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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 May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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