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Is Barley Good for Diabetics?

Barley, one of many nutritious historic grains, has many well being advantages. It’s out there in varied types, resembling pearled barley, barley flour, flakes, grits, and extra. Barley is the fourth largest grain crop produced globally and is a hearty crop wealthy in fibre and low in glycemic index making it appropriate for diabetics. 

In its hulled or whole-grain type, barley helps handle blood sugar ranges. It additionally helps weight administration amongst chubby or overweight diabetic or prediabetic folks. No matter barley’s versatility and well being advantages, folks with diabetes should monitor their consumption stage. 

Barley Glycemic Index and Dietary Profile

Based on the USDA, 100 grams of hulled barley comprises the next vitamins.

  • Energy: 354 energy
  • Protein: 12.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 73.5 g
  • Fibre: 17.3 g
  • Fats: 2.3 g
  • Magnesium: 133 mg
  • Calcium: 33 mg
  • Phosphorus: 264 mg
  • Potassium: 452 mg
  • Zinc: 2.77 mg

The glycemic index, or the GI, exhibits how a selected meals is more likely to have an effect on one’s blood glucose ranges. The lesser the GI rating the lesser impact will it have on blood sugar ranges. A meals with GI 85 will trigger the blood glucose to spike whereas that of 40 can have little impact. Folks with diabetes must eat extra low-glycemic index meals with scores beneath 55. Medium-range GI meals have scores of vary 55-69.

  • Hulled barley has a GI rating of 20 to 25. It is not going to change even after cooking. 
  • Pearled barley has a GI score of twenty-two to 29. After boiling pearled barley for an hour, the GI rating goes as much as 35 because it loses some fibre. 
  • Rolled barley flakes, just like rolled oats, have a GI rating as excessive as 66.
  • Cracked barley has a mean GI rating of fifty.
  • The GI of barley flour equals 30, making it a low GI flour. 

Why is Barley Good for Diabetics?

Barley has a formidable nutrient profile. Unprocessed barley is wealthy in protecting bran, endosperm and nutrient-filled germ. A examine exhibits that consuming bread constructed from unprocessed barley kernels helps lower blood sugar and insulin ranges. It additionally results in extra advantages like elevated insulin sensitivity and improved urge for food management.

Listed below are different the reason why barley is sweet for diabetes:

Wealthy in Fibre

Barley is especially wealthy in a soluble fibre known as beta-glucan. A examine exhibits that barley, even pearled and rolled varieties, offers 19 instances extra dietary fibre than polished rice. This perk of barley makes it a satisfying meal for diabetic sufferers. One other examine additionally says that the excessive beta-glucan in barley may regulate postprandial hyperglycemia in sufferers with sort 2 diabetes. 

Low Glycemic Index

Barley is accessible in several types, starting from low to reasonable GI scores. Unprocessed barley kernels, ready or uncooked, will all the time stay within the low GI vary. Even the processed type, known as pearled barley, stays within the reasonable vary. It’s not as excessive as different refined grains. 

Wealthy in Magnesium

Magnesium deficiency is a lesser-known causative issue of sort 2 diabetes. It typically results in poorly managed glycemic profiles. Moreover fibre, barley is a wealthy supply of magnesium. It offers almost 133 mg of magnesium per 100 g serving. Therefore, barley is ideal for sort 2 diabetes folks with magnesium deficiency. 

The HealthifyMe Observe

Scoring low on the glycemic index and having a excessive beta-glucan stage make barley good for diabetes. Additional, magnesium in barley helps management sugar ranges, particularly in sort 2 diabetes. Barley additionally has a very good quantity of protein and different vitamins like zinc, calcium, and potassium. 

Find out how to Use Barley for Diabetes?

Barley Flour

Barley flour of dried and floor barley is a wholesome substitute for refined white flour. Guarantee to decide on coarse barley flour, which incorporates bran of the grain. Barley flour has a greater impact on blood sugar ranges than refined flour. Due to this fact, you should use it for baking functions of all types. 

To get comfy with the flavour, you can begin by changing solely a portion of your common flour with barley flour. However, even then, there shall be enhancements in post-meal glucose ranges. 

