After a long, cold winter, there is nothing quite like the site of the first blades of sprouting grass, greening up the world (and not yet long enough to have to mow!) Just in time for spring, this month is all about some of our favorite greens and what makes them so special.
Barley grass has many of the same health benefits as our previous blog-topic, wheat grass. It is grown, harvested and produced in many of the same ways but has some very specific health benefits. Compared to the extremely powerful health benefits and taste of wheat grass, barley grass is more subtle (though may be higher in nutrients) and therefor may be an easier choice for those wanting to begin incorporating grasses into their diet.
You may have heard the tales of the cancer-fighting and curative powers of grasses. What is it that makes these greens so powerful? Barley grass is the most studied of the grasses, thanks in part to the research of Dr. Yoshihide Hagiwara, president of the Hagiwara Health Institute in Japan. His studies show that barley grass tea significantly lowers LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) and increases circulation.
While much research is left to do, Yasuo Hotta of the University of California at La Jolla has found that barley grass contains a powerful anti-inflammatory substance called P4d1. This substance is shown to repair DNA in cells and prevent carcinogenesis, aging, & cell death. This substance, P4d1, prevents and treats pancreatitis, stomatitis, inflammation of the oral cavity, and dermatitis, & also lacerations of the stomach and the duodenum. According to Hotta’s research, barley grass is a more effective treatment than steroids and has few (if any) side effects.
Other studies show that Barley Grass is an effective treatment for ulcerative colitis, where low levels of friendly bacteria in the gut are linked with inflammation of the large intestine and digestive problems. Regular intake of barley grass increased helpful bacteria in the digestive track and reduced the presence inflammation-inducing chemicals in the bowels.
Besides the medicinal properties of the grass, what can it do for your diet? According to nutritionist Gillian McKeith, barley grass offers more protein than a sirloin steak, five times the amount of iron as broccoli, seven times more vitamin C than orange juice and 11 times more calcium than milk.
High Quality Organics sources barley grass (species Hordeum vulgare) from the USA and China, and is featuring this bright green, fragment as a monthly special. Jump on the bandwagon and green up your health regimen!