Barley offers numerous applications, ranging from beer production to breadmaking. Yet, this plant extends beyond its grain, encompassing the realm of nutritious vegetables. In this Probiotiv‘s article, we delve into an exploration of Barley Grass, examining its advantages, diverse applications, and potential side effects.
Barley Grass is a Superfood
Barley grass, also known as barley greens, is derived from young barley plants that have not yet begun to produce seeds. During this stage of the plant’s growth, it is rich in nutrients that promote the development of larger leaves and seeds. By consuming the young grass, you can reap the benefits of barley grass and its nutritional properties.
Barley grass is a popular addition to juice shops and health stores, often found alongside other greens such as kale, spinach, and wheatgrass. It is commonly referred to as a superfood and is used as a supplement to Super Green Diet, boosts immune function, and improves overall health.
In each tablespoon of powdered Barley Grass, you can find the following nutritional content:
- Calories: 20
- Protein: 2 grams
- Fat: 0 grams
- Carbohydrates: 2 grams
- Fiber: 0 grams
- Sugar: 1 gram
Furthermore, Barley Grass presents a wealth of amino acids, serving as vital building blocks for protein synthesis within the body. With its provision of all nine essential amino acids, barley grass supports the repair and maintenance of muscles, blood vessels, and even bone marrow.
Barley grass also serves as a commendable source of several essential nutrients, including:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin A
Barley Grass stands out as an exceptionally nutrient-rich food due to its abundance of complete essential amino acids. Unlike most plants, which lack the full spectrum of amino acids essential for the human body, barley grass possesses all the necessary building blocks. This makes it a valuable dietary option for individuals following plant-based diets, as it fulfills their nutritional requirements.
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What are the barley grass benefits?
Barley Grass contains abundant vitamins A and C, which function as antioxidants. These vitamins aid in combating harmful free radicals that may harm your body. They assist in removing free radicals from the body and reducing the likelihood of various issues, including reduced skin elasticity, as well as breast and colon cancer.
Barley grass serves as an excellent dietary fiber source. The presence of both soluble and insoluble fiber in barley grass contributes to digestive health through two mechanisms.
- Firstly, the insoluble fiber nourishes the beneficial bacteria residing in your gut, promoting efficient digestion and maintaining intestinal well-being.
- Secondly, the soluble dietary fiber aids in the gradual absorption of sugar by your stomach, thereby assisting in the regulation of blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Calcium is crucial for strong bones as it serves as the primary component for their formation. Ensuring an adequate calcium source in your diet is essential for optimal bone health.
Barley Grass contains calcium, which can contribute to the prevention or reversal of osteoporosis. Additionally, the combination of calcium and phosphorus present in barley grass can promote dental health and maintain the well-being of your teeth.
Reduced Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke
The soluble fiber present in wheatgrass aids in eliminating excess cholesterol from your body. It absorbs cholesterol prior to entering your bloodstream, effectively lowering cholesterol levels and diminishing the chances of heart attacks and strokes. Furthermore, it contributes to reducing the risk of heart disease.
May balance blood sugar levels
Certain research indicates that barley grass might assist in the maintenance of optimal blood sugar levels.
This potential benefit could be attributed to its insoluble fiber content, a type of fiber that does not dissolve in water. It is theorized that increasing your intake of fiber may contribute to the reduction of blood sugar levels and the enhancement of insulin sensitivity, facilitating the effective utilization of insulin by your body.
However, it should be noted that the available studies specifically focusing on the effects of barley grass are limited and many of them are outdated. Further research is necessary to fully understand the impact of consuming this plant on blood sugar levels.
Read more: Does Green Lower Blood Pressure?
May support heart health
Incorporating barley grass into your diet provides valuable support for cardiovascular well-being.
According to an earlier study involving 36 individuals with diabetes, the intake of 15 grams of barley leaf extract over a 4-week period reduced the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol, a risk factor for heart disease.
Additionally, in a previous animal study, rabbits that were fed barley leaf essence exhibited lower levels of total cholesterol and triglycerides compared to a control group.
Barley grass also contains beneficial compounds such as saponarin, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), and tryptophan, all of which have been associated with decreased blood pressure, diminished inflammation, and enhanced cardiovascular health.