Barley Water

Ayurveda mentions the usage of barley water as a treatment for a number of ailments, together with diabetes. Barley water is a wholesome and cooling beverage made with simply two most important components; barley and water. 

Moreover being a standard summer time drink, barley water hydrates, nourishes and detoxifies your physique. It’s made by simmering barley grains or barley flour in water till cooked tender. The water absorbs all of the vitamins and goodness of barley grains whereas simmering. 

The intestine bacterium Prevotella Copri (P. Copri) may also help scale back blood sugar ranges. Analysis exhibits that this blood sugar-lowering intestinal micro organism grows extra quickly after consuming barley water because of the prebiotic nature of barley kernel-based merchandise.

Unstrained barley water’s antioxidant, magnesium, and fibre content material additionally assist regulate blood sugar ranges. Nonetheless, you could put together and drink barley in the suitable strategy to reap the advantages. 

Find out how to Make Barley Water for Diabetes?

Commercially bottled barley water is available, particularly throughout sizzling and humid climate. Whereas it’s handy, barley water offered in cans and bottles comprises preservatives. As well as, these variations typically include synthetic sweeteners to boost the style. Based on research, extended use of synthetic sweeteners triggers larger insulin resistance. Over time, insulin resistance causes extreme sugar or glucose within the blood.

Moreover preservatives and added sugars, pre-made barley water is significantly costlier. So why purchase bottled barley water offered in outlets when you can also make it house so simply? Better of all, you’ll be able to management the components in selfmade barley water. It ensures that your drink is free from components that may elevate your blood sugar ranges. 

You may make barley water utilizing three cooking strategies; a strain cooker, range high, or on the spot pot. However first, it is best to prep or soak the barley grains.

Prep Barley

You may select hulled, pot, pearly barley or barley flour. Kind and rinse the barley in the identical method we do it for rice earlier than cooking. Take away all stones and particles and rinse a few instances. Soak the grains for 4 to five hours or in a single day. 

Soaking cuts down the cooking time for grains. It additionally reduces barley’s phytic acid, stopping the incidence of flatulence post-consumption. 

Making Barley Water (Range Pot Technique)

The strain cooker methodology is among the quickest and best methods to make barley water whereas the range pot is the standard one. 

Serves: 1

Preparation time: 20-25 minutes


  • Barley: 50 grams or 1/4 cup (rinsed, soaked)
  • Water: 2-3 cups

Technique of Preparation

  • Add water to a saucepan. Then add within the soaked barley. 
  • Cowl it partially and let it boil for 20-25 minutes. Stir in between.
  • Barley grains improve in quantity, so it’s possible you’ll want so as to add extra water whereas cooking.
  • Cease cooking as soon as the barley grains flip tender and barely sticky.
  • Pressure and press effectively to extract barley water. Add salt to style. 
  • You could add ginger or lemon juice for flavour. 

The HealthifyMe Observe

Selfmade barley water is a diabetes-friendly beverage freed from preservatives and components. It’s more healthy than pre-packaged barley water. Past that, it means that you can management the quantity of sugar and create a drink that fits your blood sugar patterns. You can also add lemon juice, ginger juice, rock salt, or floor cardamom to barley water. It provides an electrolyte enhance. 

Potential Facet Results of Barley 

Some folks can have completely different responses to barley. Your blood glucose response to every meals is very personalised. Due to this fact, the appropriate portion dimension can even fluctuate. Discuss to a HealthifyMe nutritionist to search out the proper portion dimension that doesn’t spike blood glucose ranges. You too can subscribe to HealthifyPRO to entry Steady Glucose Monitoring with real-time insights.

Listed below are some unwanted effects of barley to look out for:

  • Barley will not be gluten-free. Due to this fact, it might trigger allergic reactions in folks with gluten sensitivity or Celiac illness.
  • Extreme consumption of barley can result in constipation and bloating. 
  • It could actually trigger blood sugar to drop to a dangerously low stage if you devour barley with diabetes medicines. 


Amongst entire grains, hulled barley is among the greatest sources of beta-glucan. It’s also low on the glycemic index scale. These two components make barley good for diabetes. Nonetheless, it will assist to eat barley sparsely to avail the most effective blood sugar-controlling advantages. Discuss to your physician earlier than altering something in your eating regimen.

