What is Barley Grass?
People often confuse barley grass with wheatgrass, but these are two very different plants. Barley grass is one of the earliest grown sweet grasses. The ancient Egyptians used barley grass to feed both their people and their animals.
The ancient Romans and Greeks used the grass to make barley bread for their athletes. They believed the bread boosted energy and strength.
Barley grass is now making a resurgence, as more people are focusing on living healthier lives and eating real, whole foods.
Barley grass is a nutritional powerhouse, rich in vitamins A, C, E, K, B1, B2, B3, B5 and B12. It also contains folic acid, beta carotene, pantothenic acid, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and sodium. And like other healthy grasses, barley contains enzymes, amino acids, protein, chlorophyll and fiber.
Thanks to all of these nutrients, barley offers a number of health benefits, including:
An Immune System Boost
Barley grass contains copper, iron, folic acid, and vitamins C, B12 and B6 – all of which help boost the immune system.
Barley actually has five times more iron than spinach. Iron helps prevent fatigue and anemia while improving blood volume. Vitamin C improves the body’s resistance to infection and disease.
Barley grass is rich in antioxidants, which help fight free radical damage. Along with beta-carotene and vitamin E, barley grass is one of the best sources of the enzyme superoxide dismutase.
Superoxide dismutase neutralizes the effects of free radicals produced during metabolism. Oxidative stress has been linked to an array of diseases, and the antioxidants in barley grass can help provide some protection from these diseases.
Even if you eat a healthy diet, you’re exposed to toxins in your environment which can build up over time. Barley grass can help with metal chelation, ridding the body of toxic heavy metals.
The plant can also help eliminate waste materials, including mucus and crystalized acids. The chlorophyll in the plant helps provide oxygen and improve blood flow. These actions help in the removal of harmful toxins and impurities from the body.
Barley grass can help jumpstart your weight loss. The plant is a source of insoluble fiber, which helps you feel fuller for longer. It also provides an array of nutrients that your body needs to thrive. At the same time, barley grass helps keep blood sugar levels under control to prevent those intense cravings in between meals.
Helping Type 2 Diabetes
Studies have shown that barley grass can actually help lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin resistance.
Barley grass contains beta-glucan, which is a soluble fiber that slows down the absorption of glucose.
In one clinical study on the effects of barley grass on type 2 diabetes, researchers found that in addition to lowering blood sugar levels, the plant also helped lower cholesterol.
After 70 days of consuming barley grass daily, cholesterol levels of participants fell by 5.1%.