What is Barley Grass ?
Barley grass is one of the many beneficial grasses that are consumed in the United States. It does not refer to barley grain, but rather implies the leaves of the plant. The barley plant can be cultivated in a variety of climatic conditions and just like other edible grasses, barley grass is also rich in nutrients.
Barley grass has nutrient components similar to wheatgrass, i.e. vitamins, enzymes, chlorophyll, minerals and amino acids. However, these nutrients are present only when the plant is very young. As the plant ripens to produce the barley grain, most of these components are rapidly lost. Barley green is one of the best food products currently available, that makes optimum use of the nutrients of barley grass. Barley green refers to the green, tender offshoots of the barley plant.
History of Barley Grass
It is a known fact that barley was one of the first cereal grains to be harvested. The first colonists who settled in Virginia planted barley as their first crop in the year 1611. The diet of the ancient Asian and Middle Eastern societies primarily comprised of young barley grass as well as wheatgrass.
Barley grass is available in many forms such as powder, capsules, etc and can be purchased from any of the health stores or drug stores throughout the United States. One can also buy kits to grow barley in your backyard. However, it’s best to consult your doctor and check for sensitivities or allergies before consuming barley grass.
Health benefits of Barley Grass
- All of us know that excess of cholesterol in the body can lead to several health problems. Barley grass contains beta glucan, which acts against LDR or bad cholesterol and helps to decrease it.
- Barley grass also contains chlorophyll and antibacterial properties that encourage the growth of new skin cells. This can assist in treating ulcers and other skin diseases. The growth of new skin cells also rejuvenates the skin and gives it a more youthful look.
- Barley grass has antioxidant properties that helps the body to fight against the free radicals that cause damage to the body. Thus the consumption of barley grass boosts the immune system and helps fight various ailments as well as the process of aging.
- Some studies indicate that barley nutrition provided by barley grass also inhibits the growth of brain cancer and prostate cancer cells.
Side effects of Barley Grass
- Everybody benefits from barley nutrition, but individuals who have the celiac disease or are intolerant to gluten as well as pregnant or nursing women should avoid barley grass intake. They should do so only after consulting a doctor else it may lead to problems in the bones, brain, liver and the digestive system.
- Some individuals may also have allergic reactions to the consumption of barley grass seeds that may result in symptoms such as burning, itchy, burning throat and mouth and vomiting.
Barley Grass – Nutritional information
Barley grass contains many B complex vitamins such as B-1, B-2, B-5, B-6, B-9 and B-12 as well as chlorophyll. It also has minerals like calcium, potassium, phosphorous, iron and magnesium. It is also rich in Vitamin C and protein.
Here is the nutritional information for one tablespoon of Barley Grass
Sodium 3.0 mg
Total fat 0g
Total Carbohydrate 4.0 g
Potassium 316 mg
Protein 2.6 g
Dietary Fiber 1.6g