Nevertheless, it is important to note that most of the available research is outdated, and some studies have yielded conflicting outcomes. Furthermore, many studies have utilized concentrated extracts of barley grass powder, which may not produce the same effects as incorporating barley grass into your regular diet.
Consequently, more high-quality studies are required to thoroughly investigate the potential impact of consuming barley grass on heart health in humans.
May promote weight loss
Barley grass possesses a low calorie content while being rich in fiber, rendering it an excellent addition to a weight loss regimen focused on maintaining good health.
Fiber moves gradually through your system, promoting prolonged satiety, reducing cravings, and suppressing hunger. In fact, several studies have indicated that increasing fiber intake can enhance weight loss.
For instance, a study involving 252 women found that each gram of daily fiber consumption was associated with a weight loss of 0.5 pounds (0.25 kg) and a 0.25% decrease in body fat over a span of 20 months.
Likewise, a 6-month study involving 345 adults with overweight or obesity revealed that individuals who consumed higher amounts of fiber experienced greater weight loss and exhibited improved adherence to their prescribed diet.
Furthermore, an animal study involving rats on a high-fat diet demonstrated that consuming barley grass juice led to more effective reductions in body weight and body mass index (BMI) compared to a control group.
Nevertheless, additional research involving human subjects is necessary to fully assess the impact of barley grass on weight loss.
While Barley Grass is generally considered safe for consumption by most individuals, it is important to be aware of potential side effects and take precautions.
Firstly, it is crucial to note that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate the safety or effectiveness of barley grass supplements in the same manner as it does with medications.
When purchasing supplements, it is advisable to buy them from reputable retailers and opt for products that have undergone third-party testing, ensuring they are free from fillers, additives, and artificial ingredients.
It is worth mentioning that certain Barley Grass products may contain high levels of micronutrients such as vitamin K or potassium. Individuals taking blood thinners like warfarin should maintain a consistent intake of vitamin K to avoid interfering with the medication’s effects.
Moreover, individuals with kidney disease may receive advice to limit their potassium intake in order to maintain normal blood potassium levels.
Therefore, if you are taking medications or have any underlying health conditions, it is advisable to consult a healthcare provider before incorporating barley grass supplements into your routine.
Lastly, individuals with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity should exercise caution when purchasing Barley Grass products. Although gluten is only present in the seeds of the barley grain, there is a risk of cross-contamination.
How to prepare
Barley Grass, owing to its often disagreeable texture, is commonly consumed in the form of juice. There are a couple of ways to obtain barley grass juice—either by cultivating and juicing your own homegrown Barley Grass or by acquiring Barley Grass extract in the form of a powdered supplement – Super Greens Powders. The availability of barley grass juice extends beyond specialized juice bars, as it can be found in health food stores and even some larger supermarkets nationwide.
If you’re contemplating the inclusion of barley grass juice in your diet, here are several enticing options to consider:
- Savor the pure goodness: Enjoy the invigorating taste of barley grass juice on its own, allowing its natural flavors and nutrient profile to shine through.
- Blend it into smoothies: Enhance the nutritional content of your favorite smoothies by incorporating a generous splash of barley grass juice, introducing a refreshing and vibrant element to your blend.
- Boost your protein shakes: Elevate the protein shake experience by adding a tablespoon of barley grass powder. This infusion not only imparts its nutritional benefits but also provides an interesting twist to your regular shake routine.
- Mix it in cocktails: Get creative with your beverage choices by incorporating barley grass juice into your cocktails. Its unique flavor profile can bring a delightful and unexpected twist to your libations.
- Bake it into zucchini bread: Experiment with culinary creations by incorporating barley grass juice into your zucchini bread recipe. This infusion can add a subtle earthy note and infuse the bread with an extra dose of nutrients.
Whether you opt for the simplicity of pure juice or Super Greens Powders available, you should the versatility of blending, the fortification of protein shakes, the innovation of cocktail mixing, or the adventure of baking, Barley Grass juice offers an array of exciting possibilities to enhance your culinary repertoire and promote your well-being.
Barley Grass is widely used in juice bars, where it is incorporated into juices and smoothies in powder form. It can also be transformed into a vibrant green juice without any additional ingredients. In both cases, the nutritional advantages of barley grass are remarkable. But, before consuming wheatgrass as a supplement or in juice form, it is imperative to seek advice from a healthcare expert.
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