9 Surprising Benefits of Barley Grass
Health benefits of barley grass include relief from ulcerative colitis, prevention, and treatment of cancer, strengthening of immune system, cleansing and detoxification of the body, protection from radiation and cellular damage, the ability to fight addiction and regenerate damaged cells and tissues. It maintains healthy skin, acid-alkali balance, contributes to bone metabolism, promotes agility and exerts rejuvenating effects on the entire body.
Barley grass refers to the young soft green shoots which crop up on the Barley plant. It is amongst the earliest grown sweetgrass in the world and traces its history even before 5000 BC. The discoverer of barley grass pronounces it as ‘nature’s best fast food’ attributing to its nutrient-dense profile and multidimensional benefits which were also the reason for its popularity amongst the ancient Greeks and Romans. Apart from being used as livestock feed, recently barley grass has been gaining a lot of popularity around the globe for its ability to cure a broad spectrum of diseases.
Nutritional Value of Barley grass
Barley is a multi-nutrient rich super food loaded with vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B6, folate, vitamin C (ascorbic acid), vitamin E (alpha- tocopherol) and vitamin K (phylloquinone). It contains an abundance of electrolytes such as magnesium, phosphorous and potassium along with other essential minerals such as zinc, iron, and calcium. Barley grass is also a rich provider of powerful antioxidants and essential amino acids and beneficial enzymes. Barley grass supplies the valuable fiber to the body and does not offer any harmful cholesterol.
Health Benefits of Barley Grass
Barley grass can be consumed as a juice extracted from the cereal grass sprouts or in the form of green powder by spray drying the barley grass. It brings relief in a range of health conditions discussed as under:
Antioxidant power: Barley grass has an impressive antioxidant wealth. Along with vitamin E and beta carotene, barley grass is the most potent supplier of healthy and critical enzyme superoxide dismutase which helps neutralize the effects of oxygen free radicals produced during energy metabolism. The protective action of these valuable radical scavengers prevents the development of a wide array of diseases caused by oxidative stress.
Ulcerative colitis: Barley grass is valuable in treating ulcerative colitis attributing to its stimulating effect on the gut friendly bacteria. It helps in alleviating the inflammation and other associated symptoms implicated in ulcerative colitis by reducing the provocative chemicals in the bowel. Barley grass also assists in balancing the fluidity in the bowel and helps eliminate accumulated toxins from the body.
Detoxification: Barley grass is a wonderful natural detoxifier. The cleansing ability of barley grass is even effective in eliminating the accumulated harmful heavy metals including lead which may cause behavior and learning disorders, particularly in kids. The major contributors behind the act of detoxification are trace elements zinc, selenium, and copper. Furthermore, an abundance of chlorophyll and beta-carotene in barley grass stimulates the eradication of waste materials such as mucus and crystallized acids. It also supports the metabolic processes and aids in strengthening and detoxification of the liver.
Immune system: Barley grass supports in boosting the immune defense mechanism of the body. Regular consumption of barley grass provides the required nutrition which is necessary for balancing the optimal production of immune cells in the body. Effective and strong immune defense vigilantly fights infections and prevents the development of fatal diseases.
Cancer: Barley grass is effective against cancer owing to the power of superoxide dismutase enzyme. It has preventive as well as curing reaction against the cancer cells which also attributes to the presence of other remedial components such as peridoxase protein and catalase enzyme. Catalase enzymes present in barley grass has the ability to decompose and neutralize the effects of toxic hydrogen peroxide which is produced during respiration and help suppress the proliferation of cancer cells.
Protection from radiation and cellular damage: Another beneficial effect of barley grass is its protective action against the cell destructing effects of UV radiations. It helps prevent as well as extends therapeutic relief on the existing damaged cell owing to the presence of superoxide dismutase enzymes. Regular consumption of barley grass juice aids in reducing the radiation stress in the people who are more prone to such exposure such as population in urban and large cities.
It also acts defensively against the effects of radioactivity and even renews the cells and tissues damaged by radioactivity. This attributes to the presence of chlorophyll content which improves the resistance to radioactivity and also encourages the production of new blood cells. For this reason, it is generally recommended to drink barley grass juice prior and post exposure to x-rays to provide a shield against the radioactive damages.
Fights addiction: Barley grass is also an effectual remedy for fighting various kinds of addictions. The presence of glutamic acid in barley grass inhibits the craving for harmful materials such as alcohol, coffee, nicotine, drugs and even sugary sweets.
Acid-alkali balance: Barley grass beneficially contributes in establishing the acid-alkali balance of the body attributing to its super alkaline nature. It is a natural alkaline source which helps in reducing the excess acidity in the body which may cause acidosis damage. Imbalance of acid-alkali in the body may lead to problems like sleep disorders, cardiac pains, fatigue, constipation and fragile fingernails.
Rejuvenating effects: Barley grass is a natural way to stimulate the regeneration of cells without any side effects. Vital components such as chlorophyll, vitamin B, iron and phycocyanin, a blue pigment in barley grass inspires the bone marrow and supports in the creation of white and red blood cells. This renewing effect of barley grass also helps prevent the signs of aging by rejuvenating the aging cells and helps maintain healthy and youthful skin. The useful enzymes present in barley grass improve the quality of blood, regulates digestion and works as a rejuvenator tonic for the entire body.
Culinary usage: Barley grass is used worldwide in preparation of soups, stews and for making barley bread. Barley is also used in the manufacturing of malted products such as malted milk, wine, and beer.
Apart from an impressive range of usage for humans, barley grass is also used to make hay and fodder for animals.
Barley grass: word of caution
Although barley grass is generally safe, however, some individuals might react sensitively to the barley grain with symptoms including vomiting, itching, burning sensation in the throat and mouth. Such people should avoid the use of barley grass as well or discuss with a medical expert to better understand the reactivity.
People suffering from the celiac disease which is characterized by the sensitivity towards gluten should generally avoid the usage of barley products as it may contain gluten protein. Celiac disease interferes with the absorption of vital nutrients in the body and may result in serious complications related to brains, liver, and nervous system.
Natural caution before trying barley grass for the first time is always advisable particularly when the sensitivity is not known. During special conditions such as pregnancy and lactation, it is recommended to consult an expert to understand the appropriate dosage and effects of barley grass to avoid any complications.
Barley grass: Summary
An abundance of superoxide dismutase in barley grass makes it is a ‘wonder tonic’ which protects the cellular DNA from destruction, improves body’s ability to deal with stress and keeps the cholesterol in control. It also encourages agility along with physical and mental fitness. Barley grass is a blood builder and helps purify it. Vitamin E in barley grass contributes in regulating the hormonal balance and vitamin K plays a key role in maintaining the normal bone metabolism of the body. The mighty enzymes and other useful components such as glutaminic acid present in barley grass act as neurotransmitters and works against senility, concentration and learning disorders. Include barley grass in your diet to experience an overall strengthening and invigorating effects on the entire body.