Barley Health Benefits, Nutrition and Seed Facts

Health Benefits of Eating Barley

  • Promote Healthier Colon

    Barley contains high amount of dietary fiber, which provides food for good bacteria in the large intestine. The useful bacteria then ferment the insoluble fiber to produce butyric acid, which acts as an important fuel for your intestinal cells.
  • Assist in Lowering Cholesterol

    The health advantage of dietary fiber in barley is also attributed to its ability to bind to bile acids and eventually removing them via the feces. This aid in reducing the cholesterol levels in the body.
  • Wonderful Food for Weight Loss

    Losing weight could be another health purpose of consuming barley. Not only does the soluble fiber help cut down the cravings for food, barley is also a low-fat food that is great for the body fitness.
  • Reduce the Risk of Diabetes

    Barley is a good source of magnesium, an essential mineral that functions as a co-factor for many enzymes in the body, especially those that regulate the use of glucose in the body and control the insulin secretion.
  • Prevent Cancer

    The merits of barley also include the rich content of lignans. Scientific studies have found the compound to be effective in protecting human against hormone-related cancers including breast cancer.
  • Relieve Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Barley is packed with an abundance of copper, which is crucial to improve the flexibility in bones, joints as well as blood vessels.
  • Contain Selenium

    The body can use selenium to produce a variety of antioxidants that are capable of fighting free-radicals. The compound also plays a vital role to boost the immune system of the body.
  • Protect against Cardiovascular Diseases

    Niacin or vitamin B3 is also one of the significant health properties in barley. Research has proven the effectiveness of the nutrient in preventing the oxidation of LDL. It also reduces the assembling of blood platelets, thereby avoiding blood clotting. 

Facts about Barley

Raw Barley Grain

Barley (scientific name Hordeum vulgare) is a nutritious, high-fiber, whole grain loaded with substantial health benefits. Just like brown rice, barley has a nutty flavor and chewy texture when cooked. While soup is the common method of preparing barley, you can cook it like rice or couscous. In Japan and Korea, barley is used to prepare roasted barley tea to cool the body down and to cleanse the body. 

Types of Barley

You can buy barley in natural food stores. There are 3 common types of barley:
  • Dehulled barley (hulless barley) -- unprocessed and needs longer time to cook
  • Pearled barley (pearl barley) -- is the most common in stores.
  • Quick cooking barley -- needs only 10 minutes to cook. 

How to cook barley:

The method of cooking barley is the same as cooking rice. Just combine 1 cup of pearl barley along with 2 1/2 cups of water, and cook with a rice cooker.

Barley Nutrition Facts and Calories

Nutritional Value of 1 Cup (200 g) Raw  Pearl Barley
Calories 704 kcal
Total Fat 2 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 18 mg
Total Carbohydrates 155 g
Dietary Fiber 31 g
Sugars 2 g
Protein 20 g


Barley Recipe

Lemon Barley Water Recipe

Serve: 6

  • 100 g pearl barley
  • 1.5 liter water
  • 3 lemons, peeled (reserve rind), pith discarded and sliced
  • 100g sugar

In a saucepan, combine barley and water and bring to a boil. Let simmer for 30 minutes over low heat, then strain through a sieve into a jug. Add lemon rind and flesh, then cover and chill for at least 8 hours. Strain the liquid into a clean jar, add sugar and stir until fully dissolved. Serve chilled. 

Barley Side Effects

Barley is usually safe for most individuals. However, barley flour may cause asthma. Barley contains gluten and is not suitable for people with celiac disease. Barley may reduce blood sugar and interfere with medications for blood sugar control.

Related Seed Articles:

Oat Health Benefits Quinoa Health Benefits
Wheat Health Benefits Buckwheat Health Benefits

Health Benefits of Seeds

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