Lots of people know barley as a grain used as an ingredient in beer and some breads. But well before a barley plant makes it to the grain phase it's a grass that health-minded folks use in drinks or smoothies. Barley grass is so loaded with healthy nutrients that it's referred to as a supergreen.
Barley Grass Health Benefits
Barley grain is a very healthy plant, but it's when it's at the early grass stage when this plant holds an astonishing number of nutrients. The barley grass is abundant in the B vitamins, as well as vitamins A, C, and E. It also is packed with zinc, magnesium, potassium, copper, and antioxidants, and amino acids. So it's hardly surprising that barley grass brings several health benefits.
Barley Grass Supports the Immune System
Your immune system is your body's protection system to overcome infections, bacteria, and other nasty invaders. This green grass is rich in vitamin C — it has multiple times the amount of this vitamin than oranges. Vitamin C as we all are aware is crucial to good immune system wellness. This young grass also has copper, zinc, and selenium, compounds crucial for blood cell production and the removal of accumulated toxins.
Improves Digestive Health
Barley grass has a high HCl, or organic sodium, content. HCl is a principal component in the stomach's manufacturing of the food-digesting chemical substance hydrochloric acid (HCl). Insufficient HCl triggers a rise in toxins and results in indigestible food material.
Because it's a green plant, barley grass comes with a rather substantial chlorophyll content. Chlorophyll is a general cleaner that combats the bad consequences of consuming refined foods. Barley grass is a good quality source of fiber that will help enhance gut health by providing food to the helpful bacteria that naturally inhabits your gut. This aids in food digestion and keeps your intestines healthy.
Saponarin is a remarkably potent antioxidant. It is found only within barley grass. Antioxidants combat the negative side effects of cell-harming free radicals — the volatile molecules caused by processed foods, toxins, and alcohol that affect the cell DNA.
Free radical excess can contribute to the causes of aging, including cognitive decline. Along with saponarin, SOD (short for superoxide dismutase) — the compound that provides a good defense from UV radiation — is a fundamental free radical fighter that is crucial to decelerating the aging process.
Osteoporosis is a bone condition that lessens the development of bone growth, which results in a decrease in bone thickness and strength. Barley grass includes phosphorus and copper, which are both essential for good bone growth. Even more importantly, this grass is quite high in bone-building calcium. In fact, this green grass includes in excess of seven times the amount of calcium as present in milk!
Shields From UV Radiation
UV, or ultraviolet, radiation is the harmful radiation given off from the sun. Though just a little UV radiation is beneficial to people, an excessive amount of exposure prematurely ages skin and can cause liver spots, dry skin, and wrinkles. UV radiation is also a source of the skin cancer called melanoma. This green grass is a solid source of the just-discussed SOD — the important antioxidant having qualities that protect cells from the harmful consequences of UV radiation.
Using Barley Grass Nutritional Supplements
Barley grass does not provide an especially delectable supper dish — what grass will do that? So people who are nutritionally-minded usually experience it in the form of a supplement. A supplement is a much easier way to consume the grass, and it's a more efficient way to get its benefits as a supplement is an extract that has a higher concentration of nutrients than the whole plant itself.
People purchase barley grass nutritional supplements as capsules, tablets, or powder. Getting barley grass powder is often the recommended way to take the supplement because it's very easy to measure out the exact dose you prefer. The powder can easily be mixed in water, but for a superior drink, it's preferred to blend the powder in a juice or flavored drink of your choice.
The amount of barley grass you use per dose is up to you. A typical dose of a two grams (MATCHING-MG-VALUE mg) is common, however some people take as little as half a gram (500 mg) (MATCHING-MG-VALUE mg) up to 6 grams (MATCHING-MG-VALUE mg) or more. Side effects of barley grass are practically unknown (it is only a variety of grass, after all), so there really should not be a worry of consuming too high a dose. As is true with any nutritional supplement that will be new to your body, it does seem smart to start off with a low dose and work your way up to an increased level over a number of days.
Lately, all the health rage has been about going gluten-free. Gluten is a protein that's present in most grains, including wheat, rye, and barley. But while the barley grain contains gluten, the grass form doesn't. The gluten forms only after the plant has transitioned from the grass stage to the grain stage. So if you're concerned about gluten, fear not — barley grass is free of any gluten!