Get More Grains: Choose Barley for Weight Loss

Barley is an ancient grain which archeological evidence dates back around 17,000 years ago in Egypt. From improving digestion to lowering risk of diabetes and being good for weight loss, barley has proven to be full of health benefits, even though it is not a gluten-free grain. 

Let’s now learn about these five health benefits of barley.

Good for Weight Loss

High in fiber, barley is filling without lots of calories, making it good for weight loss. In a study at the University of Minnesota, adults lost weight and experienced decreased hunger after they added high amounts of barley’s beta gluten fiber to their diets for 6 weeks.

Lowers Risk of Type 2 Diabetes and Controls Blood Sugar Levels

Barley is a good grain for diabetics as it reduces the speed at which sugar goes into the bloodstream. It was found in a study with 10 overweight women, that barley was better at helping control blood sugar levels than oats.

Another study at the Lund University in Sweden had middle-aged people eat barley bread three times a day. It was found at the end of the day that those eating barley bread had lower blood sugar levels and insulin levels compared to those who had eaten white wheat bread.

Improves Digestion

It is well known that fiber helps fight constipation and diarrhea by forming bulk thus keeping bowel movements regular. Barley consumption was found to increase stool volume in a 2003 study.

Lowers High Cholesterol

When women and men following the American Heart Association diet included barley in their diet, it was found they had lower cholesterol levels.

When 28 men increased soluble fiber with barley in a healthy diet, it reduced cardiovascular risk factors and cholesterol was significantly lower. Also, it was found that barley rivals oats in cholesterol-lowering and with fewer calories.

Provides Antioxidants

Barley has a high quantity of lignans—antioxidant phytonutrients which have been found to lower heart disease and cancer. Lignans help reduce inflammation and fight the aging of the body.

Note

Barley is a gluten grain with 5 to 8 percent gluten and shouldn’t be consumed by those with celiac disease or those that have gluten sensitivity. Hard wheat flour is high in gluten, has between 12 to 14 percent gluten. This explains why some of us who are somewhat gluten sensitive (like me) can eat barley occasionally without big gut aches.

So if you have no negative reactions to gluten, barley can be a healthy grain to add to your meals!

Barley

Raw Organic Barley

High in Vitamins and Minerals

Barley is a grain including important nutrients such as selenium, magnesium, chromium, phosphorus, copper, niacin and thiamine. Compared to other grains, it is lower in fat and calories, and higher in fiber. A cup of cooked barley has fewer calories and more fiber than a cup of brown rice, quinoa, sorghum, wild rice or millet. Learn more about the Nutrition of Hulled Barley. 

How to Select 

Best to buy 100 percent whole grain hulled barley, not pearl barley as it has been refined and processed and has lost some of the nutrition and health benefits. Pearl barley has been steamed to remove the bran which removes many of the nutrients.

Hulled barley is what is left after removing the fibrous outer hull of the grains which is inedible.

How to Store

Store it in a tightly covered glass container in a cool, dry place.  It can also be stored in the refrigerator during hot weather.

barley

Tips for Eating or Cooking Barley

Rinse the barley under running water before cooking, removing any dirt or debris. Also, remove any hulls or floating particles as these can carry bacteria.

To get the most nutrients from barley, many soak and sprout hulled uncooked barley grains as it will help release the nutrients, making it easier for the body to absorb the vitamins and minerals. Also, the flour can be used for baking.

Add barley to stews, soups, salads, stuffing and casseroles.

Related at Care2

56 comments

Janis K
Janis K5 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Toni W
Toni W5 months ago

Tyfs

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Toni W
Toni W5 months ago

Tyfs

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Tania N
Tania N5 months ago

Thank you.

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Tania N
Tania N5 months ago

Thank you.

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Tania N
Tania N5 months ago

Thank you.

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Chad A
Chad A5 months ago

Oh, I love barley!

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Glennis W
Glennis W5 months ago

Great info and help Thank you for caring and sharing

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Glennis W
Glennis W5 months ago

Great information and advice Thank you for caring and sharing

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Glennis W
Glennis W5 months ago

Very informative Thank you for caring and sharing

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