Barley: Power Healthy Food

Breakfast of Gladiators

No wonder this grain has a reputation as the original power food. Several thousand years age, Greek gladiators were eating barley for strength and stamina. In fact, the locals dubbed these warriors barley eaters.

Modern-day barley eaters are most likely to envoy these chewy pearls in soups or stews. But barley more than holds its own stuffed into peppers or poultry or baked with mushrooms and beef broth. Any way you cook it, barley is good, healthy food, especially when it comes to battling high cholesterol.

Potential Healing Power:

  • Lower cholesterol
  • Prevent heart disease

Smart for the Heart

Like oats, barley contains soluble fiber-particularly betaglucans-that can help reduce cholesterol. Cutting cholesterol, of course, is like sending roses to your heart.

“We think barley affects cholesterol by creating a gelatinous condition in the intestine that interferes with cholesterol and fat absorption into body”, explain Rosemary Newman, professor of foods and nutrition at Montana State University in Bozeman.

In tests, people with high cholesterol who ate barley as their main source of carbohydrates lowered their total cholesterol by 11 percent, while their “bad” LDL dropped 16 percent. Each day, these people ate a breakfast cereal made with barley flakes and a flatbread and a muffin made with barley flour.

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