strong in general.
According to researchers, drinking barley juice can help prevent osteoporosis. Barley juice may not be able to entirely cure osteoporosis, but it can help with the symptoms and lower your chance of developing the disease.
Although there hasn’t been much research done to back up this claim, doctors and nutritionists all around the world agree that all whole grains, including barley, promote strong bones and teeth.
7. Help Treat Penile dysfunction
Impotence can be managed with barley.
Arginine and nitric oxide, both of which are responsible for penile erection and can be used to treat penile dysfunction, are found in barley grass. Arginine is also known to boost the synthesis of sperm and egg cells.
Both men and women can benefit from drinking a glass of barley grass juice daily.
8. Are Rich in nutrients
Last but not least, barley is delectable. You’re missing out if you haven’t tried eating this nutritious grain for breakfast yet.
It has a rich nutty flavor and delicious grainy texture, making it a great ingredient for a breakfast recipe. It is not only packed with fiber and essential nutrients that boost your mornings with energy and good nutrition, but it also has a rich nutty flavor and delicious grainy texture that makes it a great ingredient for a breakfast recipe.
Make a porridge, a risotto, or a pancake with barley if you want to be creative.
9. Lowers Your Cancer Risk
By strengthening your digestive health and improving your immune system, this fiber-rich grain can protect you from various forms of malignancies. Barley grass, in addition to the grain, is high in B vitamins and chlorophyll, which help to detoxify the body and kill cancer cells and free radicals.
According to a study published by Colorado State University, eating whole grains such as barley can reduce the incidence of colon and rectal cancers. The fiber in barley aids in the normal flow of food through the intestinal tract and out of the body. This also promotes intestinal health.
Another study conducted in Southwest China in 2015 looked into the relationship between Yunnan and Tibet having the lowest cancer mortality and producing the most anti-cancer crops such as barley, brown rice, buckwheat, and tea. According to the research, barley has more anti-cancer properties than other grains.
A 2014 study looked at the impact of -d-glucans (plant cell components) on breast cancer cells. The study found that barley inhibits endocrine-resistant breast cancer cells from rapidly dividing.
10. Assists in weight loss
Weight loss is aided by barley.
Are you attempting to lose weight? Consider barley. It’s jam-packed with vitamins and minerals. It also has a high fiber and protein content while being low in fat, cholesterol, and sugar. Because of these characteristics, barley is excellent weight-loss food.
Barley’s most essential feature is that it contains soluble fiber, which travels through the intestines and prevents fats and cholesterol from being absorbed into the bloodstream. Obesity risk is greatly reduced when ingested regularly.
Drinking barley water has recently gained popularity as a calorie-burning beverage. It’s simple to make, and two to three glasses a day will help you burn more calories and speed up your metabolism. Barley water is a great alternative to high-calorie or high-sugar beverages when blended with lemon and honey.
11. Arthritis Symptoms Are Reduced
According to a study published by Michigan State University, eating a high-fiber diet reduces inflammation.
It also claims that some whole grains, such as barley, contain soluble fiber, which aids in nutrition absorption and reduces discomfort caused by swelling and inflammation of the joints or arthritis.
12. It helps to prevent diabetes
Barley aids in the management of diabetes.
Barley has tremendous potential in the battle against diabetes and in lowering its prevalence.
In 2014, a study was conducted to explore if eating barley seeds for 11 days could help diabetic rats. The rats were given extracts from barley seeds after being given diabetes. For 11 days, blood samples were examined regularly. According to the findings, barley extracts were particularly successful in lowering blood sugar levels in rats. Furthermore, the study found that eating fiber-rich whole grains like barley slows glucose absorption into the bloodstream.
Another study, published in 2012, compared the satiety response of barley to white bread. Barley elicited better satiety than white bread, according to the study, and this was adversely connected to a lower blood glucose response.
A tiny study on African American women in the United States in 2006 looked at the link between consuming magnesium- and calcium-rich diet and the incidence of Type 2 diabetes. The study tracked the eating habits of 41,186 women for eight years and discovered that eating magnesium-rich foods regularly, particularly whole grains, was connected to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Barley is an example of a whole grain that is high in magnesium and calcium.
13. Improves cardiovascular health
As previously stated, barley has been shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels in the body.
Whole grains, according to the Harvard School of Public Health, provide your body with a wide range of nutrients that maintain a healthy heart and avoid cardiovascular illnesses. It also recommended that whole grains, such as barley, be preferred over refined grains.
