The adding of whole grains to your diet has many advantages. Whole grains have low fat content and are a good source of complex carbs and fibre. Studies have linked whole grains with a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain cancer types. However if you’re gluten prone you can get sick with some whole grains.

Every whole grain is good for you. They’re a far better choice of diet than refined or enriched grains. Do not be nervous about thinking beyond the entire grain box and trying less common grains like buckwheat, millet and amaranth.

Wheat is the main crop used for human food and for livestock feed in temperate countries. contributions partly depends on its adaptability and high yield potential, but also on the fraction of the gluten protein conferred by the viscoelastic properties that allow the processing of dough into bread , pasta, noodles and other foodstuffs.

Wheat also contributes essential amino acids, minerals, and vitamins, as well as beneficial plant and dietary fiber.

Human dietary components, which are particularly enriched in whole grain items. But wheat Products are also known or suggested to be responsible for a variety of adverse human reactions including intolerances (notably celiac disease) and food allergies.

Wheat is often processed into bleached white flour a very popular way to eat it. Unfortunately, up to 40 % of the original grain can be removed by this type of processing such as the bran and germ with the most nutrients.

Whole wheat based products are best as the nutrient content is maintained. Barley is a member of the grass family, a major grain developed globally in temperate climates. It was one of the first grains to be cultivated, particularly in Eurasia 10,000 years ago.

Barley is the world’s fourth largest seed crop, after wheat, rice, and corn. Barley is widely used in bread, soups, stews, and health items, although it is grown primarily as animal forage and as a source of malt for alcoholic beverages, particularly beer.

Barley has a nutlike taste and is high in carbohydrates, with mild protein, calcium, and phosphorus and low B vitamin levels. Since it contains no gluten, an elastic protein material, flour that can create a brittle loaf of bread can’t be used to construct. Barley flour is used to make porridge, especially in North Africa and parts of Asia, where it is a staple food grain.

Wheat VS Barley

1. Nutritional Profile

If we talk about 100 grams of wheat, provides 340 calories with several B vitamins and other essential minerals are important in content. Wheat is water in 13 %, carbohydrates in 71 % and fat in 1.5 %. The protein content of 13 % is mainly gluten (75-80 % of the wheat protein). Wheat is milled for baking or cooking but Barley does not have to be.

While the 100 grams of barley provides 354 calories with 2.3 g total fat, 12 mg sodium, 452 mg potassium, 73 g total carbohydrates, 17 g dietary fibre , 12 g protein and many vitamins and minerals. Barley has a lower protein content than wheat, and has a greater fiber content than wheat.

2. Harvestational Season  

Barley is harvested during hot season. During the cooler season the wheat thrives.

3. Uses

Wheat is used in the manufacture of biscuits, pizza, pasta, cookies, noodles, chappati and other cereals. Barley is used as one of the main ingredients used to produce beer and other alcoholic drinks and is also commonly used as animal feed.

Is it that barley has no or less gluten than wheat?

No, the barley has gluten in it. Contains around 5 to 8 % gluten, so people with celiac disease or sensitivity to non-celiac gluten should not eat it. Gluten is present in many whole grains, with wheat and rye included.

Gluten is a group of proteins that act as an adhesive to help foods maintain their structure. In some people causes small intestine inflammation, a condition known as celiac disease. Individuals who have no celiac disease but who still have symptoms after eating gluten may have a reaction to non-celiac gluten.

Is wheat good for health?

As for all grains of cereals, wheat consists primarily of carbohydrates.  Starch is the predominant carb in the plant kingdom, accounting for more than 90 % of the total wheat carbon content. 

Starch’s health effects depend primarily on its digestibility, which determines its effect on blood sugar levels. High digestibility, particularly for people with diabetes, can cause an abnormal spike in blood sugar after a meal, and have adverse health effects.

At the other hand, certain refined wheat products like pasta are less efficiently digested and thus do not raise the blood sugar levels to the same degree. Most wheat fiber is insoluble, passing nearly intact through your digestive system, and adding bulk to stool. Some fibers also feed bacteria in your gut.

Furthermore, wheat produces small amounts of soluble fibers or fructans that may trigger digestive symptoms in people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Nevertheless, wheat bran may have beneficial effects on the health of the stomach, in general.

Gluten is a large protein family, responsible for up to 80% of the total protein content. Responsible for wheat dough’s unique elasticity and stickiness, the properties which make it so useful in bread making. Wheat gluten may have adverse effects on the health of people with gluten sensitivity.

Whole wheat is a good source of many vitamins and minerals. Some of the grain’s most nutritious parts the bran and the germ are absent from white wheat because are removed during milling and refining. White wheat therefore in many vitamins and minerals is relatively poor compared to whole grain wheat.

Is barley healthy to eat?

Barley has a low glycemic index (GI), a measure of how fast a food raises blood sugar. Barley help to lower blood sugar and insulin levels, which can reduce your diabetes risk.

Whole-grain barley is a strong fiber source, including the soluble fiber beta-glucan, which delays sugar absorption by binding it in your digestive tract.  In a study of 10 healthy men, was found that those who ate barley with dinner had 30 % higher insulin sensitivity after breakfast the following morning compared to those who ate refined wheat bread with dinner.

Barley may help in constipation relief. Dietary fiber raises the bulk of your stool, making the movement across your digestive tract smoother. In fact, it has been shown that barley improves the effects of ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease.

Barley can also encourage good bacteria to grow within your digestive tract. The beta-glucan fiber in barley can help feed healthy intestinal bacteria and increase their probiotic activity.

One way barley can influence hunger and fullness is by decreasing ghrelin levels, a hormone that is responsible for hunger feelings. Many studies have shown that barley intake can have beneficial effects on cholesterol. A diet high in soluble fiber, containing barley was shown to reduce total cholesterol and “bad” LDL cholesterol by 5-10%.

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Maira is student of MPhil in Food Sciences. She has been writing on food, nutrition, and dieting that helped hundreds of people.

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