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29 Benefits Of Barley You Probably Never Knew

29 Benefits Of Barley You Probably Never Knew

Barley is a simple grain which most of us have in our pantries, yet very few of us know its many health and beauty benefits. Barley is relatively low in calories, high in fiber, and packed with vitamins and nutrients. Hulled barley is especially beneficial, due to its bran content.

Here are 29 amazing health and beauty benefits of barley:

Health Benefits

1. Great for Breakfast

Barley is nutrient rich and makes a satisfactory meal. It is packed with fiber and essential minerals such as: selenium, copper, tryptophan, and manganeseIt gives you energy and keeps you feeling satisfied for a good part of the day. The manganese in barley helps you to feel happy and energetic; it also calms your nervous system.

Harvard researchers studied the effects of consuming a grain breakfast on a daily basis. This study found, over a period of 19 years, that men who enjoyed a daily morning bowl of whole grain cereal had a 29% lower risk of heart failure. Not bad for a simple grain!

2. Helps You Lose Weight

Barley helps to reduce weight, partially because of several kinds of essential amino acids, and partially because of its fiber content. Barley modulates your blood sugar levels, thus avoiding the sugar peaks and drops usually associated with the fat storage process.

Barley, compared to other grains, 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.

3. Helps to Stabilize Blood Pressure

A five week long study compared different grain combinations; it showed that adults who increased their intake of barley experienced a reduction in blood pressure.

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4. 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.

5. Reduces Symptoms of Arthritis

Barley has Copper, which may also be helpful in reducing the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Copper disarms free radicals, thus helping cell regeneration. Copper is essential in cross-linking collagen and elastin, making bones and joints flexible.

6. Helps Develop and Repair Body Tissue

Barley is also rich in phosphorus which aids in cell regeneration. Phosphorus helps in forming bone. It is an essential building block of the genetic code and plays an important role in healthy cell membranes and our nervous system.

7. Great Source of Niacin

Barley is a great source of niacin (vitamin B) that provides numerous benefits to our cardiovascular system. Niacin can help reduce bad cholesterol, lipoprotein (a), and free radicals. It also lowers the risk of blood clots.

8.  Reduces Visceral Fat

A Japanese study followed 44 men with high cholesterol and found that adding barley to their diet significantly reduced serum cholesterol and visceral fat, known contributors to cardiovascular risk.

9. Lowers Bad Cholesterol

The propionic acid produced from barley’s insoluble fiber may also be partly responsible for its cholesterol-lowering properties. It lowers the activity of HMG-CoA reductase enzyme and helps lower blood cholesterol levels.

10. 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. There is a hypothesis that insoluble fibre reduces the secretion of bile acid which contributes to gallstone formation.

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11. Indispensable for Woman

 UK researchers looked at how fiber intake affects pre-menopausal women. They found that a diet rich in fiber from whole grains, such as barley, offered up to a 50% reduction in breast cancer.

 Yet another study looked at postmenopausal women and showed a reduction in risk of 34% for breast cancer in women who consumed whole grains, such as barley.

12. Barley Grass Juice is 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.

13. Improves Immunity

 Barley is rich in plant lignans, which are good for friendly flora in your intestines. In turn, barley supports your immunity.

Additionally, barley is high in vitamin C, which also supports your immune system. Barley makes you feel full, satisfied, and relaxed.

14. 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.

15. Promotes Optimal Health

Fiber in barley minimizes the amount of time food stays in your colon. In addition, it is a good source of selenium, which has been shown to reduce the risk of colon cancer. Selenium is an essential component for thyroid health. It is also an antioxidant defense and an immune builder. Selenium has also been shown to repair damaged cells in the body.

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16. Helps to Cure Anemia

The iron contained in barley increases the blood volume, which prevents anemia and fatigue.

17. Slows Arteriosclerosis

Barley slows atherosclerosis, which is the plaque build-up that narrows blood vessels.  It is a good source of vitamin B (niacin). Niacin may help prevent free radicals, while reducing bad cholesterol and blood clots.

18. Supports the Kidney

Barley facilitates proper kidney function.

19. Healthy Bones

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.

20. Healthy Teeth

Barley is rich in phosphorus, calcium, and Vitamin C. These are great contributors to healthy bones and teeth. Barley juice especially, is high in calcium. It also contains manganese, phosphorus, and copper which are good for your bones and teeth.

Beauty Benefits of Barley:

21. Contributes to Healthy Skin

Barley is packed with vitamin C, antioxidants, and minerals. All these are excellent for your skin. It has been proven to reduce inflammation in the body. You know the expression: healthy body, healthy skin.

22. Has Healing Properties

Barley is rich in zinc, which promotes healing.

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23. 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.

24. Creates Pleasant Skin Tone

Barley tightens skin and eliminates toxins, making your skin silky and pleasantly toned.

25.  Has Anti Aging Properties

The antioxidants in barley help make you look younger. Barley helps to eliminate toxins from the body, giving you the appearance of younger and healthier skin.

