Have you heard of barley grass? We have known about it in this part of the world for a while now, mainly as a green ingredient in drinks, smoothies or muesli. And barley grass is considered to be a real dietary miracle for general good health. But what lies behind this new trend? Should we all immediately focus on this green “superfood”? We reveal how healthy barley grass actually is.
What is barley grass in the first place?
Barley grass is anything but exotic. The green stems are simply the young barley shoots that are produced after germination. In this part of the world, barley grass grows in fields and is harvested after about four or five months and then immediately dried and milled. Botanically speaking, barley belongs to the sweet grass family. You can usually buy barley grass in powder or tablet form, but you can also cultivate it yourself very easily at home.
How to use barley grass
Like to try barley grass? No problem – barley grass powder is available in health and beauty retail stores, healthfood shops and pharmacies. Stir it into water or juice for a quick green drink. Try it in the morning in a smoothie, in muesli or in yoghurt. However, the green powder can be an acquired taste.
And what can barley grass do?
Barley grass fans swear by its high nutritional value. The stems are rich in iron, vitamin C and other nutrients. But don’t forget: a healthy diet, with plenty of fruit, vegetables and wholegrain products, will provide you with everything that your body needs. So it is not necessarily advisable to rely solely on a “superfood” but rather to ensure that you eat a variety of foods. Good to know: barley grass fans love to highlight the green plant pigment – chlorophyll – that it contains. However, our bodies cannot readily absorb chlorophyll and it is mostly excreted unused. There are very few convincing scientific studies on the health benefits of barley grass.
So is barley grass completely unnecessary? No – there is nothing wrong with including it in your diet every now and then if it does you good. But it is not a substitute for a healthy diet. It’s up to you of course whether you like to consume it in powder or tablet form. Whichever you decide, make sure you know the origin of this product. Our tip: Use finely chopped barley grass to enhance sandwiches, dips, salads or soups.
Have you tried barley grass yet?
Your Dole Team