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Green barley – superfood and natural health source for athletes

Green barley (often referred to as “young barley“) is a plant known to mankind for a relatively long time. Our ancestors have already recognized the importance of green barley even without modern technology. Today, it’s about exploring and discovering new uses. Therefore, there are always studies that confirm its positive effects on our body. It is not for nothing that green barley is one of the superfoods.

Green barley - superfood and natural health source for athletes

In general, barley is considered the first crop that man grew about 7000 years before Christ. Green barley has been added to the diet already in “biblical times” by nations living in Asia and the Middle East. [1]

What is the difference between barley and green barley?

Green barley is often regarded as a specific variety of barley, but it is not like that. These are young barley leaves that are cut ten days after germination. Only then they offer the best nutritional value. [2]

How is barley (an adult plant) different from green barley? Adult barley is the fourth most common crop in the world. It is especially popular in Asia where it is one of the three hundred components of traditional Chinese medicine.

Barley is a plant that is very resistant to cold and frost. It can grow at a height of up to 4000 m above sea level. Therefore, it is no wonder that it has become very popular on the Tibetan Plateau. In our latitudes it is mainly known in the brewing industry. [2]

Green barley - superfood and natural health source for athletes

Look at the differences between green barley and adult barley in terms of the amount of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. The nutritional values are given in the table. [18] [19]

Green barley (dried)% per 100 g Barley (adult plant)% per 100 g
Carbohydrates 57,9 73,48
Proteins 27,3 12,48
Fats 4,57 2,30

Green barley and its composition

What does green barley actually contain? The better question would be what is contained in young leaves and stems of the green Barley. This plant is classified as superfoods Their uniqueness lies in the amount of body-beneficial substances such as: [1] [3] [4] [20]:

  • Vitamins – B1, B2, B6, B12, C, E, beta-carotene, pantothenic acid, folic acid
  • Minerals – calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, phosphorus
  • 18 amino acids (including all essential amino acids)
  • Superoxide dismutase (SOD) – a very useful enzyme and antioxidant
  • Catalase – an important enzyme
  • Chlorophyll – a green dye that aids the skin and haematopoiesis

The individual composition of vitamins and minerals in green Barley can be found in the following table. [18] [19]

Green barley (dried) mg / 100 g

Barley (adult plant) mg/100 g

Vitamin A (mg / 100 g)

20,5

0,174

Vitamin B1

0,61

0,646

Vitamin B2

1,56

0,285

Vitamin B6

1,12

0,318

Vitamin B12

1,16

0,00

Vitamin C

251,6

0,00

Vitamin E

15,0

0,57

Calcium

479,4

33,00

Iron

23,3

3,60

Magnesium

183,2

133,00

Potassium

3384

452,00

Zinc

3,43

2,77


Green barley and its benefits

1. It has strong antioxidant effects

Antioxidants are molecules that help stop or slow down oxidation. As already mentioned, green barley contains superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase.

Green barley - superfood and natural health source for athletes

SOD can split off free radicals. It causes oxidation in our cells and damages them, leading to diseases and cell aging. SOD splits free radicals into hydrogen peroxide and molecular oxygen. As a result, catalase ensures the cleavage of the equally damaging to the organism hydrogen peroxide in oxygen and water. Regardless of age, physical activity or health, taking antioxidants is very beneficial to the body. It helps to prevent illness and aging. [5] [6] [7]

2. It strengthens the immune system

The uptake of the body’s own active ingredients ensures “nutritional harmony” and thus enables adequate production of immune cells. Group B vitamins, vitamin C, zinc and many other ingredients create an environment in our body that is resistant to various types of infections. [5]

Green barley - superfood and natural health source for athletes

3. It provides the energy supply

For increased physical activity, such as strenuous training sessions, the addition of B vitamins is very important. The use of green barley can provide vitamins B1, B2, B5, B6, B9 and B12. But why do we need them?

