For overall good health, barley is a must to add to your nutritional diet. It is rich in vitamins, minerals, protein and amino acids. However, one of its most shining features is that barley is a super rich source of insoluble and soluble fiber. The former assists the body with healthy waist excretion while the latter gathers together fatty elements so they can be flushed from the body more easily.
Although barley contains practically every kind of fiber, vitamin, mineral and amino acid needed for a healthy diet, the type of barley eaten will determine the best health benefit. Here are some of the most common ways in which barley is consumed.
Hulled Natural Barley – This is the healthiest form of barley. However, you will need to soak it for a long time before cooking.
Pearl Barley – This is what you find packaged in stores. It is hulled barley which has had the bran removed through a steaming process. This steaming makes the barley softer and quicker to cook, but it also removes some of the nutrients.
Barley Grass – The tender shoots of barley are excellent sources of antioxidants, amino acids, minerals and vitamins as well as chlorophyll, which is a powerful detoxifier. Barley grass contains far less dietary fiber than the grain.
Barley Flour – This is a very good bread and cake flour to use. Although natural wheat is just as nutritious, it lacks the insoluble fiber of barley. Also, whole barley flour is a much better choice than pearl barley because it contains the bran which the pearl barley process eliminates.
Barley Water – Those suffering from kidney or bladder problems are greatly benefited by barley water. To prepare, boil barley grains and then strain and pour the hot water over fruit pulp or rinds. Then add fruit juice and sweetener to taste.