The modern world is full of unhealthy foods and toxins that sap energy, cause disease, and expand waistlines. Choosing the right supplement can be difficult, but if you suffer from inflammation, degenerative diseases such as fibromyalgia, or excess weight, barley supplements may be right for you. Used to make medicine, it’s a source of fatty oils, carbohydrates, vitamins, and proteins.
Barley is one of the oldest cultivated grains in the world. Its use began in approximately 8,000 B.C. in Southeast Asia and Ethiopia. It is believed that post-Ice Age climate changes, in conjunction with barley’s development of hardened rachis, which prevented early grain scattering, enabled better barley cultivation.
As one of the first crops of the Middle East, barley was used as food for both animals and humans, for medicinal purposes, and to make alcohol. Later, the ancient Greeks used barley to make bread, and athletes attributed much of their physical growth and skill on diets containing barley.
In the 1500s, the Spanish introduced barley to South America. The next century, Dutch and English settlers brought it to the United States. The largest commercial producers of barley today are the US, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, and the Russian Federation.
What barley can accomplish:
- Lowers blood sugar. As the name implies, blood sugar refers to the amount of glucose, or sugar, present in the blood. The body aims to carefully regulate blood sugar levels to maintain metabolic homeostasis. Various dietary and medical issues can interfere with this process, however. Believed to lower insulin and blood sugar levels, barely is especially helpful in these cases.
- Lowers blood pressure. Blood pressure is a principle vital sign. It refers to the flow of blood from one area of the body to another. When blood pressure is too high, the risk of stroke and heart disease increase. The fiber present in barley is largely responsible for lowering blood pressure, thus minimizing these risks.
- Lowers cholesterol. Although cholesterol itself isn’t harmful, it can become so when it builds up in the arteries. This makes the work of circulating blood more difficult. Barley’s fiber content also lowers cholesterol, which is another risk factor for heart disease.
- Promotes weight loss. Barley seems to slow the emptying of the stomach during digestion, resulting in less frequent sensations of hunger. Controlling the appetite in this way reduces cravings.
- Relieves diarrhea, stomach pain, and inflammatory bowel issues. Aside from being a troubling source of distress, digestive issues can have dangerous health implications. Vomiting and diarrhea lead to dehydration, for instance, and food avoidance – which is harmful itself – is a frequently utilized attempt to minimize these problems. Fortunately, barley can help regulate the digestive process.
- Increases strength and endurance. Barley is rich in vitamins A, C, B1, B2, and B12, as well as folic acid. It also contains potassium, iron, calcium, chlorophyll, and all 9 essential amino acids. This is an ideal combination for optimal strength and endurance.
- Cancer prevention. The chlorophyll content in barley interacts with harmful carcinogens and inactivates them. It has antioxidant properties as well. A chemical in barley, called superoxide dismutase, also blocks the negative effects of free radicals and radiation, thereby reducing the risk of cancer.
- Treats bronchitis. Bronchitis is an infection or irritation of the passageway to the lungs. The properties in barley help thin the mucus in this area, which increases lung function, reduces coughing, and improves the saturation of oxygen in the blood.
- Treats boils. Barley can be applied topically to boils, which are localized infections on the skin. The development of boils is the body’s means of collecting the infected substances and pushing them out of the body. If ignored, however, the infection can reach the blood stream and spread dangerously. The antioxidants and other nutrients in barley help draw the unhealthy matter out of the body.
Why It Works
Barley grass is a “cousin” to dark green, leafy vegetables. However, it is much more nutrient rich. An ounce of barley, for instance, contains significantly more phytonutrients than are found in an ounce of green vegetables. The benefits of barley consumption, such as those described above, are largely attributed to its high concentration of chlorophyll.
Chlorophyll is the phytochemical that gives plants, algae, and leaves their green color. It is the plant equivalent of the oxygen-rich red pigment hemoglobin in red blood cells. Dietary chlorophyll fights bacterial diseases and even improves bad breath and other odors.
Young cereal grasses, such as barley, are known for their bright, emerald green color. They are often dried and powdered for use as dietary supplements or picked fresh for juice processing. In the early stages of its growth, barley is closer to vegetables in composition than grain. Its nutrient profile improves significantly as it grows, however. As the plant ages, the amount of protein, vitamins, chlorophyll, and cellulose declines sharply. In a matter of months, the greens turn to the amber grains that are harvested into flour – which is an inflammatory and unhealthy food. Therefore, it is critical to consume barley during the appropriate stage of its developmental process.
Barley grass also acts as a free radical scavenger to reduce pain and inflammation. It is available in either tablet or powder form. Dried barley grassers are easier to handle than fresh ones, which must be juiced. Juiced options, however, contain enzymes that are not likely to be found in the dried options and will have higher contents of nearly every phytonutrient found in the grass.
We at Flawless Beauty and Skin offer the Sante Pure Barley New Zealand Blend, which captures a purely organic product. It consists of young barley grass harvested in New Zealand. It is harvested before the grain develops to ensure maximum health-related benefits. The organic element of the product is particularly vital, because some farms that claim to be organic are not. Sante only provides barley from BioGro, which is New Zealand’s primary organic certification agency. It is accredited by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM). These represent the best international organic standards. The certification of the blend ensures that there are no unsafe levels of herbicides, heavy metals, or insecticides.