The health benefits of Barley are such that it helps in keeping the intestine healthy, protects against Gallstones, prevents osteoporosis, boosts immune system, provides skin care, controls cholesterol levels, manages diabetes, prevents Asthma, prevents Cancer, protects heart health, reduces symptoms of arthritis, cures impotency
Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), a member of the grass family, is a major cereal grain grown in temperate climates globally. It is a wonderfully versatile cereal grain with a rich nutlike flavor and an appealing chewy, pasta-like consistency. Its appearance resembles wheat berries, although it is slightly lighter in color. Sprouted barley is naturally high in maltose, a sugar that serves as the basis for both malt syrup sweeteners. When fermented, barley is used as an ingredient in beer and other alcoholic beverages. Barley has been ranked fourth among grains in quantity produced (144 million tonnes) after maize, rice and wheat.
About one cup of cooked barley, which is about equivalent to 1/3 cup uncooked and it provides 217 Calories, about 1 gram of fat, 10 grams of fibre, 7 grams of protein, 45 grams of carbohydrates, 1 mg of manganese (60%), 23 mg of selenium (42%), 0.3 mg of copper (34%), 0.4 mg of vitamin B1 (33%), 162 mg of phosphorus (23%), 80 mg of magnesium (20%) and 8 mg of vitamin B3 (18%).
Barley, being an excellent source of fibre, keeps the body toxin-free. Its grass, which is rich in dietary fibre, acts as a fuel source to the friendly bacteria in our large intestine. These bacteria help in fermenting the fibre content of the barley, thereby forming butyric acid, which is the primary fuel for intestinal cells. It is greatly effective in maintaining a healthy colon. By keeping the intestine in proper health, it helps to decrease the movement time of faeces and keeps the stomach clean. It greatly reduces the chances of colon cancer and haemorrhoids as well.
Barley effectively helps women to avoid the development of gallstones. Since it is rich in insoluble fibre, it actually helps to reduce bile acid secretion, thereby increasing insulin sensitivity and lowering the levels of triglycerides. An article in the American Journal of Gastroenterology says that women consuming a fibrous diet have a 17% lower risk of gallstones as compared to other women.
The phosphorus and copper content in barley grass guarantees an overall health of bones. It is a natural remedy for those who have Osteoporosis. Its juice is known to have 11 times greater calcium content than milk. Calcium is one of the key components in protecting bone health. Manganese is needed for normal bone production, as well as in cases of iron deficiency anaemia. The manganese content found in barley works in association with B-complex vitamins, thereby keeping the overall health intact.
Being highly nutritious, barley is particularly helpful as it strengthens body’s immune system and reduces the chances of cold and flu. Iron improves the blood volume and prevents anaemia and fatigue. It aids in proper kidney functioning and the development of body cells. Furthermore, it contains copper, which forms haemoglobin and red blood cells.
Barley is a good source of selenium, which helps to preserve skin elasticity, thereby protecting it against free radical damage and loosening. Moreover, it also improves heart, pancreas, and immune system functioning. A deficiency of selenium can lead to cancers of the skin, colon, prostate, liver, stomach, and breast.
Barley’s insoluble fibre yields propionic acid that helps in keeping the blood cholesterol levels low. It, being an excellent source of both soluble and insoluble fibres, is also specifically recommended by doctors for its naturally low-fat content and zero cholesterol properties.
Barley effectively helps to control Type 2 diabetes. However, this type of diabetes can be prevented by losing weight, getting involved in a vigorous physical activity, and including abundant whole grains in the diet. Therefore, high fibre foods should be included in the daily diet of such diabetic patients. Barley grain has all the essential vitamins and minerals, particularly beta-glucan soluble fibre that slows down glucose absorption. Researches has proved that insulin-resistant men who consumed barley beta-glucan soluble fibre had significantly reduced glucose and insulin levels as compared to other test subjects.
14.5 kDa is a barley endosperm protein and a major allergen in baker’s asthma disease. This is an airborne occupational ailment, mostly prevalent in confectioneries and bakeries. It proves to be a very effective preventive measure for such kinds of major wheat-flour allergens.
Barley contains certain types of phytonutrients known as plant lignans, which are transformed by friendly flora in our intestines into mammalian lignans. One of these new lignans is called enterolactone, which helps to prevent breast and other hormonal cancers.
Atherosclerosis is a condition when the artery walls thicken due to the coagulation or deposition of fatty materials like cholesterol. Barley contains niacin (a vitamin B complex) that reduces the overall cholesterol and lipoprotein levels and minimizes cardiovascular risk factors. Postmenopausal women having high blood pressure, high cholesterol or cardiovascular diseases are specifically recommended to have it at least 6 times a week.
