Studies have shown that barley may help support cardiovascular health.8 These benefits are attributed to the soluble fiber content within barley. Another study found that women who included barley in their regular diet may lower their risk of developing gallstones. Researchers believe this is due to the insoluble fiber content of barley.9
Historically barley has been employed as a remedy for fevers and inflammation of the respiratory and urinary tracts. Barley water has been added to cow’s milk to dilute it, making it easier for infants and small children to digest.7 Other uses of barley as food include barley sugar, barley water, and in soups and stews.
5 Wood R. The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia. New York: Penguin Group; 1999.
6 Onstad D. Whole Foods Companion. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing Company; 1996.
7 Grieve M. A Modern Herbal. Vol.2. New York: Dover Books; 1971.
8 Kay M, Behall, Scholfield DJ, Hallfrisch J. Lipids Significantly Reduced by Diets Containing Barley in Moderately Hypercholesterolemic Men. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 2004;23(1):55-62.
9 Tsai CJ, Sc.D., Leitzman MF, Willett WC, Giovannucci EL. Long-term intake of dietary fiber and decreased risk of cholecystectomy in women. American Journal of Gastroenterology. July 2004.99(7):1364-1370.