Barley grass is the young, soft shoots from the barley plant and has been long known for its nutritional benefits and was highly popular amongst the ancient Greeks and Romans for the same reasons. Recently, barley grass has been gaining a lot of popularity for its ability to cure a broad spectrum of diseases.
Highly nutrient dense, barley grass has large amounts of vitamins and minerals including potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, phosphorus, manganese, zinc, beta carotene, B1, B2, B6, C, folic acid, and pantothenic acid.
What makes it nature’s best fast food is that these young shoots are said to have
- 30 times more vitamin B1 and 11 times the amount of calcium than in cow's milk.
- Four times the vitamin B1 in whole wheat flour.
- Nearly 6.5 times the iron content of spinach.
- Close to seven times the vitamin C in oranges.
- 80 micrograms of vitamin B12 per 100 grams of dried barley plant juice.
Naturally, with so much nutritional value, the benefits that come with its consumption would be great. Here are some benefits.
1. Supports Immune System
Barley grass can support our immune system and improve our overall health. Having far more vitamin C content than oranges, it helps build resistance to catching a cold or flu. It also helps combat fatigue by simply adding a couple of servings of barley grass a day to your diet. Additionally, the copper content is another important immunity-boosting micronutrient found in barley, that improves our bone health, and is essential for hemoglobin production in red blood cells.
2. Relieves Ulcerative Colitis
Barley grass is beneficial in treating ulcerative colitis due to its stimulating effect on the gut-friendly bacteria. It helps in alleviating inflammation and other associated symptoms by reducing the provocative chemicals in the bowel. Barley grass also balances the fluidity in the bowel and helps eliminate built up toxins from the body.
An abundance of chlorophyll and beta-carotene, zinc, selenium and copper in barley grass helps get rid of harmful heavy metals including lead which may cause behavior and learning disorders, particularly in kids. This grass also helps eliminate waste materials and also supports metabolism.
4. Possibly Reduce Stomach Cancer
There has been some evidence suggesting that eating dietary fibers such as barley can possibly reduce the risk of stomach cancer. It has preventive as well as a curative reaction against the cancer cells due to the catalase enzymes present in barley grass and helps suppress the growth of cancer cells in the body.
5. Protects against UV Radiation
Regular consumption of barley grass juice is said to help reduce the extent of damage in people who are prone to UV radiation and exposure. It helps prevent as well as offers relief on already damaged cells. Furthermore, the presence of chlorophyll also improves the resistance to radioactivity and also encourages the production of new blood cells. This is why, it is generally recommended to drink barley grass juice prior and post-exposure to x-rays (as a protective shield against radioactive damages).
6. Fights Addiction
Barley grass also has an inhibitive effect, making it a remedy for fighting various kinds of addictions. The presence of glutamic acid in it reduces craving for harmful consumables such as alcohol, coffee, nicotine, drugs, and even sugary sweets.
7. Reduces Excess Acidity
Barley grass also contributes to the balancing of acidity and alkalinity in the body since it is alkaline in nature.This further helps reduce acidity in the body which may, if not treated, cause sleep disorders, cardiac pain, fatigue, constipation, and fragile fingernails.
8. Reduces Cholesterol
A clinical study of the effect of barley grass on type 2 diabetes, showed that after 70 days of consuming barley grass on a daily basis, cholesterol levels decreased by 5.1 %. The monosaturated fat and antioxidant content in barley is shown to have slowed down cholesterol, as well as type 2 diabetes.
Precautions: Consuming barley grass is generally considered safe. However, if having some conditions like gluten allergy or intolerance such as celiac disease; it is generally safer to avoid wheatgrass juice to avoid potentially severe allergic reactions. Take a look here for more precautions and always consult your doctor before consuming barley grass.