Continuously Requested Questions (FAQs)

Q. Does barley spike blood sugar?

A. Barley has a low glycemic index and doesn’t spike blood sugar ranges. With a excessive stage of fibre and magnesium, barley is good for folks with diabetes. Fibre and magnesium work collectively to enhance blood sugar management. Nonetheless, it will assist in case you consumed barley in reasonable quantities solely. 

Q. How can diabetics take barley?

A. Folks with diabetes could make barley water for a low-calorie, electrolyte-rich, refreshing drink. Barley flour can be a very good substitute for refined flour. Moreover, low GI barley flakes are excellent as a breakfast porridge, soups, and stews for folks with diabetes. Or you’ll be able to put together a grain salad with cooked barley.

Q. Is barley good for diabetes sufferers?

A. Sure, barley and its merchandise are good for diabetes sufferers. Barley is wealthy in fibre and magnesium whereas low in energy and glycemic index. Nonetheless, consuming an extra of barley is unhealthy. It would trigger fuel, bloating, or different gastric misery. 

Q. Can barley reverse diabetes?

A. No single meals or drink can reverse diabetes or different metabolic circumstances. Nonetheless, common consumption of barley water or utilizing barley as a substitute of refined grains can preserve your diabetes underneath management. 

Q. Can barley have an effect on the kidney?

A. Aside from managing blood sugar, barley water is equally efficient in treating kidney stones. The calcium and magnesium in barley water assist dissolve any stone materials clogging your kidney system. Total, it has soothing and nourishing results on the kidneys. Nonetheless, barley water is a diuretic that will increase urination and flushes out toxins. Due to this fact, overconsumption can put a pressure on the kidneys. 

Q. What’s the facet impact of barley?

A. Consuming barley grains or barley water in beneficial quantities exhibits no extreme unwanted effects. Nonetheless, extreme consumption results in gastric misery, fuel, or bloating. It’s also a gluten-containing grain. So, these with Celiac illness or gluten intolerance should keep away from barley. The diuretic nature of barley can be an issue if you drink an excessive amount of barley water. 

Q. Is it OK to drink barley on daily basis?

A. You may drink barley water day by day, however restrict it to a single serving. Including selfmade barley water relatively than pre-packed ones to your day by day eating regimen is greatest. Nonetheless, speak to your physician earlier than making an attempt one thing new or if you’d like extra perception on appropriate serving sizes. 

The Supporting Sources

1. Knowledge by the US Division of Agriculture. Knowledge Kind: SR Legacy | Meals Class: Cereal Grains and Pasta | FDC ID: 170283| NDB Quantity: 20004

2. Lund College. “Barley helps enhance blood sugar ranges, scale back urge for food.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 February 2016.

3. Higa M, Fuse Y, Miyashita N, et al. Impact of Excessive β-glucan Barley on Postprandial Blood Glucose Ranges in Topics with Regular Glucose Tolerance: Evaluation by Meal Tolerance Take a look at and Steady Glucose Monitoring System. Clin Nutr Res. 2019;8(1):55-63. Revealed 2019 Jan 28.

4. Fuse, Y., Higa, M., Miyashita, N., Fujitani, A., Yamashita, Ok., Ichijo, T., Aoe, S., & Hirose, T. (2020). Impact of Excessive β-glucan Barley on Postprandial Blood Glucose and Insulin Ranges in Kind 2 Diabetic Sufferers. Medical diet analysis, 9(1), 43–51.

5. Sandberg, J., Kovatcheva-Datchary, P., Björck, I., Bäckhed, F., & Nilsson, A. (2019). The abundance of intestine Prevotella at baseline and metabolic response to barley prebiotics. European journal of diet, 58(6), 2365–2376.

6. Mathur, Ok., Agrawal, R. Ok., Nagpure, S., & Deshpande, D. (2020). Impact of synthetic sweeteners on insulin resistance amongst type-2 diabetes mellitus sufferers. Journal of household drugs and first care, 9(1), 69–71.

Positive Recharge
Positive Recharge
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