Barley grains are known only because it is the main ingredient of beer and other alcoholic beverages such as Whiskey. However, it is not simply a component of them, but also part of several dishes. Know what it is for and how the barley grains are consumed in the following article.
Characteristics of barley grains
It is a sweet-tasting grass, its ears are long and flexible, it is sown in autumn and spring in Western Asia and North-East Africa (places of origin). Along with wheat, corn and rice, it forms a group of “outstanding” cereals around the world. It can be planted in areas of low fertility and at different heights, which is why it is known in several countries, except humid, tropical and semitropical zones. Currently, the largest producers of barley grains are Canada and Russia.
Barley grains are a cereal of great nutritional value, rich in vitamins and minerals. It even beats wheat in some of its properties. The plant belongs to the family of grasses. It usually has a lighter green colour than that of wheat. Its leaves are narrow, light green. Although it can be eaten in some stews, such as the delicious soup of barley grains, this grain is mostly given an industrial use; the crop is mainly oriented to the production of beer. The malt extracted from barley grains is also used in the manufacture of products such as whiskey, syrups, coffee substitutes and some foods. For thousands of years, this cereal was used to make bread, something that wheat now took centre stage.
Those people looking for a healthier diet, for example, choose barley grains, which can be purchased in bags of peeled beans. It serves to prepare stews, soups, pasta, sautéed with vegetables, salad, etc. It is a good option to consume at breakfast with milk, yoghurt or orange juice like any other cereal. In many parts of the world, barley grains g is a substitute for coffee, using the germinated, roasted and then mixed with malt. The most popular use of barley grains is the manufacture of milkshakes (a kind of milkshake, very common in the United States, for example) and the production of musts. In certain countries, pregnant or lactating women are advised to consume barley grains. At the same time, they are the basis for the production of beer, syrup, vinegar, whiskey and gin.
Some curiosities about barley grains bread: the first vestiges of its consumption date back 12 thousand years; it is said that the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves of Jesus was barley grains bread. In addition, Pythagoras and Plato recommended their students to consume it because it was good to help them think, concentrate and understand the teachings. For his part, Galen and Hippocrates advised drinking barley grains water to cure acute diseases of all kinds. In Traditional Chinese medicine, this cereal is used to make liver cures and treat spring allergies.
Nutritional properties of barley grains
It is said that barley grains is the oldest cereal harvested and used by man. It has very good advantages in relation to the rest, with more protein than wheat but less gluten, so that barley grains bread is more compact and less spongy. In some regions, a mixture is made between both bowls of cereal to take advantage of the benefits as a whole. In turn, barley grains is a great source of vitamins of group B, avoiding the rigidity of capillaries, regulating cholesterol, preventing the accumulation of fats in the liver, acting as a cardiac tonic, protecting the nervous system and combating depression and the anxiety. It also offers vitamin K and folic acid. It is also known that barely contains beneficial minerals such as potassium, phosphorus and magnesium, as well as oligo-elements (copper, zinc, sulfur, iron, iodine). It is an ideal food for children who have growth problems.
Barley grains are the cereal that offers more soluble fibre (17% of its composition), this makes it a food that delays the absorption of glucose in the blood and reduces cholesterol. It has very good antioxidants that protect against cancer and free radicals. Some properties of barley grains: digestive, emollient, detoxifying, tonic, restorative, diuretic, anti-inflammatory, mineralizing, antiseptic, laxative, vasoconstrictor and galactagogue. It will digest without problems when it is well cooked. It is useful for physical and intellectual work, stimulates the neurovegetative system and protects the nervous and cardiac systems
- The barley grains has vitamins of group B, folic acid, choline and vitamin K, is good source of potassium, magnesium and phosphorus, but its greatest virtue is the richness in trace elements: iron, sulfur, copper, zinc, manganese, chromium, selenium, iodine, molybdenum Contains lysine (limiting amino acid in wheat).
- Barley grains contain inhibitory substances (tocotrienols) that block the hepatic production of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol. The anti-cholesterol effect of barley grains is enhanced by its soluble fibre content (beta glucans).
- Soluble fibre (beta glucans) protects irritated intestinal mucosa and is responsible for the hypoglycemic effect, in association with its good chromium content.
- In the germ has a substance (hordein) that acts as an intestinal antiseptic, being indicated in enteritis, colitis, diarrhoea, cholera and various infections.
- Contributes to the elimination of constipation. This is due to the good content of soluble fibre, essential for the balance of the intestinal microbiota.
- Favors good colon health. As an aid to good bowel function, it facilitates faecal movement and keeps the stomach clean, which reduces the risks of colon cancer and haemorrhoids.
- Barley grains is an emollient, restorative, digestive, diuretic, detoxifying, tonic, anti-inflammatory, laxative, alkalizing, and antiseptic,
- Ideal food for deficiency states of nutrients and for the growth process.
For your skin
- Selenium is found in barley grains in quantities, which favours the elasticity of the skin and protects it from damage caused by free radicals.
- The proteins it contains guarantee the good state of keratin, which is why its habitual consumption contributes to the growth and strengthening of hair.