Barley: Properties and Benefits

Barley is a cereal known since antiquity and native to Asia; it is an annual herbaceous plant belonging to the grass family, it can reach a height of one meter and compared to other cereals has the characteristic of mature very quickly and endure very well even over long periods of drought. Thanks to these properties, the barley plant can be grown in everywhere. It adapts well to both high and low temperatures, as well as adapts well to the altitude.

In Europe, and especially in Italy, are almost exclusively pearl barley, namely that without cuticle that coats the grain. Unfortunately, while maintaining a tasteful, pearl barley, because of the processing to which it is subjected, lost many important substances and their properties; instead of what does not happen for the whole barley.
Italy is one of the largest producers of this cereal.
Barley: Properties and benefits
The barley is composed of 12% water, 10% protein, 65% carbohydrates, ash, fat and sugar; discrete the presence of minerals among which we mention iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc, calcium, sodium and phosphorus.

On the front of vitamins we find vitamin A, some of the B group (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6) and, in a minimum percentage, vitamin E.
These the amino acids: glutamic acid, aspartic acid, alanine, arginine, glycine, leucine, proline, serine, tryptophan, tyrosine and valine.

Important: barley,  as other cereals, contains  gluten and is therefore not a suitable food for people suffering from celiac disease.


Benefits and Curative Properties of Barley

Barley is probably a too little used  food in our diet even if it is in possession of properties that can bring benefits to our body. Barley is rich in protein, minerals and fiber,  for this reason it is very helpful for people suffering from problems related to the stomach; silicic acid instead strengthens hair and nails.
Some targeted searches revealed the presence of some estrogens that seem to have properties benevolent towards breast cancer, not only.
A research conducted in America by the Ministry of Agriculture has isolated a molecule called tocotrienols which seems to have the property of inhibiting the formation of the "bad" cholesterol in the liver.

As the barley is a very nutritious food it is especially recommended in the elderly and children because it is also a great mineralizing bone and, thanks to its high content of phosphorus, has properties that can bring benefits to the powers of concentration and memory.

Finally barley is a good anti-inflammatory; gargle with its decoction helps in cases of inflammation of the oral cavity.
Barley Curiosity
The only side effect which is found in the case of a discrete consumption of barley is the probability of encountering an annoying intestinal meteorism.

The cooking times of barley are an average high; in the case of cooking in a pressure cooker these are greatly reduced.

In adult men the regular consumption of barley would reduce the risk of myocardial infarction.

There are many derivatives of barley, here are a few: first we mention the beer that is a real drink in which the main ingredient is barley, barley coffee, flour, bread, and various decoctions soups, flaked barley, polenta, and candies.

In ancient times, barley was much used and appreciated by many people for its properties and the facility with which he adapted to the different types of climate and terrain.

This cereal was much used by the Egyptian population that employed it for the preparation of unleavened bread.

Pliny the Elder described how the gladiators were appealed by the name of "hordeani" (from the latin name for barley that was just "hordeum") just for the fact that gladiators used to eat barley in the the form of soup, because it was particularly energetic.
The Three Types of Barley

In the market there are mainly three types of barley: barley hulled or decorticated barley that should be placed in soaking for one night and then must be cooked for about 40/45 minutes.
The whole barley which is instead put to soak for a whole day and must be cooked using the soaking water for an hour and a half.
The pearl barley that does not require soaking and must be cooked for half an hour.
Barley: Properties and benefits
Barley: Properties and benefits
Chemical Composition
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The Barley Calories

Confirming its high nutritional properties 100 grams of barley have 350 calories.
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