Barley or Hordeum vulgare L. in Latin, is a green grass family plant. The use of barley in human’s diet reportedly dates back since ages ago. Ancient civilization in Asian and Middle Easter has been using barley for food and beverage. Its grain are widely used as cereal, bread, and cakes. But there is another part of barley that has nutritional values. It is the leaves. Young barley leaves is also known as barley grass.
Barley grass has great nutritional values, especially when harvested young. Young barley leaves are used to make a drink in Japan, called “Aojiru”. The leaves are dried and made into powder so it can be used for a prolonged period. These days, young barley leaves are sold as supplements in the form of powder or pills.
Health Benefits of Young Barley Leaves
As I mentioned earlier, young barley leaves are the material of a popular drink in Japan. A study held by a Japanese researcher found out that young barley leaves can promote human’s overall health. Other studies also showed that young barley leaves can be used to prevent and treat chronic diseases. Here are 11 health benefits of young barley leaves that you should know:
1. To regulate bodily fluid balace
Young barley leaves contain potassium. Potassium has many benefits for our body. The main function of potassium is to regulate our body fluid balance which in turn will keep our blood pressure in its normal level. In the long run, potassium can reduce the risk stroke and the formation of kidney stone.
2. To maintain bone health
Young barley leaves contain calcium. Calcium plays a significant role in growing and maintaining the bones. By consuming woung barley leaves will reduce the risk of osteoporosis in the long run.
3. To prevent inflamation
Young barley leaves contain magnesium. Sufficient intake of magnesium can control blood pressure and reduce the risk osteoporosis. Magnesium is also known to prevent inflamation. By preventing inflamation is also means that magnessium can prevent diabetes and heart disease.
4. To prevent anemia
Anemia is a condition when our body lacks of red blood cells. The cause of anemia can be heriditary and lack of iron. Fortunately, young barley leaves contain iron. By consuming young barley leaves can meet your iron daily need.
5. To promote neurological function
Young barley leaves contain copper. Copper is important in promoting neurological function which support neuro development and growth. Copper also helps in absorbing iron. Thus, it can also reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
6. To maintain metabolism
Phosporus plays an important role in human’s overall wellness. It helps maintain blood, brain, heart, and kidney to function normally. Young barley leaves contain enough phosporus to provide these benefits. Phosporus can also balance our hormones and form bones.
7. To boost immune system
Young barley leaves contain zinc. Zinc helps greatly in promoting immune system. Zinc is needed to activate T cells. T cells is important in our body because they can regulate immune system and attack infected cells.
8. To act as an antioxidant
Young barley leaves contain beta-carotene that acts as an antioxidant. As an antioxidant means young barley leaves can fight againts the negative effects of free radicals. The negative effects include cancer and other chronic diseases. Beta-carotene can turn into Vitamin A. Vitamin A is a factor of healthy skin and vision.
9. To provide the goodness of B Vitamins
Young barley leaves contain B1, B2, B5, B6 and folic acid. Vitamin B1 is known to prevent beriberi disease. It also helps in converting carbohydrates into sugars, which will provide energy. Vitamin B2 or riboflavin helps the absorption of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Vitamin B2 or pantothenic Acid is needed to promote growth and to produce body hormones. Vitamin B6 has an important role in our body as it involves more than 100 enzyme reactions. It stimulates metabolism and forms new red blood cells. Vitamin B6 is reportedly leads to depression.
Folic acid is a water-soluble B vitamin. It can prevent anemia and other chronic diseases like colon cancer, kidney dyalisis, and liver disease. Pregnant women are encouraged to consume adeaquate folic acid because it reduces the risk of misscariage and neural tube defects.
10. To repair body tissues
Young barley leaves contain Vitamin C. It can fight against the effects of free radicals in and out of our body. Vitamin C helps repair body tissue and forms body collagen. Vitamin C is widely known to prevent skin aging. By consuming young barley leaves, it can help to have a better-looking skin apperance.
11. To stimulate muscle contraction
Young barley leaves contain. Sodium can stimulate muscle contraction as it is an important part of nerve. Some people use sodium to treat arthritis. Sodium is also important in maintaining ion balance in our body.
There are a number of reports about hypersensitivity towards barley seeds. However, there is still no data or reports about hypersensitivity towards its leaves. For precaution, you should talk to your doctor before consuming young barley leaves.
How To Select and Store
When purchased dried young barley leaves in bulk containers, make sure the containers are in clean, dry and no-defects condition. If you purchase young barley leaves supplement, check the expiry date. Keep your barley leaves product in a cool and dry place.
Young barley leaves definitely have benefits for our health. It can act as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-aging. With the right amount of dose of young barley leaves intake will promote our overall wellness.