Did you know that barley grass is a nutrient-packed ‘green superfood’ with multiple health benefits - including clearing up skin problems, healing ulcers and lowering the risk for heart disease and stroke?
Green foods refer to young cereal grasses like barley grass and wheatgrass. During the early grass stage of their growth, barley and wheat are closer to vegetables than grains. However, as they grow further, their healthful chlorophyll, protein and vitamin levels fall sharply while levels of the indigestible fiber cellulose rises.
Amazing, but true - an ounce of barley grass, wheatgrass and other green foods contains many more beneficial phytonutrients than an ounce of the healthiest green vegetables!
A concentrated source of several vitamins and minerals, barley grass is also rich in calcium, iron, potassium and chlorophyll. Unlike most plants, barley grass provides all nine essential amino acids, which your body can't produce on its own.
Back in 2002, researchers in Taiwan examined the effects of supplementation of young barley leaf extract - along with vitamins C and E - on the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in patients with type 2 diabetes. LDL oxidation is one of the first, critical steps in the development of atherosclerosis, which leads to heart disease.
Thirty-six patients with type 2 diabetes were enrolled in the Taiwanese study. Each patient received either extract of young barley leaf, vitamin C plus vitamin E alone, or barley extract plus the 2 vitamins daily for 4 weeks.
At the end of the study, the researchers observed that the vitamin E content of LDL increased significantly following supplementation, especially for the group that consumed barley leaf plus the 2 vitamins.
Atherosclerosis is responsible for heart disease and associated deaths in much of the world’s population. LDL oxidation is a critical first step in the development of atherosclerosis. Dietary antioxidants such as vitamin E lower atherosclerosis risk by reducing oxidative stress and preventing LDL oxidation.
This study shows that supplementation with extract of young barley leaf - especially in the presence of vitamins C and E - is likely to prevent LDL oxidation, thereby protecting protecting patients with type 2 diabetes against vascular diseases including heart disease and stroke.
Source: Barley Grass: Benefits for the Heart.