If you like juice bars, you’re probably familiar with barley grass. Yes, barley grass is a part of the barley plant Hordeum vulgare. While barley is the grain component of the plant, barley grass is the leaf of the barley plant. The barley plant is considered to be the fourth most important cereal crop in the world and is thought to have played a significant role in human migration from Africa to Asia.
Barley grass is a great source of nutrition. It’s packed full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that can help boost your immune system and facilitate detoxification. Barley grass is also known to relieve constipation, improve digestion and lower cholesterol levels in the body. In this blog, we’ll get into the health benefits of barley so you can add this nutritious plant to your daily regimen.
Barley Grass Health Benefits
Here’s a look at the benefits of taking barley grass:
- Energy: If you’re feeling like your energy is low, look no further than barley grass. It’s a great source of vitamins and minerals that can help you to boost your energy levels naturally. The energy that barley grass provides is mild and natural, so it won’t leave you feeling jittery or irritable.
- Fills Nutrient Gaps: Additionally, the rich source of nutrients contained in barley grass can help to fill in nutrient gaps, which is especially important if you are on the go, feeling run down, travelling, or eating at restaurants frequently.
- Digestive Health: Barley grass is packed with a number of phytonutrients called polyphenols, which can act as a prebiotic in the gut, feeding and promoting healthy populations of your healthy gut flora. Additionally, some studies have shown barley grass to be helpful for treating ulcerative colitis.
- Detoxification: Barley grass is a rich source of chlorophyll, which helps to bind to toxins and release them from the digestive tract. Additionally, barley grass contains high amounts of antioxidants including superoxide dismutase, an enzyme known for its ability to protect liver cells.
- Heart Health: In a human study, barley grass was shown to reduce the oxidation of cholesterol (which contributes to arterial plaques) when combined with vitamin C & E.
Nutrients in Barley Grass
In one scientific review, researchers concluded that barley and its extracts, “are rich in 30 ingredients to combat more than 20 chronic diseases.” The researchers went on to conclude that barley is the ultimate functional food. Here are some of the nutrients contained in barley grass:
- Vitamins and Minerals: It contains more than 20 trace minerals and 15 vitamins, including A, B1, B2, C, and E, iron, selenium, zinc, chromium, and manganese.
- Insoluble Fibre: helps to keep the digestive tract healthy and supports healthy gut flora thanks to its flavonoid content.
- Tryptophan: This essential amino acid is known for its calming properties and is found in good amounts in barley grass.
- Protein: Barley grass has all nine essential amino acids (that our bodies cannot manufacture on their own but must receive from food sources) making it a complete protein.
- Chlorophyll: Besides being high in bioavailable nutrients and enzymes that assist digestion, barley grass is also very high in chlorophyll which helps cleanse toxins from our bloodstream while providing antioxidants that help fight free radicals that damage cells throughout our bodies.
Barley Grass Supplements
Fresh barley grass is difficult to find, but luckily it is easy to find quality barley grass supplements nowadays.
Barley grass supplements are available in a variety of forms. These include powders, capsules and tablets, as well as liquid extracts. You can also find barley grass included in some green powder blends.
If you are looking for barley grass on its own, both barley grass and barley grass juice powder contain similar levels of nutrients. However, the dehydrated barley grass powder’s cellulose content remains intact. Cellulose is a component of plant walls and cannot be digested by humans. Barley grass juice powder does not contain cellulose, making it a more concentrated way to get your barley grass.
It’s worth pointing out that barley grass can usually be taken in greater amounts than recommended on-pack. Avoid taking barley grass if you are allergic to gluten (as barley is a gluten-containing grain), or have issues with blood clotting.
Barley grass is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It helps detoxify the body by removing harmful toxins from your system. The dietary fibre in barley grass helps to promote a healthy digestive system and fill up nutrient gaps in your diet. It also gives you energy when you need it most and can be beneficial if you travel a lot or are feeling run down.
Which Barley Grass Supplement is Best?
Green barley is available at health food stores; however, it’s important to purchase your barley supplement from a reputable brand to ensure potency, purity and efficacy. AIM Barley Life and Barley Life Powder are top-rated green barley supplements that are available in both capsule and powder formats. AIM grows their barley without the use of herbicides, pesticides or fungicides and they also ensure safety and nutrition testing far beyond industry standards.
Barley Life is non-GMO, certified kosher, gluten-free and certified vegan. Talk about a quality supplement! You can also speak with a knowledgeable expert at a trusted health food store for more information on finding supplements to suit your specific needs.
Disclaimer: The information in this article is intended for educational and informational purposes only and should not be considered as a substitute for medical advice. Please consult your practitioner prior to taking herbs or nutritional supplements.