Are you a fan of barley? You’re certainly not alone. At the time of writing this article, barley is not only one of the most popular grains for breakfast cereals, but it is also one of the most mass produced grains in the world!
To help you learn a little more about this popular grain, in this article we are going to be taking a closer look at what barley is, what its health benefits are, as well as what might happen if you find yourself consuming too much of it.
So, without further ado, just keep on reading whenever you are ready.
What Is Barley?
Before we get any further, we first think that it would be a pretty good idea to first take a moment to talk you through what barley is, exactly.
To cut a long story short, barley (which is otherwise known as Hordeum vulgare L.) is a type of plant that belongs to the grass family.
It is considered to be one of the “major” cereal grains due to its incredibly versatile texture and nutty flavor that can be incorporated into a variety of breakfast cereals.
Unlike other types of popular cereal grains, barley stands itself apart from the rest due to its chewy texture that is often likened to the consistency of pasta.
Though it happens to resemble wheat (many people often find themselves accidentally confusing the two types of grains together) it is worth keeping in mind that barley is often much lighter in color than wheat and is typically chewier than wheat, too.
To follow on, it is also worth noting that sprouted barley is also usually very high in maltose, which is a type of sugar that is most commonly used in malt syrup and malt syrup sweeteners.
When barley becomes fermented, it can also be used as a primary ingredient in the making of beer and other types of alcohol.
Plus, at the time of writing this guide, barley has also been ranked as the fourth most popular grain produced in the USA, falling to maize, wheat and rice.
So, now that we have covered the basics of barley – we’re sure that you’ll now be keen to learn more about the health benefits of barley.
As well as that, we’re sure that you’ll also be keen to learn about the potential side effects that might occur if you happen to consume too much of it in one sitting. This brings us to our next sections!
What Are The Benefits Of Barley?
So, before we get into some of the main side effects of barley, we’re sure that you;ll be super interested to learn more about what some of the main health benefits of eating barley are. Let’s check them out below:
Boosts immune system: Thanks to how nutritious barley is, it means that it has the ability to help strengthen the immune system in order to reduce the chances of you getting the cold or the flu.
It contains very high levels of iron that will be able to also prevent fatigue while also helping to strengthen your immune system.
Helps to keep skin healthy: Along with being able to boost the immune system, barley also contains very high levels of selenium which will be able to keep the skin soft and supply while also helping to protect it with antioxidants.
Helps to regulate cholesterol levels: Thanks to the fact that barley is full to the brim with fiber, it means that it contains propionic acid that will be able to help encourage lower cholesterol levels throughout the body.
Plus, thanks to the fact that barley is a great source of fibers (both soluble and insoluble) you might also be interested to learn that barley is recommended by doctors thanks to its low fat levels and the fact it contains zero cholesterol contributors.
Heart healthy properties: Last but certainly not least, the final main health benefit that barley offers those that consume it regularly are plenty of heart healthy properties that will help to lower the chances of cardiovascular diseases.
Along with this, barley also helps to reduce high cholesterol and even high blood pressure, which will help to keep your arteries clear and your heart as healthy as it can be.
What Happens If You Consume Too Much Barley?
Just like with any other type of food, there is a chance that it could barely cause a range of different side effects that you should be aware of.
Generally, the majority of people will likely find that they are able to consume barley without any problems.
However, due to the fact that it barely consumes gluten, it means that it is not suitable for those that suffer from celiac disease and other similar conditions.
As well as this, barley might also trigger an allergic reaction to those who have grain sensitivities, so if you feel that barley might trigger a reaction, you should speak to your doctor prior to eating any.
To follow on, if too much barley is consumed, it might also lead to bloating, flatulence and tummy pains due to the high levels of gluten.
That being said, if you suffer from a sensitive stomach or you do not typically tend to eat a lot of barley in your regular diet, then you should be mindful of not eating it in too high quantities in order to avoid these potential health issues.
Along with this, it should also be noted that barley sprouts are generally considered to be unsafe to eat, especially during pregnancy.
So, if you are currently pregnant and thinking about incorporating more barley into your diet for all of the amazing health benefits, then we recommend that you speak with your doctor prior to eating barley to make sure that it is going to be suitable for you and your baby.
In addition to all of the above, it is also important to keep in mind that barley (in any quantity) might not be suitable for those that suffer from diabetes.
This is because high consumption of barley might have the ability to lower blood sugar levels, and this might interfere with the body’s ability to be able to regulate and control its blood sugar levels.
There we have it! You’ve made it to the end of the article.
Now that you have taken the time to read through all of the above, we hope that we have been able to provide you with a much better understanding of what barley is – including its benefits and potential side effects if you eat too much of it.
Just to sum up, barley is highly versatile and offers many health benefits when eaten alongside a healthy diet.
That being said, if you eat too much barely, it can lead to a variety of different side effects including flatulence, tummy pains and can also lead to a reaction in those who suffer from celiac disease and other similar conditions.