As cereal grains go, barley is a winner when it comes to good nutrition. This centuries-old grain is packed with fiber, contains important vitamins and minerals, is low in fat, and, like all plant products, cholesterol-free.
Barley is a great source of dietary fiber and actually contains both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber is effective in lowering blood cholesterol and can reduce the risk of heart disease, and is also beneficial in slowing the absorption of sugar and reducing the risk for developing type 2 diabetes. The insoluble fiber found in barley may be beneficial in helping the body maintain regular bowel function. Insoluble fiber may also help lower the risk for certain cancers such as colon cancer. Like all plant foods, it is naturally cholesterol-free and low in fat. Barley contains several vitamins and minerals including niacin (Vitamin B3), thiamine ( Vitamin B1), selenium, iron, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus and copper. It contains antioxidants, which are also important for maintaining good health. Barley contains phytochemicals, which may decrease the risk for certain diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. A 1/2-cup serving of cooked pearl barley, a typical grain serving, contains less than 1/2 gram of fat and only 100 calories.
Try this great Barley salad recipe at home:
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