10 Great health benefits of barley you need to know about

Who’d have thought that a humble looking grain like barley could hold so much nutritional value! Well, when we started to research for this article on the benefits of barley, we were taken aback by what we found. It turns out that barley is anything but a humble grain; it actually has properties that would benefit people suffering from asthma, hypertension, arthritis and much more. So, if like us, you thought that barley was boring, then read these ten amazing health benefits of barley that you really do need to know about.

1. It can be used to manage diabetes

For diabetic patients, barley can provide a very important source of soluble fibre that can help to control the absorption of glucose into the blood. In research that was published in the journal, Nutrition Research, it was demonstrated that glucose levels, in a sample of men who were insulin resistant, were dramatically reduced when they consumed barley.

2. Reduces the risk of heart disease and some cancers

Another one of fabulous health benefits of barley is that it provides a rich source of plant lignans, which have been proven to provide protection against heart disease and some forms of cancers. Barley reduces blood pressure and helps to protect the body against free radicals and reduces visceral fat in the body.

3. Helps build strong teeth and bones

One of great health benefits of barley is that barley is also rich in vitamins and minerals that help to build strong, healthy teeth and bones. Minerals that are contained in barley include copper, manganese, selenium, zinc, phosphorous, magnesium, iron, potassium and calcium, all of which the body uses to strengthen teeth and bones. Interestingly, some barley juices contain more calcium than cow’s milk.

4. Provides support to the immune system

Another interesting fact about barely is that it contains a whole host of amazing antioxidants and vitamins, such as vitamin A, K, B6, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, choline that are vital ingredients that supports the immune system and helps you to fight off infections like colds and the flu. It also helps your kidneys to function properly and it aids the development of new cells in the body.

5. Reduces blood pressure

Eating whole grains, like barley, can reduce your blood pressure and help you lose weight. When patients who were suffering from high cholesterol and hypertension ate a whole grain diet, which included barley, researchers at the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that patient’s cholesterol level and blood pressure reduced.

6. Beneficial for people with arthritis

Another one of fabulous health benefits of barley is that it’s also a good source of copper, which can be very beneficial for sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis. Copper is used by the body to help in the production of   collagen and elastin, which are part of what make joints and bones more flexible.

7. Reduces the risk of colon cancer

Consuming barley can also reduce the risk of developing colon cancer. The fibre in barley reduces the amount of time that food stays present in the colon and so reduces the risk of developing cancer. Barley is also rich in selenium, which is thought to help the body repair cell damage.

8. Restores colour to hair

On a slightly less medical note, another one of great health benefits of barley is that it can also help to restore natural hair colour. This is due to the relatively high copper content that is found in barley, which is used by the body to create melanin, the pigment that provides colour to your hair and skin.

9. Helps you lose weight

Barely is lower in calories than most other grains and it contains the valuable dietary fibre that helps even out the peaks and troughs in blood sugar levels that are often associated with the storage of excess fat and weight gain. Added to food, such as soups or salads, it is an ideal way to make you feel fuller for longer, which will also help you eat less and lose weight.

10. Promotes healthy hair growth

And finally, another one of fantastic health benefits of barley is that it can be of help to people with thinning hair. Firstly, barley is a good source of iron and copper, so it can alleviate anaemia, which is often the cause of hair loss and, secondly, barley is a source of niacin and thiamine, which are known to promote hair growth.

Do you know other health benefits of barley?

Stay happy and healthy!

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