Health benefits of barley grass include a relief from ulcerative colitis, prevention and treatment of cancer, strengthening of the 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.
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What is Barley Grass?
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.
Barley Grass Nutrition Facts
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, essential amino acids, and beneficial enzymes. It 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 grass. It brings relief in a range of health conditions discussed below:
Barley grass has impressive antioxidants. Along with vitamin E and beta-carotene, barley grass is the most potent supplier of healthy and critical enzyme superoxide dismutase which helps to neutralize the effects of oxygen free radicals produced during energy metabolism. The protective action of these radical scavengers prevents the development of a wide array of diseases caused by oxidative stress.
Relieves Ulcerative Colitis
Barley grass is valuable in treating ulcerative colitis attributing to its stimulating effect on the gut-friendly bacteria. It helps in alleviating 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 to eliminate accumulated toxins from the body.
The cleansing ability of barley grass is 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 detoxifying the liver.
Boosts 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.
Barley grass is effective against cancer owing to the power of superoxide dismutase enzyme. It has preventive as well as a curative reaction against the cancer cells, which also attributes to the presence of other remedial components such as peroxidase protein and catalase enzyme. Catalase enzymes present in barley grass have 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.
Protects against UV Radiation
Another beneficial effect of barley grass is its protective action against the cell destructing effects of UV radiation. It helps to prevent as well as extends a 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 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.
Barley grass is also a remedy for fighting various kinds of addictions. The presence of glutamic acid in it inhibits the craving for harmful materials such as alcohol, coffee, nicotine, drugs, and even sugary sweets.
Reduces Excess Acidity
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 pain, fatigue, constipation, and fragile fingernails.
Prevents Signs of Aging
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, which is a blue pigment in barley grass, improve the bone marrow and support in the creation of white and red blood cells. This renewing effect of barley grass also helps to prevent the signs of aging by rejuvenating the aging cells and helping to maintain a healthy and youthful skin. The useful enzymes present in barley grass improve the quality of blood, regulate digestion, and work as a rejuvenator tonic for the entire body.
Apart from an impressive range of usage for humans, barley grass is also used to make hay and fodder for animals.
Word of Caution: Although barley grass is generally safe, however, some people may 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 the brain, liver, and the 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.
An abundance of superoxide dismutase in barley grass makes it 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 to purify it. Vitamin E in it contributes in regulating the hormonal balance and vitamin K plays a key role in maintaining the bone metabolism of the body. The mighty enzymes and other useful components such as glutaminic acid present in barley grass act as neurotransmitters and work against senility, concentration, and learning disorders. Include it in your diet to experience overall strengthening and invigorating effects on the entire body.