The USDA’s research agency looked into this as well. They discovered that eating barley-based foods improved a variety of cardiovascular risk factors.
14. It Boosts Your Immune System
Beta-glucan, a type of fiber high in antioxidants, is found in barley. It also has a high concentration of vitamin C, a nutrient that has been shown to help the immune system. Regularly consuming barley also aids in wound healing and the body’s resistance to colds and flu.
When used in conjunction with antibiotics, barley aids in the medication’s function and effectiveness.
15. Beneficial During Pregnancy
It’s a no-brainer on this one. We all know how nutritious, fiber-rich, and antioxidant-rich barley is.
Drinking barley water daily improves digestion and alleviates morning sickness. It also aids in blood sugar regulation, reducing the risk of gestational diabetes. Its diuretic properties prevent water retention in pregnant women.
Because fortified cereals may not always be enough, the FDA recommends eating barley as one of the key whole grains to consume during pregnancy.
An essay from the University of Rochester discusses how what you eat before you conceive can affect your health as well as the health of your kid throughout pregnancy. When you include whole grains like barley in your normal diet, you’ll be able to get a wide range of nutrients and fiber for both you and your baby while you’re pregnant.
16. It helps to prevent atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis is a disorder in which plaque (such as fatty foods and cholesterol) builds up on the artery walls, narrowing them. One of the most common causes of heart attacks is this.
Vitamin B-complex, which is found in barley, helps to lower cholesterol and lipid levels in the body.
A study conducted in Taiwan in 2002 looked into the effectiveness of barley leaf extract on rabbits with atherosclerosis. The findings suggested that barley leaf extract’s antioxidant and hypolipidemic capabilities are particularly useful in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular illnesses, such as atherosclerosis.
17. Prevents Infections in the Urinary Tract
Preventing urinary tract infection, barely keeps the urinary tract healthy (UTI).
When ingested as barley water, barley can be a potent diuretic, aiding in the generation of urine.
In 2012, 151 people from the Boston area took part in a qualitative survey. One or more UTI symptoms were experienced by the subjects. They were interviewed several times and asked questions about the home remedies they employed to treat their UTIs.
Barley water was said to be one of the greatest cures by the majority of Hispanic men and women.
Those were the advantages in terms of health. But wait, there’s more: barley also provides many skin and hair advantages. Continue reading.
Beauty Benefits of Barley For Skin
This small hero is high in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, all of which help to maintain good skin. The following are some of its advantages.
18. Enhances the elasticity of the skin
Skin elasticity is improved with barley.
The presence of substantial amounts of selenium in the skin helps to keep it supple, toned, and free of free radical damage. Selenium is also necessary for the healthy functioning of the pancreas, heart, and immune system, all of which have an impact on the appearance of your skin.
19. Keeps the skin hydrated
In Korea, an 8-week study was conducted to assess the hydration effects of barley and soya bean as dietary supplements. The participants’ faces and forearms showed a significant rise in hydration levels after the period (21). This boost in skin moisture was said to help with anti-aging.
20. It has anti-inflammatory properties
Zinc in barley aids in skin healing and wound repair if any are present. You will notice a considerable reduction in face lesions or sores if you take barley powder or apply it as a paste regularly for a few months.
21. Lightens Skin Tone
Barley is an anti-inflammatory food. When applied to the skin, barley water lowers acne and prevents infection. By acting as a moderate exfoliant and reducing oil secretion, barley can help lighten the skin tone.
Apply a barley flour and lemon juice paste to the face and leave it on for 10-15 minutes, or until totally dry. To give your skin a rejuvenated appearance, wash it off with cold water.
22. Helps to Unclog Clogged Pores
Drinking barley water regularly will help you avoid getting acne on your face. You can also use barley water as a topical treatment. Azelaic acid, found in barley, works as an anti-inflammatory agent to cure acne and clogged pores.
Benefits of Barley For Hair
Barley is high in minerals and antioxidants, which help to support healthy hair. Here are a few of its advantages:
23. Helps to Prevent Hair Loss
Barley is high in iron and copper, which help to alleviate anemia while also increasing red blood cell synthesis. This helps to prevent hair loss.
24. Encourages the growth of hair
Hair development is aided by barley.
Certain vitamins, such as procyanidin-B3, thiamin, and niacin, are found in barley and can help encourage hair growth.
25. Restores the color of your hair
As previously said, barley contains a significant level of copper, which aids in the restoration of hair color by creating melanin.
