Barley, known as “jau” in hindi a member of the grass family, is a major cereal grain. It was one of the first cultivated grains which is now grown widely. Barley grain is a staple in Tibetan cuisine and was eaten widely by peasants in Medieval Europe. Barley is a wonderfully versatile cereal grain with a rich nutlike flavor and an appealing chewy, pasta-like consistency. Its appearance resembles wheat berries, although it is slightly lighter in color. Sprouted barley is naturally high in maltose, a sugar that serves as the basis for both malt syrup sweetener. When fermented, barley is used as an ingredient in beer and other alcoholic beverages. Some common forms of barley or barley health benefits are as follows.
- Barley Grass: This is basically the seedling of the barley plant that is consumed in the form of young leaves, and is rich in minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and amino acids. It is rich in chlorophyll that detoxifies your body from harmful toxins one of important barley health benefits.
- Hulled Barley: This is the covered barley and is rich in healthy nutrients. It is usually eaten after removing the inedible, fibrous, outer hull. On removing the hull, it is known as dehulled barley, pot barley or scotch barley. When it is cooked, hulled barley takes a longer time to soak but is more nutritious with barley health benefits.
- Pearl Barley: The process of removing the bran and polishing is known as pearling. This is basically dehulled barley and is one of the most common ingredients for breakfast and snack recipes all over the world. After removing the bran, it is processed into various barley products such as flour, flakes, etc., which resemble the oatmeal and grits.
- Barley Flour: It is often used as a substitute for wheat flour and, sometimes, even cake flour, and is obtained by grinding whole barley. Whole barley flour is more nutritious with barley health benefits than pearl barley flour as it contains bran in its original form. It has a mild, nutty flavor with comparatively lower levels of calories and higher levels of fiber.
- Barley Green Powder: It is basically the powdered form of barley grass with added vitamins and minerals and is known for its medicinal barley health benefits. It comes in various flavors and is easily soluble. It can also be consumed as barley juice.
- Barley Water: It is generally prepared with water, barley, and an assortment of freshly squeezed juices. It is beneficial for kidney and bladder ailments due to its therapeutic qualities.
Barley Health benefits
Helps Lose Weight
Barley helps to reduce weight, partially because of several kinds of essential amino acids, and partially because of its fiber content. Barley is low in calories and at the same time it makes a satisfactory meal, helping you feel full longer, so you don’t need to eat as frequently.
Great Source of Niacin
Barley is a great source of niacin (vitamin B) that provides numerous benefits to the cardiovascular system. Niacin can help reduce bad cholesterol, lipoprotein, and free radicals. It also lowers the risk of blood clots.
Inhibits Formation of Gallstones
Barley helps reduce levels of triglycerides. Some may avoid gallstones with an increased intake of Barley. Also, barley is rich in insoluble fiber.
Reduces Risk of Cancer and Heart Disease
Barley is rich in plant lignans which protect against breast and other hormone-dependent cancers as well as heart disease. By reducing free radicals and visceral fat, and stabilizing the blood pressure, barley minimizes our chances for cancer and heart disease.
Helps Develop and Repair Body Tissue
Barley is also rich in phosphorus which aids in cell regeneration. Phosphorus helps in forming bone.
Great for Digestion
Barley grass juice helps digestive juices work harder. It increases your metabolism and makes you feel lighter. It is especially beneficial for people who feel bloated.
Helps to Prevent Osteoporosis
Barley and barley grass contains manganese, phosphorus, and copper, which are good for healthy bones. Barley juice is very high in calcium, making your bones stronger.
Barley is high in vitamin C, which also supports your immune system. Barley makes you feel full and relaxed.
Helps to Cure Anaemia
The iron contained in barley increases the blood volume, which prevents anaemia and fatigue.
Barley and barley grass contains phosphorus and copper which are good for the overall health of bones. Barley juice is much higher in calcium than milk.
Helps to Stabilize Blood Pressure
Regular intake of barley helps in a reduction in blood pressure.
Skin benefits of Barley
Improves Skin Elasticity
Barley is rich in selenium. Selenium preserves skin elasticity. Selenium also improves many functions in your body, which are often reflected by your skin.
Barley is packed with vitamin C, antioxidants, and minerals. All these are excellent for your skin.
The antioxidants in barley help make you look younger. Barley benefits to eliminate toxins from the body, giving you the appearance of younger and healthier skin.
Barley health benefits for hair
Combats Hair Loss
Barley contains iron and copper. It enhances production of red blood cells, and reduces hair loss.
Promotes Hair Growth
Barley is rich in nutrients and minerals such as thiamine, niacin, and Procyanidin B-3. These promote and stimulate hair growth.
Restores Hair Color
The Copper in barley helps create pigment for hair color.
Ways to have Barley in diet
1 tbsp barley (jau)
1 ½ cup water
- Combine the barley and 1½ cups of water in a pressure cooker, mix well and pressure cook for 3 whistles.
- Allow the steam to escape before opening the lid.
- Blend in a mixer till smooth.
- Strain the barley mixture using a strainer.
- Serve lukewarm.
1/2 cup parboiled rice
1/4 cup urad dal (split black lentils)
6 to 8 fenugreek (methi) seeds
1/4 cup barley (jau)
salt to taste
1/4 cup finely chopped mixed vegetables
- Wash and soak the rice, urad dal and fenugreek seeds in lukewarm water for 2 to 3 hours. Drain and keep aside.
- Wash and soak the barley separately in lukewarm water for 2 to 3 hours. Drain and keep 1 tbsp barley aside.
- Drain the rice, urad dal and fenugreek seeds and grind along with the remaining barley in a mixer to a smooth paste.
- Cover and keep aside for 3 to 4 hours to ferment.
- Add the salt and mix gently.
- Apply a little water on the idli moulds and put spoonfuls of the batter into them.
- Sprinkle a little barley and 2 tsp of vegetables over each idli and steam in a steamer for 20 minutes.
- Unmould the idlis when slightly cool and serve immediately and know barley health benefits.