Researches claims that consuming a high-fiber diet decreases inflammation. Some whole grains like barley containing soluble fibre, helps the body to absorb nutrients better and reduce any pain related to swelling and inflammation of the joints or arthritis.
Barley is known to contain arginine and nitric oxide, both of which are responsible for penile erection and can treat penile dysfunction. Arginine is also known to increase sperm and egg cell production. Including barley grains in diet on a regular basis can stimulate sexual performance in both men and women.
Barley has been used as animal fodder, as a source of fermentable material for beer and certain distilled beverages, and as a component of various health foods. It is used in soups and stews, and in barley bread of various cultures. Barley grains are commonly made into malt in a traditional and ancient method of preparation.
Barley is likely safe for most people when taken by mouth appropriately. Barley flour can sometimes cause asthma.
Barley sprouts are possibly unsafe and should not be eaten in high amounts during pregnancy. There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking barley for mothers who are breast-feeding and to stay on the safe side and avoiding its use is the best.
The gluten in barley can make celiac disease worse and so the use of barley should be avoided.
Consumption of barley might cause an allergic reaction in people who are hypersensitive to other cereal grains.
Barley might lower the blood sugar levels to a large extent. Hence the diabetes medications might need to be adjusted by the healthcare provider.
Since barley might lower blood sugar levels, there is a concern that it might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. So using of barley should be stopped at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Barley originated in Ethiopia and Southeast Asia, where it has been cultivated for more than 10,000 years. Barley was used by ancient civilizations as a food for humans and animals, as well as to make alcoholic beverages; the first known recipe for barley wine dates back to 2800 BC in Babylonia. In addition, since ancient times, barley water has been used for various medicinal purposes. Barley played an important role in ancient Greek culture as a staple bread-making grain as well as an important food for athletes, who attributed much of their strength to their barley-containing training diets. Roman athletes continued this tradition of honouring barley for the strength that it gave them. Gladiators were known as hordearii, which means 'eaters of barley'. Barley was also honoured in ancient China as a symbol of male virility since the heads of barley are heavy and contain numerous seeds.
Since wheat was very expensive and not widely available in the Middle Ages, many Europeans at that time made bread from a combination of barley and rye. In the 16th century, the Spanish introduced barley to South America, while the English and Dutch settlers of the 17th century brought it with them to the United States.
Today, the largest commercial producers of barley are Canada, the United States, the Russian Federation, Germany, France and Spain.
Did you know barley water is good for kidney stones?
Barley (jau), a member of grass family, is a cereal that has been cultivated for over 13, 000 years. Packed with carbohydrates (78%), fat (1%), protein (10%) and water (10%), barley is a rich source of essential nutrients, dietary fiber, vitamins such as niacin, manganese, phosphorus and vitamin B6.
With several health benefits to its name, barley water is termed as the elixir to good health. It has been found to be beneficial in reducing chances of heart disease, soothing bowels, reducing blood cholesterol levels, improving blood sugar regulation in the body and acts as nutritive broth for fever, cold and cough. Additionally, studies support that barley water has also been found to play an integral role in maintaining renal health.
What is a renal stone?
A renal stone is a solid stony piece consisting of crystal forming substances in the urinary tract. They are usually formed when the urine is abundant in substances such as calcium, oxalate and uric acid and lack substances that inhibit their accumulation. While small kidney stones can pass through the urinary system without any symptoms, a stone larger than 5 mm can result in blockages in the urinary tract causing severe pain in the back and lower abdomen.
What causes renal stones?
- A family history for stones, lack of adequate water in the body, high BMI, excessive intake of diets rich in protein, sodium and sugar have been found to be some of the common causes for stone formation.
How does barley water aid the dissolution of renal stones?
Studies show that regular use of barley water can dissolve and eliminate existing kidney stones and prevent the occurrence of stones and other kidney problems. Use of diuretics either natural or synthetic can help speed up the expulsion of the stone.
Diuretic in nature, barley water helps to flush toxins from the kidneys by creating bladder pressure and increasing the frequency of urination.
- It helps maintain the PH levels in the body, making it alkaline, preventing various urinary tract issues, including kidney stones.
- The vitamin B6 and magnesium in barley helps break down the masses of toxic calcium oxalate (primary cause for stones) in the kidney.
Dietary fiber in barley reduces the amount of calcium that is excreted by the body through urine, restoring renal health and cleansing the kidneys.
Ways to prepare barley water:
- Boil 1 litre of water with a tablespoon of barley pearls and boil on a low flame for about 30 minutes or until the water has reduced to half.
- Strain and cool this mix and drink it through the day.
