Barley grass is becoming increasingly popular among health-conscious people. Like wheatgrass, barley grass is a superfood that anyone can grow themselves and that is full of healthy minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. The young, bright green cereal leaves can be enjoyed as powder, capsules or as barley grass juice - if you do not like the taste, you simply mix the food supplement into your cereal or smoothie. What ingredients in barley grass and what effect barley grass has on health, you can find out here.
Healthy vital substance combination
Barley grass is considered very healthy. In particular, the balanced combination of the contained vitamins, minerals, trace elements, enzymes, antioxidants and phytochemicals makes barley grass so popular. In addition, the grass has a high bioavailability - the ingredients are so easily absorbed by the body.
Originally, the popularity of barley grass on a several decades old investigation of the Japanese scientist Dr. Yoshihide Hagiwara back. In comparison with over 150 other green plants, the young grain was the front-runner: seven times as much vitamin C as oranges, eleven times as much calcium as milk and four times as much vitamin B1 as wholegrain wheat flour, barley grass contains, according to the study of the scientist.
Since then barley grass has gradually conquered the market of dietary supplements.
Barley grass - full of vitamins and minerals
That barley grass is full of valuable ingredients, is undisputed. The grass contains almost all of the essential vitamins, including Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin D2, Vitamin E, vitamin K, which is important for blood clotting, and various B group vitamins - including vitamin B12 and folic acid.
The exact composition of the ingredients of barley grass powder may vary slightly depending on the manufacturer. The amount of minerals per 100 grams of powder can look like this:
- 3.4 milligrams of zinc
- 18 milligrams of sodium
- 37 milligrams of iron
- 179 milligrams of magnesium
- 437 milligrams of phosphorus
- 832 milligrams of calcium
Added to this are potassium, and copper, as well as selenium and manganese, which are needed for cell protection and cartilage building.
Other ingredients of barley grass
In addition to its content of vitamins and minerals barley grass also scores with bitter substances, chlorophyll, enzymes and all essential amino acids. In addition, barley grass is rich in fiber, which has a positive effect on digestion.
The nutritional value of barley grass powder may vary depending on the manufacturer. On 100 grams usually only 2 grams of fat - but 26 grams of carbohydrates and at least 304 kilocalories (kcal). With a share of about 28 percent, the green powder also contains plenty of vegetable protein, which makes it particularly attractive for vegetarians and vegans.
However, one should not forget that barley grass has a high density of healthy nutrients compared to other foods, but is also consumed in significantly lower quantities.
Rich in antioxidants
Barley grass contains many different antioxidants, including the flavonoids saponarin and lutonarine, and the isoflavonoid isovitexin. Antioxidants boost the immune system and are considered an important remedy against the harmful effects of oxidative stress and free radicals. They not only have anti-inflammatory, but also cell-preserving. They can slow down the aging process and protect the body from cardiovascular disease and cancers.
Another substance contained in barley grass with antioxidant effect is the phytochemical Proanthocyanidin. This is intended to protect the fiber proteins and thus help to maintain the elasticity of the skin and connective tissue and to tighten the skin.
Effect studied in various studies
Because of its different ingredients barley grass is attributed a healing effect in numerous complaints and illnesses. Some of the effects of barley grass have already been studied, with larger studies usually still pending.
Among other things, the following effects of barley grass were found in research:
- Barley grass can lower the level of harmful LDL cholesterol in the blood. A high cholesterol level can promote arteriosclerosis and, as a consequence, a heart attack or stroke. In a study by the China Medical College in Taiwan, the cholesterol values improved by taking barley grass extract after only four weeks.
- Barley grass is also expected to produce positive effects in diabetes: In another study published in the International Journal of Green Pharmacy in 2010, daily intake of barley grass powder in diabetics not only lowered cholesterol levels but also blood sugar levels.
- The substance lunasin contained in barley grass seems to have a cancer-inhibiting effect. In particular, the development of skin cancer and breast cancer could be prevented with the help of lunasin in laboratory tests of Korean researchers. Clinical trials are still pending.
- In a study by the scientist Osamu Kanauchi sprouted barley alleviated the symptoms of the chronic inflammatory bowel disease ulcerative colitis and helped to improve the intestinal flora. In general, the anti-inflammatory effect of barley grass may have a positive effect on intestinal problems, such as candidiasis. In addition, the grass can help to regulate the water balance in the intestine and thus reduce the incidence of diarrhea.
Many effects on health are suspected
Although only isolated aspects of the effect of barley grass have been studied so far, the fresh leaves alone are considered to have a high health value due to their ingredients.
For athletes, for example, grass is popular for supporting muscle growth because of its high content of plant proteins. Also, chlorophyll, the green plant dye, is considered very healthy, because it supports blood formation and wound healing and can have a positive effect on the intestine.
In addition, the young cereal should:
- thanks to its potassium content, it has a stabilizing effect on blood pressure
- as a basic food to the acid-base balance to be beneficial and help against hyperacidity and purify the body
- be helpful in allergies and skin problems like eczema and acne
- thanks to a specific enzyme and various amino acids stimulate the fat metabolism, dampen the feeling of hunger and thus support weight loss
- Relaxing, soothing and mood-enhancing. Therefore, barley grass is recommended for people with stress or sleep disorders. Children who suffer from ADD should even help to concentrate better.
- have a positive effect on the hair and contribute to combating hair loss, dandruff and premature graying. Because these problems can be the result of nutrient deficiency - here barley grass is supposed to help by promoting melanin production and supporting hair growth.
However, these effects of barley grass have not yet been scientifically proven.
Side effects of barley grass
Barley grass is considered to be well tolerated and free of side effects. Nevertheless, there are reports about digestive problems, especially diarrhea, nausea or vomiting. Therefore, it may be advisable to start with a low dosage and carefully test the tolerance of barley grass.
Also possible is an allergic reaction to barley grass, which is noticeable by tingling, swelling or burning in the mouth. Anyone who suffers from intolerance to gluten should be cautious, depending on their own tolerance limits: Although barley grass is gluten-free, traces of gluten may be present depending on the manufacturer.