Table of Contents Hide
- Barley Nutritional Profile
- How Many Nutrients in Barley Food
- How To Serve Nutritious Barley Food
- Diets That May Restrict or Exclude Barley Food
- How To Buying Barley Food
- How To Storing Barley Food
- How To Preparing Barley Food
- What Happens When You Cook Barley Food
- How Other Kinds of Processing Affect Barley Food
- Medical Uses and/or Benefits Of Barley
Barley Nutritional Profile
• Energy value (calories per serving): Moderate
• Protein: Moderate
• Fat: Low
• Saturated fat: Low
• Cholesterol: None
• Carbohydrates: High
• Fiber: High
• Sodium: Low
• Major vitamin contribution: B vitamins, folate
• Major mineral contribution: Iron, potassium
How Many Nutrients in Barley Food
• Barley is a high-carbohydrate food, rich in starch and dietary fiber, particularly pectins and soluble gums, including beta-glucans, the fiber that makes cooked oatmeal sticky. The proteins in barley are incomplete, limited in the essential amino acid lysine.
• Barley is a good source of B vitamin folate. One-half cup of cooked barley has 4.5 grams of dietary fiber and 12.5 mg of folate (3 percent of the RDA for healthy adults).
How To Serve Nutritious Barley Food
• With a calcium-rich food and with food such as legumes or meat, milk, or eggs that supplies the lysine barley is missing.
Diets That May Restrict or Exclude Barley Food
• Gluten-free diet
How To Buying Barley Food
Clean, tightly sealed boxes or plastic bags. Stains indicate that something has spilled on the box and may have seeped through to contaminate the grain inside.
How To Storing Barley Food
• Store barley in air- and moisture-proof containers in a cool, dark, dry cabinet. Well protected, it will keep for several months with no loss of nutrients.
How To Preparing Barley Food
• Pick over the barley and discard any damaged or darkened grains.
What Happens When You Cook Barley Food
• Starch consists of molecules of the complex carbohydrates amylose and amylopectin packed into a starch granule. When you cook barley in water, its starch granules absorb water molecules, swell, and soften.
• When the temperature of the liquid reaches approximately 140°F, the amylose and amylopectin molecules inside the granules relax and unfold, breaking some of their internal bonds (bonds between atoms on the same molecule) and forming new bonds between atoms on different molecules.
• The result is a network that traps and holds water molecules. The starch granules swell and the barley becomes soft and bulky. If you continue to cook the barley, the starch granules will rupture, releasing some of the amylose and amylopectin molecules inside.
• These molecules will attract and immobilize some of the water molecules in the liquid, which is why a little barley added to a soup or stew will make the soup or stew thicker. The B vitamins in barley are water-soluble. You can save them by serving the barley with the liquid in which it was cooked.
How Other Kinds of Processing Affect Barley Food
Pearled barley is barley from which the outer layer has been removed. Milling, the process by which barley is turned into flour, also removes the outer coating (bran) of the grain.
• Since most of the B vitamins and fiber are concentrated in the bran, both pearled and milled barley are lower in nutrients and fiber than whole barley.
After the barley is harvested, the grain may be left to germinate, a natural chemical process during which complex carbohydrates in the grain (starches and beta-glucans) change into sugar. The grain, now called malted barley, is used as the base for several fermented and distilled alcoholic beverages, including beer and whiskey.
Medical Uses and/or Benefits Of Barley
To reduce cholesterol levels.
• The soluble gums and pectins in barley appear to lower the amount of cholesterol circulating in your blood. There are currently two theories to explain how this might work. The first theory is that the pectins form a gel in your stomach that sops up fats and keeps them from being absorbed by your body.
• The second is that bacteria living in your gut may feed on the beta-glucans in the barley to produce short-chain fatty acids that slow the natural production of cholesterol in your liver. Barley is very rich in beta-glucans; some strains have three times as much as oats. It also has tocotrienol, another chemical that mops up cholesterol.
Using weight loss
Barley is very healthy and is considered very good when it comes to weight loss. Barley can help reduce appetite and keep your stomach full for longer. Hence it can help in reducing weight.
Reduces symptoms of arthritis
Barley contains a good amount of copper, which can also be helpful in reducing the symptoms of arthritis. Copper neutralizes free radicals so that it helps in renewing cells. Copper is also essential in the production of cross-linking collagen.
The barley plant contains lignans, which are good for your intestines. Barley boosts your immune system. Additionally, barley is high in vitamin C which boosts immunity. Barley keeps you full, satisfied, and stress-free.
Lower blood sugar level
Barley may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by lowering blood sugar levels and improving insulin release. This is due to the magnesium content present in barley. This mineral plays an important role in insulin production and the use of sugar by the body.
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