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Barley Grass and Its Benefits

Aug 15, 2008
Barley Grass belongs to a family of grasses called cereal grasses. During the first part of the 20th century, the juice of barley grass was discovered to be rich in vitamins and minerals. The light-green leaves of barley plants are usually called barley grass because they are long and narrow like grass. Barley grass has been cultivated as early as 7000 BC, making this food one of the earliest cultivated foods known to man kind. Barley grass is used as a food source in some parts of Asia and it is available for food supplementation as both a juice and a powder that can be added to foods or taken as tablets or capsules.

Barley grass (5 grams) has more protein and fiber than a serving (114 grams) of raw spinach. Barley grass juice contains antioxidants, enzymes, and other phytochemicals that in vitro neutralize free radicals and other unfriendly chemicals, including pesticides and food preservatives. This grass also contains large amounts of beta carotene, folic acid, calcium, and several B vitamins making it a good source of nutrients. Barley juice also contains nutrients such as vitamins C and E, which are much more potent together than when taken separately. Barley grass is high in iron, all essential amino acids, flavonoids, and a number of minerals. Barley grass may sometimes be rich in vitamin K, which interferes with the action of anticoagulants such as Coumadin (the brand name for warfarin, a drug used to treat and prevent blood clots).

Barley Grass is also naturally rich in copper, potassium, manganese, zinc, and may be beneficial for, various conditions including arthritis, asthma, skin problems, obesity, anemia, constipation, impotence, hypertension, diabetes, heart disease and kidney problems. It is often combined with alfalfa, spirulina, or other grain shoots, such as oat grass and wheat grass to make products that are advertised as "total nutrition" or "green" foods. Young barley grass contains concentrated nutrients more so than adult barley grass as well as, live enzymes, protein, vitamins and minerals.

Barley grass is also has very high chlorophyll levels. Chlorophyll has been studied for its potential in stimulating tissue growth and in stimulating red blood cells in connection with oxygen supply. Chlorophyll also removes carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, and has been found to reduce fecal, urinary, and body odor. Chlorophyll and other essential nutrients act synergistically in barley grass to detoxify the body from destructive toxins such as heavy metals and pollutants that we digest every day. Chlorophyll is anti-bacterial and can be used inside and outside the body as a healer. Chlorophyll reportedly inhibits the growth of cancer cells under laboratory conditions, but its value in human health has not been well studied.

Barley Grass contains perhaps the most balanced nutrient profile of all green plants. Many of the vitamins, minerals and enzymes present in Barley grass act as powerful antioxidants protecting our body from free radical damage, enhancing our immune system and improving cardiovascular health by reducing oxidative stress on cholesterol and the body as a whole.

Although barley grass clearly contains vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to the body, the health benefits of these substances have not been subject to in-depth clinical studies. The nutrient concentration in barley grass products varies with the conditions under which the plant is grown. Like other natural supplements, commercial barley grass is not standardized; therefore, different crops contain varying amounts of nutrients.

Although not substantiated, sources have claimed that barley grass is good for the following conditions: skin diseases, hepatitis, asthma, anemia, diabetes, arthritis, and obesity to name a few. There are no known side effects attributed to the consumption of barley grass. Finally, after years of research on over 200 types of plants, including fruits, vegetables, grasses, and herbs, scientists have found that young barley grass is one of the most nutritionally balanced foods in nature. Have you had your barley grass today?
About the Author
More information on barley greens grass is available at VitaNet , LLC Health Food Store. http://vitanetonline.com/
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