Barley grass and grains are healthy plant foods. Including more of them in your diet could improve your health in a number of ways.
The whole grains provide protein, fiber, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. The greens and the dried plant juice provide chlorophyll, calcium, beta-carotene, iron, vitamin C, B1 and B12, as well as many other nutrients.
Bread made from the whole grains has been shown to help regulate blood glucose levels because of the high fiber content. Pearl barley may not provide the same benefits because of the extra processing that removes the bran and reduces the fiber content.
The grass is harvested for juice long before the grains appear. The appearance may be compared to that of sprouts.
When harvested for juicing, the nutritional breakdown is about 45% protein, with the rest being carbohydrates. Although the grains contain fatty acids, there is virtually no fat in the sprouts, making them a good choice for increasing protein intake without increasing fat intake.
The sprouted barley benefits may include:
Those are some of the benefits that have been noted by people who regularly consume the juice, add the powdered form to their own juice or take a capsule. New food products that contain the ingredient are also available. Those include energy bars, protein shakes and whole food bars.
No one eats right all of the time. Everyone overindulges occasionally. One of the things that the green juices and food bars can do is to help protect the cells of your digestive tract from "bad foods".
In at least one study, chlorophyll was shown to protect the digestive tract from the damage done by red meat consumption. Not all of the barley benefits are due to chlorophyll, but many of them are.
The importance of green foods containing chlorophyll in the diet has been scientifically validated. Just one role of chlorophyll is in the formation and breakdown of blood clots.
Clotting is necessary to prevent excessive bleeding. But clots in the bloodstream are bad news. Most things that prevent blood clots are accompanied by the risk of excessive bleeding. That’s not the case with chlorophyll.
Green is not the only important color when it comes to fruits, vegetables and other foods. Colors like blue, red, orange and yellow are caused by various antioxidants. Antioxidants help to prevent cellular aging on a molecular level. Varying your diet helps you get all of the colors and all of the associated antioxidants.
Barley grass is one of the few food sources of a specific enzymatic antioxidant called superoxide dismutase. The antioxidant is more potent than vitamin C. So, add a little of the green-stuff to your diet. You may be surprised by the benefits you see.