Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Health Benefits of Barley

Of late I have been trying to approach a healthy diet : The kind of diet which does not involve starving or eating food that does not satisfy your pallet.
My solution came in the form of whole grains:
Substituting Brown rice for white rice,Buying multi-grain or whole wheat pasta, roti etc...
When I read the list of whole grains and benefits, I was amazed.

Health Benefits of Barley:
Barley is a good source of vitamins, minerals and fiber and selenium, and a good source of phosphorus, copper and manganese.

Intake of barley can be beneficial for our overall health. In particular it is known to help alleviate diabetes, high cholesterol, and obesity. Some evidence suggests that barley seed products in the diet may improve blood sugar levels in individuals with diabetes, possibly because the fiber in barley seeds delays stomach emptying and slows down the absorption of carbohydrates from foods.
Additionally, barley may assist in weight loss because it acts as an appetite suppressant making people feel like they have eaten more than they really have. Barley seeds may also protect against colon cancer.

To increase intake of barley, try the following:
  • Mix with rice to make dosa batter
  • Mix barley flour with wheat flour to make breads and roti
  • Add barley to stews and soups or other dishes such as risotto to enhance texture
  • Use cracked barley or barley flakes to make hot cereal
  • Toss chilled cooked hulled barley into salads.
Buying Barley:
When I looked for barley in the supermarket I found hulled barley and pearled barley.

In hulled barley the kernels are minimally processed to remove only the tough inedible outer hull. Most of the bran and endosperm is left intact and the germ is present, making it a whole grain.
pearled barley undergoes more processing, some insoluble fiber, trace minerals and micro nutrients may be lost. Hence it is not considered as a wholegrain.


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