We all know we should be eating more whole grains because they're full of fiber, protein as well as vitamins. While whole wheat pasta, breads and cereals made from whole grains are great, eating the actual grain in its entirety is much healthier. It's proven to help reduce your risk of high blood pressure and heart attack.
Often overlooked, hulled barley is rarely used if only in an occasional mushroom soup, but this grain can be used for so much more. Since it has a mildly sweet flavor and chewy texture, you can add this grain to many recipes. It just takes on the flavor of whatever you're making. It's easily digested and a great source of selenium (helps with cancer prevention), phosphorous, magnesium, and copper. Since it's an excellent source of fiber, it promotes regularity, prevents gallstones, maintains a healthy colon and lowers cholesterol.
Now you've heard why you should be adding barley to your diet. Want to know how? Then
See how much more fiber it has compared to the other whole grains? That's why it's so good to incorporate barley into your diet. Be sure to pick up regular hulled barley since pearl barley is stripped of the two outer hulls and the bran layer, and therefore doesn't offer you much nutritionally.
To cook hulled barley, just take 1 cup of dry grain and add it to 3 cups of water. Cover it and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour. Add cooked barley to soups, stews or sauces to give them a thicker consistency and chewy texture. In your favorite recipes, substitute it for rice, pasta, or mashed potatoes. It also makes a delicious breakfast, just use it in place of oats. Look for hulled barley at your local health food store. It's fairly inexpensive and so rich in health benefits.