Barley is a cereal grain derived from the annual grass Hordeum vulgare. Barley is one of the largely cultivated grains in the world. It has a nutty flavor, a texture similar to pasta and is the most nutritious cereal grain. Barley can be used as a replacement for rice and it tastes great when served with a curry or stir fry. Barley is a very important ingredient in the preparation of soups during cold winter days. In order to make the digestive system run effortlessly, a diet rich in fiber is crucial. A slothful digestive system is one of the main reasons for colon cancer and so maintaining a clean bowel is crucial to good health. A customary intake of barley has also been found to help the body create chemicals known as ‘short-chain fatty acids’. The 2 short-chain fatty acids namely ‘propionic acid and acetic acid’ are used as fuel by the cells that make up the liver and You do not have access to view this node. In a 2007 worldwide ranking of cereal crops, barley was fourth both in terms of quantity produced (136 million tons) and in area of cultivation (566,000 km²).
Barley belongs to the grass family. There are 14 chromosomes in barley and it pollinates on its own. The untamed precursor of cultivated barley, Hordeum vulgare, is copious in grasslands and woodlands all over the Fertile Crescent, a region in Western Asia and grows copiously in orchards and streetsides . Barring this area, uncultivated barley is rarely found. Uncultivated barley has fragile panicles or spikes and once they are matured, these panicles aid the process of scattering of seeds. The visible difference with cultivated barley are its unshattered spikes which ease the harvesting of the mature ears of barley. Based on the traditional classifications of barley, the two-rowed barley with crushing spikes falls in the group of Hordeum spontaneum and six-rowed barley with crushing spikes falls into the group of Hordeum agriocrithon. Generally, two-row barley contains lesser protein level than six-row barley and hence more sugar levels too. Hulless or "bare" barley is a kind of cultivated barley in which the hull can be removed without much trouble.
The origin of Barley dates back to Ethiopia and Southeast Asia, where it has been cultivated for more than 10,000 years. Prehistoric civilizations used barley as a food for humans and animals, in addition to prepare alcoholic beverages. Barley water has been used for a range of therapeutic purposes in prehistoric days. Barley played a key role in early Greek culture as a staple bread-making grain and as a vital food for athletes, who credited much of their strength to their diets rich in barley. Roman athletes also used the tradition of honoring barley for the strength that it gave them. Barley was also privileged in ancient China as a symbol of male virility. Currently, the largest commercial manufacturers of barley are Canada, the United States, the Russian Federation, Germany, France and Spain.
Barley can be found in the shops in a range of various forms:
There are plenty of health benefits of barley. They are listed below:
Protects Colon and lowers cholesterol: A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition recommends that the fiber content in barley has numerous beneficial effects on cholesterol. The propionic acid produced from barley's insoluble fiber may also be partly responsible for the cholesterol-lowering properties. Recent studies showed that a diet high in beta-glucan from barley helps lower blood LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol). Barley's dietary fiber also provides food for the "good" bacteria in the large intestine. When these helpful bacteria ferment barley's insoluble fiber, they produce a short-chain fatty acid called butyric acid, which serves as the primary fuel for the cells of the large intestine and helps maintain a healthy colon.
FDA certified a reduction in risk of coronary heart diseases with beta-glucan soluble fiber from oat products, in 1997. In December 2005, the FDA extended its approval to barley also. In order to meet the criteria for this health claim, a food product must contain at least 0.75 grams of barley beta-glucan soluble fiber per serving. People can expect to see whole barley and dry milled barley products such as flakes, grits, flour, meal, and barley meal comprising the health declaration.