Grain of the Week: Barley

Barley

Barley offers many of the same healthy vitamins and minerals as other whole grains, but many think its special health benefits stem from the high levels of soluble “beta-glucan” fiber found in this grain. “Beta-glucans” reduce cholesterol, help control blood sugar, and improve immune system function. New research even indicates that “beta-glucans” may be radio-protective: they may help our bodies stand up better to chemotherapy, radiation therapy and nuclear emergencies.

 

Some of Barley’s benefits include:

  • Barley, like all whole grains, reduces blood pressure.
  • Eating barley has been shown to lower LDL “bad” cholesterol and may help reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Recent research indicates that barley’s ability to control blood sugar may be exceptional, offering an important tool against rising rates of diabetes.
  • Barley has more protein than corn, brown rice, millet, sorghum or rye, and is higher in fiber and lower in soluble (starch) carbohydrates than almost all other whole grains.
  • Barley may help you feel full longer, and thereby help you control your weight.
  • Barley – even pearl barley – may help reduce visceral fat and waist circumference.

 

Barley, you may be surprised to find that it’s endlessly versatile. You can cook it as a side dish, such as a barley pilaf; you can bake barley bread; you can enjoy barley porridge for breakfast; and you can even use barley flour to bake your favorite cookies. While true whole grain barley can take 50-60 minutes to cook, it’s easy to cook a big batch then refrigerate it or freeze it until needed. Or cook it in soups, and enjoy comforting aromas simmering on the stove while you do something else.

 

Nutrition Information: 1 cup cooked Pearled Barley:  Calories 193, Fat 1g, Carbohydrates 44g, Fiber 6g, Protein 4g.

 

Connect With Us

see the latest from Fleet Feet Rochester