Barley grass has been consumed for its health benefits for thousands of years.
This nutrient-rich natural plant provides a host of healthy advantages. When part of a balanced diet and eaten in conjunction with regular exercise, barley grass supplements can reduce the risk of cancer and disease, while also aiding in weight loss and maintaining healthy and glowing skin.
Learn more about this ancient superfood and find out why this supplement grain is making a resurgence.
What is Barley Grass
Barley grass come from young shoots of the barley plant. Barley is a cereal grain grown all over the world. People have been eating barley grass as a health food dating back to ancient Greece and early Egypt.
This grassy superfood is popular in Japan, and is catching on in other regions of the world. Barley grass was first introduced in North America by early European explorers. This superfood never attained popularity in the American diet, but lately barley grass has generated significant interest.
Barley grass contains 13 different vitamins, including A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, Vitamin C, E and K. This superfood delivers beta carotene, along with folic and pantothenic acid and every essential amino acid.
Barley grass packs in the minerals calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. Lastly, barley grass also contains fiber, protein and enzymes.
Part of a Balanced Diet
The presence of so many minerals, vitamins and enzymes certainly makes barley grass healthy. Equally impressive, is what is not present in barley grass. With no refined sugars or carbohydrates barley grass is a nutrient-dense addition to a diet that does not introduce anything negative.
Barley grass simply delivers positive additions to a diet – there are no drawbacks. In supplement form it is possible to receive an entire day’s worth of necessary minerals and vitamins at once.
Barley Grass Side Effects
Barley grass is generally safe; however, in some instances this natural supplement may cause problems. Before taking any supplement be aware of the possible barley grass side effects and discuss concerns with a medical professional.
As a grain, barley grass contains gluten. Individuals with gluten sensitivities or allergies, as well as Celiac disease should not consume barley grass in any form. Known allergies to other grains, like wheat, oat, rice or corn may also be an indication of a likely barley grass allergy.
Low Blood Sugar
Barley grass naturally lowers blood sugar. For individuals with high blood sugar this is a clear benefit. For individuals with low blood sugar barley grass may cause blood sugar levels to drop dangerously low.
Barley grass may pose a risk to Diabetics. Under the guidance of a doctor it may be possible to adjust Diabetes medication to allow for a healthy and safe diet that includes barley grass supplements. Check with a doctor before taking any supplements or adjusting prescribed medications.
The effects of barley grass during pregnancy and for nursing mothers are not completely known. Women who are pregnant, may be pregnant or nursing should stop taking barley grass supplements until they have consulted a medical professional.
What are the Benefits of Barley Grass?
Adding barley grass to a balanced and healthy diet can have a positive impact on overall health. This grain is chock full of a host of vitamins and minerals that contribute to everything from a strong immune system to a trim waistline.
Antioxidants are compounds that prevent or delay cellular damage in the body. Cell damage can corrupt nearby cells and result in cancer. Barley grass contains an enzyme known as superoxide dismutase (SOD), which destroys the free radicals responsible for cellular changes or damage.
As a natural antioxidant, barley grass reduces the risk of certain types of cancers and other diseases by blocking or slowing down cell damage.
Immune System Health
As a natural source of vitamin C, along with the mineral copper, barley grass gives the immune system a boost. This nutrition aids the body in the natural production of immune cells, which ward off infections.
When taken regularly, barley grass supplements can help prevent illnesses, like the cold. A strong immune system is also fights off feelings of stress and fatigue.
Thanks to the soluble fiber, beta-glucan, found in barley grass, this supplement naturally lowers cholesterol. In a study, patients with high total and LDL (low-density lipoproteins), also known as bad cholesterol saw a decrease in their total and bad cholesterol levels.
Participants took 15 grams of barley grass daily for two weeks to achieve these results. Furthermore, those same individuals experienced an increase in HDL (high-density lipoproteins), or rather, good cholesterol.
