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What is Barley Grass?
Barley grass refers to the young soft green shoots which grow to be a barley plant. It is amongst the earliest grown sweet grasses in the world and traces its history even before 5000 BC. The discoverer of barley grass pronounces it as ‘nature’s best fast food’ attributing to its nutrient-dense profile and multidimensional benefits which were also the reasons for its popularity amongst the ancient Greeks and Romans. Apart from being used as livestock feed, recently barley grass has been gaining a lot of popularity around the globe for its ability to cure a broad spectrum of diseases.
Health benefits of barley grass include relief from ulcerative colitis, prevention and treatment of cancer, and strengthening of the immune system. It cleanses and detoxifies the body, protects from radiation and cellular damage, fights addiction, and regenerates damaged cells and tissues. It also maintains healthy skin and an appropriate acid-alkali balance, contributes to bone metabolism, promotes agility, and exerts rejuvenating effects on the entire body.
Barley is a nutrient-rich superfood loaded with vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B6, folate, vitamin C (ascorbic acid), vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) and vitamin K (phylloquinone). It contains an abundance of electrolytes such as magnesium, phosphorous, and potassium along with other essential minerals such as zinc, iron, and calcium. Barley grass is also a rich provider of powerful antioxidants, essential amino acids, and beneficial enzymes. It also supplies valuable fiber to the body and does not offer any harmful cholesterol.
Barley grass has impressive antioxidants. Along with vitamin E and beta-carotene, barley grass is the most potent supplier of healthy and critical enzyme superoxide dismutase which helps neutralize the effects of oxygen free radicals produced during energy metabolism. The protective action of these radical scavengers prevents the development of a wide array of diseases caused by oxidative stress.
Relieves Ulcerative Colitis
Barley grass is valuable in treating ulcerative colitis attributing to its stimulating effect on the gut-friendly bacteria. It helps in alleviating inflammation and other associated symptoms implicated in ulcerative colitis by reducing the provocative chemicals in the bowel. Barley grass also assists in balancing the fluidity in the bowel eliminating accumulated toxins from the body.
The cleansing ability of barley grass is effective in eliminating the harmful heavy metals from the body, including lead, which may cause behavior and learning disorders, particularly in kids. The major contributors to the act of detoxification are zinc, selenium, and copper. Furthermore, an abundance of chlorophyll and beta-carotene in barley grass stimulates the eradication of waste materials such as mucus and crystallized acids. It also supports the metabolic processes and aids in strengthening and detoxifying the liver.
Boosts Immune System
Barley grass supports in boosting the immune defense mechanism of the body. Regular consumption of barley grass provides the required nutrition which is necessary for balancing the optimal production of immune cells in the body. An effective and strong immune defense system vigilantly fights infections and prevents the development of fatal diseases.
Barley grass is effective against cancer owing to the power of superoxide dismutase enzyme. It has preventive as well as curative reactions against the cancer cells, which also attribute to the presence of other remedial components such as peroxidase protein and catalase enzyme. Catalase enzymes present in barley grass have the ability to decompose and neutralize the effects of toxic hydrogen peroxide, produced during respiration, and also help suppress the proliferation of cancer cells.
Protects against UV Radiation
Another beneficial effect of barley grass is its protective action against the cell destructing effects of UV radiation. It extends a therapeutic relief on the existing damaged cell owing to the presence of superoxide dismutase enzymes. Regular consumption of barley grass juice aids in reducing the stress in the people who are more prone to exposure such as population in urban cities.
It also acts defensively against the effects of radioactivity and even renews the cells and tissues damaged by radioactivity. This attributes to the presence of chlorophyll content which improves the resistance to radioactivity and also encourages the production of new blood cells. For this reason, it is generally recommended to drink barley grass juice pre and post-exposure to x-rays to provide a shield against the radioactive damages.
Barley grass is also a remedy for fighting various kinds of addictions. The presence of glutamic acid in it inhibits the craving for harmful materials such as alcohol, coffee, nicotine, drugs, and even sugary sweets.
Reduces Excess Acidity
Barley grass beneficially contributes to establishing the acid-alkali balance of the body attributing to its super alkaline nature. It is a natural alkaline source which helps in reducing excess acidity in the body which may cause acidosis damage. Imbalance of acid-alkali ratio in the body may lead to problems like sleeping disorders, cardiac pain, fatigue, constipation, and fragile fingernails.
Prevents Signs of Aging
Barley grass is a natural way to stimulate the regeneration of cells without any side effects. Vital components such as chlorophyll, vitamin B, iron, and phycocyanin, a blue pigment in barley grass, improve the bone marrow and support the creation of white and red blood cells. This renewing effect of barley grass also helps prevent the signs of aging by rejuvenating the aging cells and helping to maintain a healthy and youthful skin. The useful enzymes present in barley grass improve the quality of blood, regulate digestion, and work as a rejuvenator tonic for the entire body.
Barley grass is used worldwide in soups and stews and for making barley bread. Barley is also used in the manufacturing of malted products such as malted milk, wine, and beer.
Although barley grass is generally safe, some people may react sensitively to the barley grain with symptoms including vomiting, itching, and burning sensation in the throat and mouth. Such people should avoid the use of barley grass or discuss with a medical expert to better understand the reactivity.
People suffering from celiac disease, which is characterized by the sensitivity towards gluten, should generally avoid the usage of barley products as it may contain gluten protein. Celiac disease interferes with the absorption of vital nutrients in the body and may result in serious complications related to the brain, liver, and the nervous system.
Natural caution before trying barley grass for the first time is always advisable particularly when the sensitivity is not known. During special conditions such as pregnancy and lactation, it is recommended to consult an expert to understand the appropriate dosage and effects of barley grass to avoid any complications.
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