When my wife suggested we were going to drink some barley drinks I was a little unsure what that might mean. When I think of barley drinks the first thing that comes to mind is beer – which is made with malted or fermented barley – and I don’t drink beer, nor do I have any desire to do so.
Well it turns out there are two healthy barley drinks. The first is barley water. Barley water is made by taking barley and soaking it or simmering it in water. You drink the water and leave the barley. I was little hesitant at first. It looked kind of odd to see the barley sitting the bottom of the jar, but I figured it was worth a shot, and she said it was really good for me. Wow, it was delicious! I really, really liked it.
The second health barley drink is barley grass juice. This is sometimes grouped as a wheat grass juice. It is made by taking young barley grass (sprouted barley if I understand correctly) then drying it and grinding it to powder. Then the powder is combined with juice, or in this case water. Since the grass is green, the liquid is green. It literally looks like grass juice. I was even more turned off by how this looked. Dawn assured me it was even better for me then the water. I decided to give it a shot. It was actually pretty good, and was very different then anything I had tasted before.
Besides chlorophyll and a myriad of vitamins, minerals and enzymes, barley grass is said to have1:
- 16 vitamins
- 23 minerals
- 18 amino acids
- hundreds of active enzymes
- Compared to milk:
- 30 times more vitamin B-1
- 15 times the protean (per oz)
- 11 times the calcium
- Compared to spinach:
- 6.5 times as much carotene
- 5 times the iron content
- 7 times the vitamin C in oranges
- 4 times the vitamin B1 in whole wheat flour
- Unlike most plant sources it also contains 80 micrograms of vitamin B12 per 100 grams of dried barley plant juice.
It is interesting how green or raw foods at the bottom of the food chain have so many vitamins, minerals and nutrients. I am sure I will have a lot more barley (in various forms) in my diet.
1Analysis conducted by the Resource Research Association, Office of Science and Technology and Japan Food Analysis Centre.