Natural Weight Loss
Many of the nutritional benefits of barley grass aid in weight loss. In addition to all of the vitamins and minerals found in barley grass there are also has high levels of chlorophyll.
Research has shown chlorophyll assists in lowering blood sugar. Elevated blood sugar levels cause a condition known as hyperglycemia. When blood sugar is high the body converts excess sugar into fat, which is put into reserve for future use.
A diet containing barley grass supplements help to balance blood sugar levels, which in turn prevents hyperglycemia.
Barley grass is packed with both soluble and insoluble fiber. In general, fiber creates a feeling of fullness which prevents overeating and reduces snacking and cravings.
By regulating the process of digestion the fiber in barley grass creates a sensation of feeling satisfied and full. Furthermore, fat in the digestive system binds to fiber, helping to expedite fat through the intestines and reduce the chances of absorption.
Barley grass is part of a healthy diet that aids in natural weight loss. When used to promote weight loss barley grass supplements can be effectively used in addition to healthy meals, and not as a form of meal replacement.
Reduce the Risk of Diabetes
Reducing high blood sugar also aids in the prevention or management of diabetes. Barley grass can improve resistance to insulin, which enables diabetics to regulate their blood sugar levels.
Many of the side effects of diabetes, like nerve damage and gangrene, are the result of blood sugar spikes and crashes. Regularly consuming barley grass supplements consistently balances blood sugar and reduces the risks associated with diabetes.
Cleanses the Body
Barley grass functions as a natural cleanse that neutralizes toxins and impurities, while also purifying the liver and detoxifying the body of waste materials.
At the same time, barley grass increases oxygen and blood flow which reduces inflammation. The cleansing properties of barley grass reduce bloating and promote healthy digestion. These traits contribute to the weight loss capabilities of barley grass supplements, and promote greater health and comfort.
Improve Respiratory Function
From asthma to bronchitis, barley grass can help to improve respiratory function. By reducing inflammation, barley grass supplements normalize breathing.
The presence of vitamins A and E stimulate the immune system which staves off lower respiratory infections. Both of these vitamins also work in tandem with the antioxidants present in barley grass to control breathing.
Barley grass contains Quercetin, a plant flavonoid proven to protect skin against damage. The age defying characteristics of Quercetin protect skin from damage caused by cold air, wind and UV rays while reducing redness, itching and inflammation and maintaining hydration.
Barley grass also contains the mineral selenium, which maintains skin’s elasticity. A diet rich in barley grass maintains a healthy and youthful appearance, while preventing loose skin and folds.
What are the Ways to Consume Barley Grass?
Barley grass can be processed a variety of ways and prepared for consumption. The plant can be pressed into a juice and drank straight, or mixed with other juices.
This method is ineffective for most given that to do so it is necessary to have a large and consistent quantity of barley grass on hand. Purchasing barley grass juice may prove cost prohibitive for others.
When barley grass is pressed into a juice the fiber, and some of the other beneficial components, may be lost. Consuming barley grass in juice form many not deliver the full advantages of this grassy superfood.
Barley grass can be made into an extract or a powder and mixed with water, juice or other foods. In a powder form barley grass supplements retain a lot of the vitamins, nutrients and even enzymes.
Barley grass can also be manufactured into tablets or pills. The healthy enzymes are typically lost when barley grass supplements are in pill form.
Adding Barley Grass to Your Diet
Incorporating barley grass supplements into your diet ensures proper nutrition and fills any gaps or deficiencies. A barley grass-rich diet can lead to a variety of preventative health benefits, while also aiding in natural weight loss.
Barley grass provides a whole host of naturally occurring compounds from one source. The sheer abundance of minerals, vitamins and more found in barley grass supplements make it an easy way to round out and complement a healthy diet.
While barley grass supplements prove to be beneficial for most people, some people may experience side effects. Consult a medical professional before making barley grass supplements part of a regular routine.