26. Healthy Hair

Nutritional deficiencies are often reflected in your hair. Barley contains vital minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants needed for the production of healthy hair.

27. Promotes Hair Growth

Barley is rich in nutrients and minerals such as thiamin, niacin, and Procyanidin B-3. These promote and stimulate hair growth.

28. Combats Hair Loss

 Barley contains iron and copper. It enhances production of red blood cells, and reduces hair loss.

29. Restores Hair Color

The Copper in barley helps create pigment for hair color.

Bringing Benefits of Barley to Your Table

You can increase your barley consumption in more than one way:

  • Make a tasty breakfast porridge
  • Use barley flour for baking
  • Add barley to your soups, stews, and salads
  • Use barley malt as a sweetener
  • Choose barley pasta
  • Add barley powder to your smoothie
  • Try barley grass juice

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Last Updated on January 14, 2019

7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone

7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone

From Atkins to Paleo to eating gluten-free despite not being one of the rare few people afflicted with celiac disease, fad diets are everywhere. It drives me crazy because I believe these diets do more harm than good. Your body is made up of a variety of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals, and losing weight healthily isn’t possible when you fill your body with unnecessary synthetic plastics, sugars, and powders. There’s no easy button in life.

What you need to do is exercise, which isn’t very appealing to many people. Workouts take work, so there’s already a stigma involved in going to the gym. Starting a healthy workout regimen becomes easier when you make it fun. If you want to live long and prosper, get off the couch and try these methods to turn your workout into a playout.

1. Take the scenic route.

Walking is an easy way to transition to a healthy lifestyle, and it’s free. Not only do you burn calories (check out this calculator for how many calories you burn based on your weight), but you see the world in a different way. Hiking in nature is great if you have access to it, but don’t let living in an urban area deter you from walking.

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Whenever I’m creatively stuck I get my head straight by walking a couple of miles. It’s also how I discover new paths, meet new people, and stumble upon hole-in-the-wall spots I never would have found otherwise. You could drive past the same place every day and never appreciate the beauty, nor even notice it’s there.

2. Distract yourself.

No matter what exercise routine you choose, use the time to meditate. You may wonder how marathon runners are able to put so many miles on their bodies. It’s because the pain from running that you avoid is something they’ve learned to harness to enter a transcendental state. If you’re aware of the benefits of meditation and exercise but don’t have time to do both, you can combine them, killing two birds with one healthy stone.

3. Listen to music or podcasts.

There are few experiences in life more pleasurable than turning up the music and drowning out the world around you. With so many podcasts and music apps available on your smartphone, you can easily find entertainment options perfectly suited to your personal tastes. Never worry what people may think of you when working out;instead, crank up the volume and get lost in your own world. You’ll be in shape before you know it.

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4. Bring a friend.

Some people can’t go anywhere alone. While I highly recommend dining out and seeing a movie in a theater alone, having company while exercising is very helpful. It allows you to pace yourself with someone else, and gives you a coach to motivate and push harder than you may have on your own.

Many exercises are safer when done with a friend, and some sports can only be played with another person. Involving others in your goals can mean the difference between success and failure. Just remember to continue exercising if the other person flakes, or they’ll be in control of your health.

5. Accessorize.

There are accessories that can make exercise easier, and sometimes buying a new toy can add some much-needed fun to your routine. With apps like RunKeeper and Nike+, your smartphone is capable of tracking your vitals and progress. Wrist weights can add a new dimension to your workout, and, if you exercise at night, a headlamp can help you see what’s in front of you so you don’t trip.

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For urban runners and power-walkers, one of the biggest obstacles is other people. It’s difficult to get in your meditative zone and enjoy your music when you constantly have to dodge people. To resolve this vexing issue, Runbell, a startup in Tokyo, has developed the runner’s version of the bicycle bell. With this lightweight brass bell warning people you’re approaching from behind, you’re free to maintain your transcendental state while continuing your workout. Head to their Kickstarter campaign to pledge your support.

6. Compete.

A little healthy competition can motivate you to push yourself further in your workout regimen. There are apps like Zombies, Run! which turns your run into a video game, and MyFitnessPal which allows you to connect with others in the exercise community. Whether you’re directly competing with a friend, an online community, or against your previous self, setting goals is the key to reaching them. Running with no destination can feel like an impossible task, and it’s easy to get distracted.

7. Relax.

The best part about exercising is how much you enjoy the downtime. If you think laying on your couch all day is enjoyable, it has nothing on that hour you spend as a couch potato after a rigorous workout. Jay-Z said it best, “in order to experience joy, you need pain.” The harder you push yourself while exercising, the better you’ll feel when you’re relaxing.

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With that said, don’t relax too much, or it loses the effect. It’s okay to indulge every so often. Treat yourself to some junk food you’re craving, imbibe a drink here and there, and spend a day vegging out on your couch. Staying healthy doesn’t have to be torture. Just turn down when you can and dedicate some time to better the health of your body. You only get one.

Featured photo credit: tpsdave via pixabay.com

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