sabato 26 novembre 2011

Barley: The Superfood Grain

barley.jpgI often forget about barley as a whole grain choice.

We often think about barley as peasant food or that mystery grain found in some soups.

But, barley has many nutritional benefits and can be easily used in everyday cooking.

Barley is similar to wheat as it is in the grass family and does contain gluten. So, those who avoid gluten or who have Celiac's Disease should avoid barley.

One cup of barley contains 13.6 grams of fiber which makes it an excellent fiber source. This is higher than most other foods. In comparison, oatmeal contains 4 grams per cup.

Barley is also an excellent source of selenium, and a good source of copper, manganese, niacin, and phosphorus. The high selenium content along with the high fiber content makes barley a powerful cancer-fighting grain. Studies have shown selenium to help prevent colon cancer as it can help to repair damaged cells.

Barley is considered a low glycemic food and therefore, is a great grain for Diabetics as well as those watching their weight. The magnesium found in barley in combination with the high fiber content helps regulate healthier insulin levels.

When shopping for barley, look for hulled barley which is a whole grain. This means that only the outer tough layer of the grain has been removed.

Here are some suggestions on how you can add barley to your healthy diet.

As the weather cools down, try adding barley as your grain to soups or stews. Try making a cold barley salad with fresh vegetables and herbs. Serve barley like rice as a side grain to your meat or fish. You can also buy barley flour for use in baking. Try cooking barley for breakfast like you would with oatmeal.

Aside from using barley for beer-making, there are plenty of other healthy ways to include barley in your diet! Again, more proof that whole foods help keep a body healthy.

Do you regularly eat barley? If so, how do you like to eat it?

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