IS PRE-SPROUTED BARLEY THE PERFECT FOOD?
What is pre-sprouted barley?
Most people have heard of barley – a member of the grass family and a major cereal grain. It has long been known to be highly nutritious, being a good source of vitamins, minerals and other important nutrients such as molybdenum, manganese, dietary fibre, selenium, copper, vitamin B1, chromium, phosphorus, magnesium and niacin.
But, despite being an even greater nutritional powerhouse, fewer people have heard of pre-sprouted barley – barley that has been naturally activated, to the point where its nutrients and enzymes are most readily available to our bodies.
“Activation” simply means that the barley grains are ready to sprout leaves and, as a result, there is a high level of enzyme activity in the plant.
This activity is the key difference between ordinary barley and pre-sprouted barley and is responsible for its enhanced nutritional benefits. For example, it generates 400% more energy than the normal version of the grain and raises its beta-glucan content by 94%!
What is its nutritional value?
The nutrient content of barley is well documented in scientific papers and findings published from institutes and universities across the world. In particular, extensive research has been carried out by Dr. Yoshihide Hagiwara, of the Hagiwara Institute of Health in Japan.
Dr. Hagiwara tested 150 different plants and cereals over a 13 year period and reached the conclusion that barley has the highest number of nutrients of all of them. In summary he wrote that “barley is the most excellent source of nutrients that the body needs for growth, repair and well-being.”
The pre-sprouted form of this grain has all the benefits of normal barley, plus! If harvested at this critical time, when the plant reaches its optimum nutritional profile, our bodies can benefit from a broad spectrum of vitamins and minerals (including trace minerals), as well as protein, amino acids (particularly glutamine), Omega oils, digestive enzymes, chlorophyll and other powerful phytochemicals and antioxidants (such as superoxide dismutase (SOD)) and beta glucans (beneficial plant fibres).
How can pre-sprouted barley benefit health?
Due to its excellent nutritional profile, pre-sprouted barley naturally has a number of potential health applications. For example, immune system support, heart health support, detoxification, digestion, energy levels and more.
In fact, reliance on this grain as a rich source of nutrients dates as far back as the time of Hippocrates, who advised his followers to eat barley gruel if they were unwell. Similarly, Roman soldiers used to use barley to help sustain endurance and fight sickness.
In more recent times, its broad spectrum of nutrients has led to the categorisation of pre-sprouted barley as a so-called “superfood” – a food with a particularly high nutrient-to-calorie ratio, particularly compared with other foods of a similar type.
You might be surprised to learn that one of the primary causes of premature aging and disease in the Western world is the over-consumption of food. This is not only because of weight-related conditions, but because the average diet is high in refined, processed and fatty foods that are difficult for our bodies to process. As a result, we “pay” for their digestion with a high expenditure of energy.
If our bodies are continually processing calories in this way, they naturally start to suffer wear and tear over time. In these circumstances, within each of our cells, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, healthy fats and other essential nutrients have to work hard to create the energy to counteract this wear and tear. Where these nutrients are in short supply, the process results in even greater strain on our bodies.
This is another reason why Dr. Hagiwara was compelled to single out barley as the perfect food:
“It was clear to me . . that the leaves of the cereal grasses provide the nearest thing this planet offers to the perfect food. For reasons of palatability and higher nutrient content . . green barley stands out as the best amongst these. “
Barley is thought to be one of the most energy-efficient and complete foods available to us from nature. In fact, the United Nations even use it as a relief food for those in famine-stricken countries, because of its super nutritional value.
Tests undertaken at the Centre for Clinical Tests on Food Stuffs at Uppsala University in Sweden, on the effects of pre-sprouted barley on volunteers, showed a substantial increase in sustained energy, not just a brief energy spike followed by a lowering of energy levels, but a steady, stable increase in energy.