- Add lemon juice or honey to make the mix tasty
Regular use of barley water ensures that the renal system is hydrated, healthy and free of depositions such as renal stones. So, go ahead and add this elixir to your diet to ensure a healthy renal system and a healthier you. Eat healthy, stay healthy!
One of the healthiest grains on earth; oats are gluten-free and an excellent source of minerals, fibers, vitamins and antioxidants. They are incredibly nutritious and one of the most preferred breakfast options. Owing to its healthy, super filling and nutritious properties, oats are on the top of any healthy diet chart.
Apart from being one of the best sources of soluble fibers, oats are also known to help in lowering cholesterol levels, reducing glucose absorption, relieving constipation, and decreasing the risk of childhood asthma. Read on to know about the benefits of eating oats for breakfast in detail:
A nutritious and balanced breakfast option – Oats have well-balanced nutrients composition. They are an excellent source of proteins and contain very little fat as compared to other grains. They provide all the necessary nutrients, without added calories, to keep you going throughout the day.
Contain soluble and insoluble fibers – Oats are packed with a large quantity of soluble fiber called beta-glucan, which helps control cholesterol levels and stabilizes glucose levels in the blood. Fibers also give you a feeling of fullness and increase the growth of good bacteria in the gut. Oats also contain insoluble fiber that improves the intestinal health and fights constipation.
Contain vitamins and minerals – Oats are also loaded with manganese, copper, iron, folate, vitamin B1 and B5, making an ideal option to start your day with. Eating 1 cup of oatmeal provides ample amount of vitamin B complex to help your body convert food into energy. Iron content in the same serving helps meet 25 percent of a man’s and 11 percent of a woman’s daily requirement.
Help lower cholesterol – One of the leading causes of death globally is heart disease for which the major risk factor is high cholesterol. Oats contain a beta-glucan fiber that is known to effectively reduces LDL cholesterol levels as well as total cholesterol levels. The antioxidants in oats also help in preventing LDL oxidation in the blood.
Help in relieving constipation – With changes in eating habits, constipation has become very common in people of all age groups. As per studies, consuming oat bran daily can significantly improve the gut health and relieve constipation. Especially for elderly patients, oat bran can be a nice alternative to laxatives (due to its side-effects).
Help in managing weight – We all know that eating a filling breakfast in the morning can reduce the urge to eat throughout the day, hence, help in weight loss. This makes oatmeal an excellent breakfast option as it is not only delicious but also keeps you full for longer. Beta-glucan in oats increases the production of a satiety hormone called peptide YY (PPY), which leads to reduced calorie intake, thus helping in managing weight and reducing the risk of obesity.
Reduce the risk of childhood asthma – Asthma is an inflammatory disorder of the airways. Symptoms may differ in every child; some may experience shortness of breath or wheezing, while other children may have a recurrent cough. According to various studies, introducing your child to solid food at an early age can increase the risk of developing asthma. Well, this does not apply to all foods, as introducing oats to an infant can actually lower the risk of developing childhood asthma.
Although oats don't contain gluten, in rare cases, they are grown in the same grounds as wheat or barley, and these crops can sometimes contaminate oats with gluten. Therefore, it is advised to pick oats that are certified as gluten-free.
Having gone through all the health benefits of oats, it is proved that oats not only make a nutritious meal for you but your child as well. Go ahead, shake hands with oats and make them your perfect breakfast friend!
Gastritis / acidity part -2
Simple ways to manage gastritis / acidity
Gastritis/ acidity is usually mild and can be cured easily by following better food habits and regular healthy lifestyle. However, sometime gastritis can cause pain in the upper part of the abdomen and may lead to stomach ulcers. Few over-the-counter (otc) antacid medicines and a set of do's and don'ts can relieve gastritis. Some of the lifestyle and dietary changes are as follows:
Lifestyle / dietary changes:
Excess spicy food and use of painkillers, alcohol, cigarettes and acidic beverages lead to symptoms of gastritis. To get rid of symptoms of gastritis, one should follow these simple remedies.
Small meals: eat food in smaller quantity and switch to several small meals.
Avoid painkillers: painkillers lead to ulcers in your stomach and cause bleeding. So, avoid unnecessary use of painkillers.
Yoga and physical exercise: kapalabhati, bhastrika and anulomaviloma yoga increases movement of body and organs, helpful in the treatment of gastritis.
Foods to be taken:
A healthy meal plan with low unhealthy fat, salt, and added sugar helps in relieving gastritis. Eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fat-free or low-fat dairy foods. Lean meats, poultry (chicken and turkey), fish, beans, eggs, and nuts are also advised to gastritis patients.