  • B1 (thiamine) – metabolizes sugars, fats, proteins and branched-chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, valine), which you surely know as BCAA.
  • B2 (riboflavin) – like B1 also helps in the digestion of sugars, fats and proteins, but most of all converts carbohydrates into ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which generates and stores energy.
  • B5 (pantothenic acid) – This acid not only breaks down sugars, fats and proteins, but also lowers cholesterol and keeps our digestive tract in order.
  • B6 (pyridoxine) – its key role is the metabolism of amino acids and the breakdown of glycogen, the “energy store” in our body.
  • B9 (folic acid) – is important for the growth and synthesis of new cells, eg. red blood cells. In addition, it is involved in the repair of damaged cells and muscle tissue.
  • B12 – synthesizes our DNA and is also needed for the production of red blood cells. [5] [8] [9]

Green barley - superfood and natural health source for athletes

4. It supports weight loss

As mentioned earlier, green barley is a good dietary supplement on the way to the desired weight. Why is it so?

First and foremost, it is thanks to the vitamins of group B that literally boost your metabolism and help you to effectively improve the levels of fats and sugars in your body. It is also supported by minerals like calcium, iron and magnesium. Why?

  • Calcium – is a key element of bone health. However, it is also required to maintain blood sugar levels. [10]
  • Iron – is needed in our body in several processes. It is involved in the metabolism and production of hormones, but mainly in the transmission of oxygen to and from the muscles. [10]
  • Magnesium – is present in many biochemical processes. Our body needs it to regulate blood sugar and maintain blood pressure. It also affects the function of muscles and nerves and is helpful in protein synthesis. [11]
Green barley - superfood and natural health source for athletes

5. It fights against the aging of organism

Green barley contains substances that can reliably slow down the aging of our body and affect hormones. Our organism would work very hard without it. Hormones are involved in many processes and literally control changes in various stages of human life. Thus, it is essential for a full-valued life to have hormones in balance.

For all the ingredients in green Barley, there are at least a few to point out, that affect the function of hormones. The hormone balance is influenced, for example, by dietary fibre, which can regulate the hormone insulin. It is definitely important that men have testosterone in balance. In this case, zinc and magnesium minerals can be helpful. [12] [13]

Not only changes in hormone activity make our body age. The ravages of time are most visible on the skin. Antioxidants are certainly among the most important skin protection products against skin aging. Their ability to protect the body from free radicals is very important to the skin system. Beta-carotene, chlorophyll and vitamin E, which have an anti-inflammatory effect, also benefit the skin. Chlorophyll protects the body from photoaging and thus premature skin aging due to frequent sun exposure. [14] [20]

Green barley - superfood and natural health source for athletes

By taking appropriate substances, bones worn by aging can be strengthened and nutrients can be broken down. Green barley is also an advantage in this regard. The most important effect on the bones are, of course, calcium and magnesium, the deficiency of which may increase the risk of osteoporosis. Last but not least, potassium, which is responsible for strong bones, is also very helpful. [16] [17]

Usage of green barley

Green barley is most commonly found in the form of powders and tablets. Thanks to chlorophyll, it has a distinctly green colour. The taste of green Barley can be compared to the taste of grass. As a natural source of vitamins, minerals and other substances, it is suitable for both children and adults.

The benefit of green barley is its ease of use and dosage. The recommended daily dose of water-soluble powder is 6 g, but not more than 9 g. [21]

Green barley - superfood and natural health source for athletes

Green barley and celiac disease patients

Green barley is cut on the tenth day of germination before the plant reaches barley grain. This means that the plant has no grains and therefore does not contain gluten. Green barley is therefore a gluten-free product. [2] [22]

However, always check the product label that states the gluten content before you buy. Our green barley contains no traces of gluten and is also suitable for celiac disease patients.

Green barley is a plant that both professional athletes and people with an active lifestyle benefit from. Every day, our body is deprived of the amount of nutrients it needs to replenish in order to function properly. Green barley is therefore an excellent way to consume minerals, vitamins and other important ingredients in one.

