Losing weight is a difficult process, especially when temptation is everywhere.
When embarking on a quest to lose a few extra pounds, bread is often the food that gets slashed from our diet.
In fact, bread has a bad reputation with many health experts advising to avoid it entirely.
But, as with most things, when you're told not to eat something, you want it all the more – and not all bread is made equal.
White bread is known to be highly refined and often contains a lot of added sugar, whereas barley bread is seen as a much healthier alternative for those wanting to lose weight.
Barley is rich in vitamins, minerals and other beneficial plant compounds.
The bread is available in many forms, ranging from hulled barley to barley grits, flakes and flour.
When consumed as a whole grain, barley is a particularly rich source of fibre, molybdenum, manganese and selenium.
It also contains good amounts of copper, vitamin B1, chromium, phosphorus, magnesium and niacin.
Barley may reduce hunger and promote feelings of fullness. It's said to help lessen hunger largely through its high fibre content.
There are two main forms of fibre: soluble and insoluble.
In the body, soluble fibre dissolves and helps make a gel-like substance.
That gel-like material helps to increase satiety, which means a person is fuller for longer.
Some of the best sources of soluble fibre are barley.
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Besides its fibre content and being a low-calorie food that helps in weight loss, barley helps you poo.
The fibre in the barley helps cleanse your digestive system and allow the stool to pass through easily.
A good digestion and metabolism are key to losing weight.
How barley improves digestion
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Barley can boost your intestinal health.
“Once again, its high fibre content is responsible and, in this case, particularly its insoluble fibre,” says Healthline.
The health site added: “Most of the fibre found in barley is insoluble, which unlike soluble fibre does not dissolve in water.
“Instead, it adds bulk to your stool and accelerates intestinal movement, reducing your likelihood of constipation.”
Barley lowers Type 2 diabetes risk
Barley may also help to reduce a person’s risk of Type 2 diabetes by lowering blood sugar levels and improving insulin secretion.
Research shows that a barley breakfast provides a lower maximum rise in blood sugar and insulin levels than a breakfast consisting of other whole grains, such as oats.
In another study, participants with impaired fasting glucose were given either oatmeal or barley flakes daily.
After three months, fasting blood sugar and insulin levels decreased by nine to 13% more for those eating barley.
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