In India, although wheat, jowar and oats are most popular whole grains, barley is slowly gaining the popularity. This is because of its richer nutrition and many health benefits. Barley is low in calories, high in fibre and loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Barley, also known as ‘Jau’ in India, is beneficial for skin, boosts immunity, and protect internal organs in order to ensure their proper functioning. In this article, we are going to discuss some important health benefits of consuming barley.
1. Helps in weight loss:
Barley contains high amount of fibre which keeps your stomach full hence reducing your hunger level. It also improves your metabolic response to carbohydrate by absorbing starch slowly. It is low in calories hence keeping your calorie intake on track. If you consume barley regularly, the risk of obesity is reduced significantly.
2. Lowers Cholesterol:
Barley is the rich source of insoluble fibre which is helpful in reducing the bad cholesterol levels which can be absorbed by the intestines. Regular intake of barley will significantly improve your HDL or good cholesterol and triacylglycerol levels. The propionic acid which is produced by fibre in barley is responsible for hindering the production of cholesterol.
3. Reduces Risk of Cancer:
Barley consist of phyto-nutrient called lignans, poly-unsaturated fatty acids, oligosaccharides, plant sterols and saponins which have the ability to prevent inflammation and fight free radical damage. These compounds are helpful in removing harmful carcinogens from the body. Consuming barley will help in preventing cancers like breast, colon and prostate cancer.
4. Protects Heart
Barley contains niacin and thiamine (vitamin B complex) which is responsible for lowering overall cholesterol and minimizing cardiovascular risk. Minerals like copper, selenium and magnesium help in preventing blood clotting in arteries and are crucial for proper nerve signalling function. Studies have shown that including whole grains in your diet promotes the healthy heart by providing the wide range of nutrient.
5. Controls Diabetes:
Consuming barley will help you control type 2 diabetes by keeping your blood sugar level under control. Studies have also shown that eating beta-glucan fibre rich food delays the absorption of glucose in the bloodstream. In a research, humans who consumed barley in dinner had 30% better insulin sensitivity in the morning.
Now as you know the health benefits of barley, its worth to try this new superfood.