Green barley, which has been very popular lately, is the young, several centimeters long shoots of common barley - the same barley that produces barley groats and malt for beer and whisky production. They are usually available in powdered form (1 teaspoon of powder is dissolved in a glass of water or juice - this amount is drunk 1-3 times a day) and - for those who never have enough time for anything - in capsules or tablets. The powder is made by freeze-drying at low temperatures, which reduces the loss of nutrients.
On the packages of green barley supplements we can read that it helps with a number of more or less annoying problems . According to the manufacturers, they provide a sense of satiety, energy and vitality, support the work of the immune system, cardiovascular system, as well as fight excess body fat and free radicals. Is it true?
Green barley - fights free radicals, supports immunity
Young barley shoots are valued mainly for their properties fighting free radicals responsible for the progress of aging processes and cancer development. Not without a reason. Vitamins C and E contained in them are natural antioxidants. Barley also contains other substances with these properties, including superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) - some of the key enzymes in the body's antioxidant defence system. So far, however, there have been no reliable studies confirming anti-cancer effects of green barley extract.
Most of us also associate vitamin C contained in barley sprouts with an immunity booster. This is true, but beware - it is better not to put products rich in vitamin C under heat treatment if we do not want Vitamin C to degrade. Therefore, if we have green barley powder, let's dissolve it in lukewarm or cool water or juice, but not in a hot soup.
Slimming and energizing?
Green barley is also rich in other vitamins, especially B group vitamins which support the nervous system and magnesium, as well as calcium, copper, iron and potassium. It will also provide us with some protein and fiber which aids digestion. But let's not fool ourselves, it is unlikely that we will lose weight just by drinking barley juice and lying on the couch.
What about giving you energy? And there is a grain of truth in this. The grains themselves, as well as barley sprouts, contain hordein. This is an alkaloid with a weak stimulating effect, which also blocks the growth of certain bacteria. It was once used as a remedy for various ailments, including gastroenteritis. In fact, barley supplements usually contain too little hordenine for us to feel stimulated. This does not mean that their effect is too weak. If you take them - don't increase the dosage recommended by the manufacturer on your own.