Barley grass is the sprouted grain of the common barley plant. As a cereal grass, it belongs to the family of grains called cereals, which includes wheat, maize (corn), and rice.
While many different types of cereals are commonly used in food products, barley is considered to be one of the best sources of nutrition due to its high content of protein, dietary fiber, along with vitamins and minerals.
What Nutrients Does Barley Grass Contain?
It has recently become extremely popular as a health supplement because it contains significant amounts of Vitamin A needed for proper eyesight and bone development, Vitamin B1 (thiamin) for metabolism and cellular energy production, Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) for cardiovascular function, and red blood cell synthesis, and Folic Acid (vitamin B9) for DNA replication.
Because barley grass is grown in nutrient-rich soil, it naturally contains large amounts of numerous other nutrients, including the essential minerals magnesium, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, copper, and zinc. It also has a high content of phytonutrients such as carotenoids (provitamin A), flavonoids, and phenolic acids.
Barley grass also contains high amounts of antioxidant compounds such as vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, catechins (a type of polyphenol ), lutein (carotenoid), zeaxanthin (also a carotenoid), beta-carotene, and cryptoxanthin (another carotenoid).
What Can Organic Barley Grass Do For You?
Cancer Prevention: Barley grass is rich in antioxidants that fight harmful free radicals, which can cause damage to cells and are linked to cancer.
Heart Health: The magnesium found in barley provides relaxation to blood vessels, which improves cardiovascular functions. Regular intake of magnesium-rich foods helps reduce the risk of high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, heart attacks, and strokes.
Digestion: High fiber content promotes healthy digestion and bowel movement by speeding up the digestive process and relieving constipation. Fibers also bind toxins for elimination from the body before they can be absorbed into the bloodstream. It is also believed to help inflammation related to ulcerative colitis, Crohn's Disease, and IBS.
Skin/Hair Care: The vitamin A content in barley grass can help improve skin health by promoting cell growth while moisturizing the skin. It also helps fight acne and other blemishes caused by hormonal imbalance. Vitamin A is important for healthy hair development, while zinc deficiency has been associated with slow hair growth.
Diabetes Management: Barley grass is a low glycemic index food containing negligible amounts of sugar, which makes it perfect for people with diabetes or looking to control their cravings.