For many centuries the mankind has used the barley plant’s seeds and leaves for intellectual nourishment and also as medicines. A great source of Vitamins B complex, vitamin E, and folic acid, barleyis also ground into flour and used for various baking preparation or processed to be used as a cereal. Another known derivative of barley is malt sugar that is made and utilized as natural laxative. Many people know that barley is also used to make beer but it is also a primary grain for food. In Asia, barley seeds have been fermented and added to soybean, rocksalt, and seaweeds to flavor the food.
For medicinal purpose barley is being researched for its capability to help alleviating diabetes mellitus, high levels of cholesterol in the blood and obesity. Some of the studies suggest that barley seed products in the diet might help reducing blood glucose levels in individuals suffering from the sugar disorder. This could be possibly because the fibers in barley seeds that delay stomach emptying and slower down the absorption of carbohydrates from food we eat. Similar to oatmeal, barley seeds have both; soluble and insoluble kinds of fibers that can help lowering cholesterol.
Lots of research show that individuals with barleys in their diet had reduced total cholesterol, low-density lipoproteins (LDL – known as bad cholesterol), or triglyceride levels. In addition, barleys might assist in weight loss since they act as an appetite suppressant making a person feel like having eaten more than what is really consumed. Barley seeds might also serve as shield against intestinal cancer.
As rich source of both; soluble and insoluble fibers, barleys offer additional health benefits and not just cholesterol control. For instance, soluble fiber will help maintaining blood glucose levels that might be beneficial to prevent or manage type II diabetes. Insoluble fibers help promoting regularity and protecting against constipation. Also, as described earlier, eating fiber-rich foods might help increasing satiety or a feeling of stomach fullness.