Within a few months of routinely consuming barley grass powder, you will see a noticeable difference.
That’s all there is to know about barley’s health, skin, and hair benefits. Let’s have a look at the various types of barley that are available.
What Are The Different Barley Varieties?
Barley comes in a variety of varieties that may be found at grocery stores. Although barley seeds and barley water are the most frequent types of barley, all other forms of barley are as healthful.
The many forms of barley have varied applications, so let’s take a deeper look at each to see which one is right for you.
- Barley Grass: These are young barley plant shoots that are only a few inches tall. Antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and protein abound in this grass. It also contains a lot of chlorophyll, which helps the body detox.
- Hulled Barley: The hull, or outer coat, of this type of barley, is normally removed before eating. It’s also known as dehulled, pot, or scotch barley once the hull has been treated. Due to its high fiber content, this type of barley takes longer to cook than pearl barley.
- Pearl barley: Pearl barley is the most readily accessible type of barley on the market and the most regularly used ingredient in breakfast and snacks all over the world. Milling removes both the husk and the bran layer from this dehulled barley. The nutty flavor of pearl barley absorbs the flavors of the other components in soups and salads.
- Barley Green Powder: Barley Green Powder is a powdered form of barley grass that has several health benefits. It’s prepared in the same way that wheatgrass powder is. This powder is fortified with vitamins and minerals and sold commercially. It can be ingested as barley juice because it is highly soluble in water.
- Barley Flour: Made by grinding entire barley, this mild flour can be used in place of wheat flour. Because the outer bran layer of barley remains intact after grinding, it contains more minerals and fiber than pearl barley flour.
- Barley Water: Barley Water is created by soaking barley seeds overnight in water or boiling them for a few minutes in water. It has excellent therapeutic characteristics that are good for patients suffering from renal and bladder issues.
History of Barley
Barley was initially grown 10,000 years ago in what is now Israel, Syria, Iran, and Iraq. Ancient humans and animals ate barley. Alcohol was also made from it.
In 2800 BC, barley was utilized for the first time in the production of wine in Babylonia. For strength and energy, traditional Roman athletes ate barley.
The Spanish introduced this cereal to South America in the 16th century, and it arrived in the United States in the 17th century. The majority of barley was then used as animal feed, 30% was used to make alcoholic beverages, and only 1.5 percent was used as human food.
Nutritional Value of Barley
Barley has a variety of nutrients, including carbohydrates, soluble and insoluble fibers, salt, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and fatty acids, making it a tasty and healthful addition to your diet. It’s also free of cholesterol.
- Fiber: Barley is a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber. 13.6 grams of dietary fiber per cup of boiled barley, of which 10.8 grams are insoluble or roughage and the remainder is soluble.
- Cholesterol and Fat: Barley, like other plant foods, is cholesterol-free and fat-free. Cooked barley contains about 270 calories, 59.4 grams of carbohydrates, 2.2 grams fat, and 0 mg cholesterol per 200 grams.
- Vitamins: Barley is high in various vitamins, including vitamin B1 (thiamin) and vitamin B3 (riboflavin) (niacin). One cup of boiled barley has around 0.16 mg of thiamin, which is 10.6% of the daily value (DV), and 2.84 mg of niacin, which is 14.2% of the daily value (DV). B vitamins are essential for a healthy neurological system, adequate liver function, and healthy skin, hair, and eyes. Choline, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, and vitamins A, K, B6, and B12 are all significant vitamins in barley.
- Minerals: Minerals such as selenium, iron, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, and copper can be found in barley. One cup of boiled barley has 230 milligrams of phosphorus or 23 percent of the daily requirement. This vital mineral is found in the genetic material of all cells, including RNA and DNA. One cup of cooked barley has 36.4 mcg of selenium, or 52 percent of the daily value, and 0.64 mcg of copper, or 32 percent of the daily value. Selenium, along with vitamin E, helps to maintain normal thyroid function by protecting cell membranes from degradation. Copper and iron are essential for the development of bone and cartilage.
- Antioxidants: Antioxidants are found in barley and play a significant role in overall health. These antioxidants reduce the pace at which free radicals cause oxidative damage.
- Phytochemicals: Phytochemicals are plant-based molecules that help to reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Barley is said to have these phytochemicals because it is a plant source.
