Part of a Healthful Diet
Food barley is considered a “super grain” because of its health and nutrition benefits which have been well-documented by scientists and nutritionists. These health benefits include:
Take charge of your heart’s future.
Since 2006, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has determined that soluble fiber from barley, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and total cholesterol levels. Whole grain barley as well as dry milled barley products, such as pearled barley kernels, flakes, grits and flour can make a difference in your heart’s overall health!
Barley contains the most fiber of all grains, with most varieties clocking in around 17% fiber. There are two main types of dietary fiber – soluble and insoluble, and barley is a good source of both.
Barley contains fiber throughout the entire kernel. Processed barley products such as flour, flakes or pearl barley, retain at least 50% of their original fiber content even after the bran or outer layer of the barley kernel is removed. In most grains, fiber is found only in the bran or outer layer of the kernel.
Eating fiber-rich foods helps increase satiety (the feeling of fullness) which is important in maintaining a healthy weight.
Soluble fiber (beta glucan) mixes with liquid and binds to fatty substances to help remove them from the body.
Barley is a complex carbohydrate, which takes longer to break down, providing a longer lasting energy and reducing post-meal “crashes”.
Blood Sugar Management
Barley has the lowest Glycemic Index of all the grains at 28. The carbohydrates in barley are slowly digested, absorbed and metabolized causing a lower and slower rise in blood glucose and insulin levels.
Studies show that soluble fiber (beta-glucan) is effective in slowing the absorption of sugar, which, for people with diabetes, may help decrease the need for insulin. Barley and oats are the only two edible grains that contain significant levels of beta-glucan.
Healthy Cooking & Baking Swaps
Adding barley to your diet is a simple swap in the kitchen. Try these simple swaps to boost the nutrition in your favorite dishes:
Meet the Growers
This site is managed and produced by the Idaho Barley Commission