Barley is used in natural skin care products for its anti-inflammatory properties. Barley is rich in selenium which helps with improving the elasticity of the skin and keeps it toned.
Barley is also anti-inflammatory in nature. Therefore, applying it on the skin helps control the effects of acne and skin infection. Being a rich source of zinc, it also helps in healing any wounds or repairing the skin. the bran in the barley helps gently exfoliate the skin and controlling the oil that is produced by the skin. As a consequence, it also brightens the skin.
So how can you use barley on your skin?
Barley is a grain that has a wheat like appearance and is nutty in taste with a texture like that of pasta. It is used in stews and soups and also for making beer. Barley is rich in amino acids, carbohydrates and dietary fats. Barley by itself cannot be consumed without removing the outer fibrous hull. De-hulled barley is used to make barley water and soup. Its flour is used in a variety of food preparations. Though the husk is removed, barley still has the germ or the bran, making it rich in Vitamin B complex, iron, calcium, potassium and zinc, making it a popular health food.
As a cleanser- Make a powder of some barley in a food processor. Mix a tsp of the powder with some milk or water and wash your face with it everyday. It is effective in controlling acne and also in toning the skin.
Barley water for skin- Drinking barley water and topically applying it on acne regularly helps in putting an end to acne. The azelaic acid in barley controls inflammation and clogged pores and naturally treats acne.
Barley for lustrous Hair
Barley is rich in iron and Vitamin B complex, both of which are essential to prevent hair loss and promote hair growth. Niacin and Procyanidin, both of which stimulate hair growth, have been isolated in Barley. When consumed these nutrients give your body enough minerals for hair growth. Since barley can irritate hair follicles, it is always advisable not to apply it on the hair.
Barley for overall good health
You get two kinds of Barley for consumption- Hulled and Pearl. The hulled Barley has the husk removed but endosperm intact- it is brown in color. The pearl barley is pearly white and does not have the bran or the endosperm. Both of them need to be cooked by simmering in water. Hulled barley takes longer than pearl barley to cook. They double in size upon cooking. Lets see what the health benefits of barley are.
Promotes Digestion – Barley is rich in dietary fiber and helps in bowel movement. Regular use prevents hemorrhoids. It keeps the colon and the intestines healthy by pushing out waste and also by promoting the growth of healthy bacteria in the intestines.
Improves Bone Health – Being rich in calcium, copper and phosphorous, barley is an ideal remedy for weak bones. Barley water contains more than double the amount of calcium contained in the same quantity of milk.
Controls cholesterol – Barley bran contains propionic acid which keeps cholesterol at bay. Its dietary fiber is recommended for people with cholesterol since it is a zero calorie food.
To manage diabetes – Barley regulates the blood sugar levels for many hours after its consumption because it has beta-glucan soluble fiber which slows down the absorption of glucose in the body. This way, you won’t see any spike in your sugar levels when you consume barley.
Skin Benefits of Barley:
When it comes to skincare, barley is extremely beneficial as it is packed with vitamin C, antioxidants and minerals. It has proven to reduce inflammation and create a barrier to protect the skin from outside pollutants. The skincare benefits of barley are as follows.
Maintains Skin Elasticity:
Barley contains selenium which preserves skin elasticity and protects it against free radical damage. Selenium improves the functioning of your heart, pancreas and immune system, and the deficiency of this mineral can cause skin, colon, prostate, liver, stomach and breast cancers.
Improves Skin Tone:
By enhancing skin elasticity, barley facilitates skin tightening, making your skin more supple and well-toned and giving it a younger appearance.
The antioxidants in barley help in decelerating the signs of ageing. Barley water flushes out toxins from the body, thus giving you a clean wrinkle free skin texture.
Barley is a rich source of zinc which speeds up the healing properties of the body. Barley greens, when taken orally or applied as a paste can heal facial lesions within 5-6 months.
Nutritional Value of Barley:
Barley can be a tasty and healthy addition to your diet, thanks to its favorable nutritional profile comprising of an array of nutrients such as carbohydrates, soluble and insoluble fibers, sodium, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids besides being cholesterol free. Its nutritional value is explained below.
Barley, hulled Barley, pearled Barley, pearled, cooked Barley, hulled
• Fiber: It is an excellent source of fiber and contains both soluble and insoluble fiber. One cup of cooked barley provides around 13.6 grams of dietary fiber out of which 10.8 grams is insoluble or roughage and the rest is soluble.
• Cholesterol and Fat: Like other plant foods, barley is cholesterol-free and low in fat. One cup or 200 grams of cooked barley provides around 270 calories, 59.4 grams carbohydrates, 2.2 gram fat and 0 mg cholesterol.
• Vitamins: Barley is a great source of several vitamins, particularly, vitamin B1 (thiamin) and vitamin B3 (niacin). One cup of cooked barley provides around 0.16 mg of thiamin which is 10.6 percent of the recommended daily value or DV and 2.84 mg of niacin which is 14.2 percent of the DV. B vitamins are needed for a healthy nervous system and proper liver function as well as for maintaining healthy skin, hair and eyes. Other vitamins in barley are choline, pantothenic acid, riboflavin and vitamins A, K, B6 and B12.
• Minerals: Barley contains minerals like selenium, iron, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus and copper. One cup of cooked barley provides 230 mg of phosphorus which is equivalent to 23 percent of the DV. This mineral is vital as it is a component of the genetic material of all cells, RNA and DNA. One cup of cooked barley contains around 36.4 mcg of selenium which is 52 percent of the DV and 0.64 mcg of copper which is 32 percent of the DV. Selenium along with vitamin E protects the cell membranes from deterioration and aids normal thyroid function. Copper and iron play an important role in bone and cartilage development.
• Antioxidants: Barley also contains antioxidants which play an important role in maintaining good health by slowing down the rate of oxidative damage by free radicals that are formed when body cells use oxygen.
• Phytochemicals: Phytochemicals are natural plant-based chemicals that decrease the risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Being a plant source, barley is said to contain these phytochemicals.
• Low Glycemic Index: The glycemic index measures the extent to which 100 grams of food will raise blood sugar in comparison to the rise in blood glucose on ingestion of pure sugar. The glycemic index of boiled pearled barley is 35, which is lowest among all the common cereal grains. Thus, it is considered an appropriate carbohydrate choice for diabetics or dieters who are recommended a low glycemic meal plan.
Hence, this fiber rich cereal grain can form a part of balanced meals where it can be used as a side dish or made into a breakfast cereal to provide a filling meal with an array of health, skin and hair benefits.