- Glycemic Index (GI): The glycemic index compares the rise in blood sugar caused by 100 grams of food to the rise in blood glucose caused by pure sugar consumption. Boiling pearled barley has the lowest glycemic index of all the common cereal grains, at 35. As a result, it is regarded as a suitable carbohydrate for diabetics or dieters following a low glycemic meal plan.
If you’ve read about the benefits and nutritional profile of barley, we’re sure there’s one thing you’re wondering about:
How to make barley water?
This drink is quite simple to make. This dish can be made with either hulled or pearl barley. For this, you will need
- 14 cups of barley (pearl or hulled)
- four cups of water
- a grain of salt
- Honeydew nectarine (optional)
- juice of a lemon (optional)
- In a saucepan, bring the barley seeds and water to a boil. (For added nutrients, soak the barley seeds in water overnight.)
- Allow the barley to boil for around 30 minutes after adding a pinch of salt.
- Allow the water to cool completely before straining it into a glass.
- You can flavor the water with lemon juice, honey, cinnamon, or ginger, or simply drink it straight.
Note: Rather than throwing away the barley seeds, crush or grind them and use them to thicken curries and smoothies.
What Is The Best Way To Select And Store Barley?
Almost all-natural food stores include barley in the pre-packaged and bulk sections. Always purchase barley seeds in quantity from a reputable grain store. If you’re buying it pre-packaged, be sure there’s no moisture in the package. Before you buy anything, make sure to check the expiration date on the packaging.
Keep the following points in mind while storing barley.
- Barley seeds should be kept in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight in a plastic or glass container. If properly preserved, they have a shelf life of roughly a year.
- Barley seeds can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer during the summer. However, make sure to carefully wrap them or store them in an airtight container to avoid the seeds gathering moisture.
How do add barley to your diet?
You may include this extraordinary grain in your regular diet in a variety of ways. The following are some suggestions.
- Barley is a flavor enhancer and thickening ingredient that can be used in soups and stews.
- It can be used instead of rice or cooked potatoes.
- Consume a multi-grain bread with barley.
- Toss cooked barley into salads.
- Make a wonderful sweet or savory barley porridge for breakfast.
- Baking can be done with barley flour.
- Risotto can be made with barley instead of rice.
- Throughout the day, drink barley water. To improve the flavor, add lemon or honey.
- Make a barley seed powder and use it in smoothies or milkshakes.
- In continental recipes, use barley as a stuffing ingredient.
Side Effects of Barley
Barley is usually always good for everyone, but it can have major adverse effects in some cases. Let’s look at a couple of them.
- Abdominal cramps, gas, and bloating may occur if you eat a lot of barley.
- It’s possible that eating a lot of barley sprouts when pregnant isn’t safe. It’s best to stay away from it.
- Celiac disease is known to be aggravated by gluten, which is found in barley. If you’ve been diagnosed with Celiac disease or are having symptoms, stay away from barley.
- Blood sugar levels drop when you eat barley. If you have diabetes, see your doctor before eating it.
- Gluten-sensitive people may experience an allergic reaction to barley.
The dietary fiber, antioxidants, phytochemicals, minerals, and vitamins included in barley contribute to its health advantages. It has the potential to improve bone, tooth, heart, and gastrointestinal health. It may also aid in the management of diabetes and weight. It also promotes the health of your hair and skin. It moisturizes the skin, increases suppleness, and may stimulate hair growth. Excessive consumption, on the other hand, might result in flatulence, cramps, and low blood sugar levels. Consumption should be kept to a minimum.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is barley used in the production of vodka?
Barley isn’t used in all vodkas. If a particular flavor is needed, barley is utilized.
Should I drink barley water first thing in the morning?
Yes, you certainly can. However, don’t overdo it because it can produce sluggish motions.
What is the distinction between malt and barley?
Malt is the dried seed of the barley plant with a little sprout, and barley is the seed of the barley plant.
Is it true that drinking barley water causes frequent urination?
Yes, because it eliminates toxins from the body, drinking barley water might cause frequent urination.
Is barley devoid of gluten?
No, barley has a gluten content of 5-8 percent. If you have a gluten intolerance, you should avoid it.
This article provides general information about the topic and is not to be taken as medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice, treatment, and/or diagnosis. Always consult with your doctor before trying out any of the remedies/recipes suggested in the blog post.
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Bharat Sharma is a Delhi-based writer who loves reading and writing research-based topics revolving around health, fitness, and nutrition. His love for writing started during his teenage and continues till date. After his graduation, he worked for GE Money, and IBM, but later found his true love i.e. blogging.