What is barley grass?
Barley grass, also known as barley greens, is the young leaf of the barley plant. Barley grass is a popular ingredient at juice bars, where it is added in powder form to juices and smoothies.
Barley grass nutrition facts: Barley grass is rich in chlorophyll and antioxidants, and contains vitamins (A, C, E and K), magnesium, calcium, phosphorous and fiber. It also contains compounds such as saponarin, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), and tryptophan.
Health benefits of barley grass
Boost immunity: Regular consumption of barley grass may help boost the body's immune system. It provides the required nutrition for balancing the optimal production of immune cells in the body. A strong immune system helps fight infections and prevents the development of chronic inflammatory diseases.
Improve digestion and help balance blood sugar levels: Barley grass is an excellent source of dietary fiber, both soluble and insoluble, which helps digestion in two ways. First, insoluble fiber feeds the "good bacteria" in your gut, helping to digest food efficiently and keeping your intestines healthy. Second, soluble fiber helps your stomach absorb sugar more slowly, keeping your blood sugar and cholesterol levels lower.
Improve bone health: Barley grass is an excellent source of calcium and magnesium; both are important for bone health in combination with vitamin K (also contained in barley grass).
Support heart health: Compounds contained in barley grass (saponarin, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), and tryptophan) have all been linked to decreased blood pressure, reduced inflammation, and improved heart health. In one study of 36 people with diabetes, taking 15 grams of barley leaf extract for four weeks decreased the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol which is a risk factor for heart disease.
Promote weight loss: Barley grass is low in calories, but high in fiber. Fiber moves through your body slowly, keeping you feeling full for longer to curb cravings and decrease hunger. Several studies have shown that eating more fiber helps with weight loss.
A word of caution
When purchasing barley grass powder or supplements be sure to buy from a reputable retailer and look for products that are free of fillers, additives and artificial ingredients. Be sure to consult your health care provider to determine if there are any reasons for you to be cautious about using barley grass.
- MacPherson R. Barley grass nutrition facts and health benefits. https://www.verywellfit.com/barley-grass-88679 October 14, 2021. Accessed January 3, 2023.
- Link R. What is barley grass? Everything you need to know. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/barley-grass July 24, 2020. Accessed January 3, 2023.
- Nagdeve M. 9 surprising benefits of barley grass. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/cereal/barley-grass.html July 21, 2021. Accessed January 3, 2023.
- Health benefits of barley grass. https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-barley-grass September 1, 2022. Accessed January 3, 2023.