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7 reasons barley or jau is great for your health

Rich in nutrients like insoluble fibre and manganese, barley can offer your body more benefits than one.

Written by Sameer Jha |Updated : January 27, 2015 5:10 PM IST

Barley is one of the earliest cultivated grains by man that is still widely consumed throughout the world. Commonly called jau in India, this versatile cereal is more popular in the brewing industry for large scale production and fermentation of beer. However, it is loaded with nutrients and can offer your body more benefits than one. Here are some of the top reasons why you should include barley in your diet.

1# Prevents heart disease: Barley is rich in soluble dietary fibre that helps lower cholesterol levels. A study published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that consumption of barley caused significant reduction in LDL (bad) cholesterol, without affecting the levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. cholesterol build-up in the arteries and thus keeps heart disease at bay [1,2].

2# Boosts your sex life: Barley is a rich source of zinc, a vital nutrient that is great for a man s sexual health. A zinc deficiency can lead to a reduced sperm count. Also, it has been proven to boost testosterone levels in men.

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3# Helps you lose weight: Barley is a rich source of fibre which helps you lose weight because of its high content of insoluble fibre. This insoluble fibre will combine with water to expand in your stomach and make you feel full for a long time.

4# Good for diabetics: Diabetics should definitely include barley in their diet as it has a low glycaemic index which means that it does not cause blood sugar levels to spike suddenly. According to a study conducted by the Agricultural Research Service at the Diet and Human Performance Laboratory in Beltsville, MD, barley was actually a better breakfast option than oats for people with type 2 diabetes [3]. Read more about the amazing health benefits of barley. Read more about food items that can keep diabetes at bay.

5# Prevents gall stones: According to a study published inAmerican Journal of Gastroenterology, eating foods rich in insoluble fibre like barley helped prevent gall stones. Insoluble fibre helps move the food quickly through the intestines, and reduces the secretion of bile acids making it an excellent nutrient for your digestive system.

6# Reduces your risk of cancer: Selenium, a nutrient present in barley helps in reducing your risk of cancer by supporting metabolic functions and helping in the recovery of damaged cells. Additionally, barley also contains plant lignans and antioxidants which further enhance the cancer-fighting properties of barley.

7# Helps manage arthritis: Copper, phosphorus and manganese are three nutrients present in barley that are great for your bones. A 62g serving of barley meets 35% of your daily requirement for copper a nutrient that helps reduce the symptoms of arthritis.

Image source: Getty images

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  1. Behall KM, Scholfield DJ, Hallfrisch J. Diets containing barley significantly reduce lipids in mildly hypercholesterolemic men and women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Nov;80(5):1185-93. PubMed PMID: 15531664
  2. Smith KN, Queenan KM, Thomas W, Fulcher RG, Slavin JL. Physiological effects of concentrated barley beta-glucan in mildly hypercholesterolemic adults. J Am Coll Nutr. 2008 Jun;27(3):434-40. PubMed PMID: 18838533.
  3. Van Dam RM, Hu FB, Rosenberg L, Krishnan S, Palmer JR. Dietary calcium and magnesium, major food sources, and risk of type 2 diabetes in U.S. Black women. Diabetes Care. 2006 Oct;29(10):2238-43. 2006. PMID:17003299.

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