Whether you are doing sports or just for leisure, we believe you have received enough information about green barley in this article. Would you like your friends let know about this green wonder? Feel free to support the article by sharing.

Sources:

[1] Barley Grass – https://www.drugs.com/npc/barley-grass.html

[2] Yawen Zeng, Xiaoying Pu, Jiazhen Yang, Juan Du, Xiaomeng Yang, Xia Li, Ling Li, Yan Zhou, Tao Yang – Preventive and Therapeutic Role of Functional Ingredients of Barley Grass for Chronic Diseases in Human Beings – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5904770/#B11

[3] Ivana Paulíčková, Jaroslava Ehrenbergerová, Vlasta Fiedlerová, Dana Gabrovská, Pavla Havlová, Marie Holasová, Jiří Kopáček, Jarmila Ouhrabková, Jitka Pinkrová, Jana Rysová, Kateřina Vaculová and Renata Winterová – Evaluation of Barley Grass as a Potential Source of Some Nutritional Substances – https://www.agriculturejournals.cz/publicFiles/00089.pdf

[4] Craig Sommers – Barley Grass Juice, Superior Nutrition at your Fingertips- https://sunwarrior.com/blogs/health-hub/barley-grass-juice-superior-nutrition-at-your-fingertips

[5] Hina Firdous – Benefits Of Barley Grass And Its Side Effects – https://www.lybrate.com/topic/benefits-of-barley-grass-and-its-side-effects

[6] H. Younus – Therapeutic potentials of superoxide dismutase – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5969776/

[7] J. Ehrenbergerová, N. Březinová Belcredi, J. Kopáček, L. Melišová, P. Hrstková, S. Macuchová, K. Vaculová, I. Paulíčková – Antioxidant Enzymes in Barley Green Biomass – https://www.researchgate.net/publication/24429610_Antioxidant_Enzymes_in_Barley_Green_Biomass#pf6

[8] Christian Nordqvist – Benefits and sources of vitamin B2 – https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/219561.php

[9] Christian Nordqvist – Vitamin B5: Everything you need to know – https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/219601.php

[10] Cathleen Crichton-Stuart – Vitamins and minerals that boost metabolism – https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322644.php

[11] Magnesium – Fact Sheet for Health Professionals – https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/

[12] Jon Johnson – How can I balance my hormones? – https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324031.php

[13] Jayne Leonard – Best foods for increasing low testosterone – https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323759.php

[14] Jon Johnson – What are some skin-friendly foods? – https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322986.php

[15] Megan Ware – Everything you need to know about potassium – https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/287212.php

[16] Ana Sandoiu – Magnesium may prevent bone fractures – https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/316922.php

[17] Melinda Dennis – Do wheat grass and barley grass contain gluten? – https://nationalceliac.org/celiac-disease-questions/do-wheat-grass-and-barley-grass-contain-gluten/

[18] Yawen Zeng, Xiaoying Pu, Jiazhen Yang, Juan Du, Xiaomeng Yang, Xia Li, Ling Li, Yan Zhou, Tao Yang – Preventive and Therapeutic Role of Functional Ingredients of Barley Grass for Chronic Diseases in Human Beings – Tabuľka č.1 – https://www.hindawi.com/journals/omcl/2018/3232080/tab1/

[19] Barley, hulled – Nutrition Facts – https://www.nutritionvalue.org/Barley%2C_hulled_nutritional_value.html

[20] Jennifer Berry – What are the benefits of chlorophyll? – https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322361.php

[21] Mentor Jhuls – Recommended Dosage of Barley – https://santebarleyreview.com/news/recommended-dosage-of-barley/

[22] Aiza Qamar, Farhan Saeed, Muhammad Tahir Nadeem, Abdullah Ijaz Hussain, Muhammad Asif Khan, Bushra Niaz – Probing the storage stability and sensorial characteristics of wheat and barley grasses juice – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6392868/#fsn3841-bib-0016