Fruits: fruits contain vitamins, minerals, fibers and antioxidants should be the part of the diet plan.
Rice gruel: rice gruel helps in the formation of watery gastric juice and reduces the acidity level within the stomach. Only rice that has been aged for one year must be used. Wheat and barley are beneficial.
Vegetables: garlic and onion limit the growth of bacteria. Carrot juice, spinach juice, pumpkin, bitter gourd (kaakarakaya), cucumber (dosakaya), and green banana are effective. Broccoli is effective against h. Pylori bacteria in the stomach lining.
Dairy products: the calcium and vitamin d in milk reduce the stomach acids and gives relief to the stomach but, it should be with low content fat.
Grains: whole wheat chapattis, pasta, noodles made from whole grains should be included in the diet. Refined flour (maida) products should be strictly avoided. Limit the consumption of whole grain chapattis to about 2 chapattis, per day.
Green coconut water: drink green coconut water, as it provides the stomach with the necessary rest, vitamins, and minerals which provide an excellent and easy remedy for gastritis.
Foods to be avoided:
Several foods produce a large amount of acid in your stomach leading to gastritis. You should avoid intake of such foodstuffs in your diet:
|ECZEMA OR DERMATITIS [ECZEMA]|
It is a chronic inflammatory condition of the skin causing a distinctive pattern of symptoms such as itching, scaling, thickening of skin and discoloration of skin.
• Can be associated with asthma.
• Allergic – dust mites, detergents, rubber, nickel plated jewellery.
• Stress – physical or emotional.
• In babies diaper rash or napkin eczema is possible.
|SIGN AND SYMPTOMS:|
|• Intense itching.
• Dry thickened skin usually on wrists, face, knees, and elbows.
• Small eruptions and blisters that may ooze fluid.
• Occasional redness and scaling.
• Dry leathery skin areas.
• Skin is abnormally dark or light in color than the normal skin.
• Raw areas of the skin from scratching.
|• Do not scratch especially with long nails. It may lead to secondary infection.
• Avoid foods you are allergic to.
• Avoid nickel plated jewellery, cosmetics, and other articles that give you skin complaints.
• Do not self medicate.
|• You can apply non-medicated ointments like petroleum jelly to soothe the irritation.
• Yoga will help to relax and de-stress yourself.
• When washing or bathing, use less soap than usual. After bathing, apply lubricating cream on the skin while it is damp.
• Avoid eggs, fish, peanuts and soy.
• Avoid dairy products, sugar, white flour, fried foods and processed foods.
• Avoid the excess fat from meat – buy lean and preferably organic.
• Avoid sugar, gluten (wheat, barley, rye and oats) and raw eggs.
• Avoid soft drinks and oranges (if allergic to oranges).
|• Drink plenty of water.
• Consume lots of fresh and raw fruits and vegetables.
• Eat healthy diet, including five portions of vegetables per day, brown rice, millet, oily fish and a little fruit (no oranges).
• Consume diet rich in vitamin A and zinc, helps in regeneration of the skin.
• Diet rich in vitamin A:
– Liver oils of fish, egg, milk and milk products,
– Yellow orange colored fruits and vegetables; green leafy vegetables are good source of - carotene.
• Foods rich in zinc:
– Shellfish, beef and other red meats, eggs and seafood, nuts, sea plants especially Japanese sea plants.
• Increase intake of vitamin C, it helps maintain healthy skin:
– Milk and milk products, citrus fruits, green vegetables
– Fruits and vegetables when fresh have maximum of vitamin C.
• Have coriander leaves frequently, its high in vitamin C and helps to maintain healthy skin.
• You can have 3-4 strands of saffron in milk, it is beneficial for skin.
• Basil leaves (tulsi) are said to be helpful in skin ailments, eat 3-4 fresh leaves daily.
• Breast feed your child; breast milk increases the immunity of your child and helps preventing eczema in future.
|• In case of prolonged duration or change in rash pattern take physicians opinion immediately.
• If symptoms get worse or if you see any Signs of infection (fever, redness of the affected area, pain) occur, see your physician immediately.
Acidity is related to Heartburn and Gas formation in stomach. In acidity, acid reflux or Gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD), or more commonly known as 'Urdhvag Amalpitta' in ayurveda, there is a movement of gastric juices ( acid in nature) from the stomach into the lower part of esophagus. Ayurveda considers it to be caused by the aggravation of Pitta dosha. When Kapha is associated with this aggravated Pitta, the Acid starts climbing the oesophagus. This is exactly the hyperacidity for most of us and is translated widely as- Heartburn, Acid Reflux, Acid Brash etc.
What to eat and how much to eat is an important factor in controlling acidity. The following tips should be followed: