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Barley, one of many nutritious historic grains, has many well being advantages. It’s out there in varied varieties, equivalent to 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 degree. 

Barley Glycemic Index and Dietary Profile

In line with the USDA, 100 grams of hulled barley accommodates 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, reveals how a specific 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 may have little impact. Folks with diabetes have to eat extra low-glycemic index meals with scores under 55. Medium-range GI meals have scores of vary 55-69.

  • Hulled barley has a GI rating of 20 to 25. It won’t 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 median 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 powerful nutrient profile. Unprocessed barley is wealthy in protecting bran, endosperm and nutrient-filled germ. A examine reveals that consuming bread produced 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 explanation why barley is sweet for diabetes:

Wealthy in Fibre

Barley is especially wealthy in a soluble fibre referred to as beta-glucan. A examine reveals that barley, even pearled and rolled varieties, gives 19 occasions 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 varieties, starting from low to reasonable GI scores. Unprocessed barley kernels, ready or uncooked, will at all times stay within the low GI vary. Even the processed type, referred to as pearled barley, stays within the reasonable vary. It isn’t as excessive as different refined grains. 

Wealthy in Magnesium

Magnesium deficiency is a lesser-known causative issue of sort 2 diabetes. It usually results in poorly managed glycemic profiles. Apart from fibre, barley is a wealthy supply of magnesium. It gives 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 degree make barley good for diabetes. Additional, magnesium in barley helps management sugar ranges, particularly in sort 2 diabetes. Barley additionally has a great quantity of protein and different vitamins like zinc, calcium, and potassium. 

Easy methods 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 need to use it for baking functions of all types. 

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

Barley Water

Ayurveda mentions using 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 major elements; barley and water. 

Apart from 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 mushy. The water absorbs all of the vitamins and goodness of barley grains whereas simmering. 

The intestine bacterium Prevotella Copri (P. Copri) might help cut back blood sugar ranges. Analysis reveals that this blood sugar-lowering intestinal micro organism grows extra quickly after consuming barley water as a result of prebiotic nature of barley kernel-based merchandise.

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

Easy methods to Make Barley Water for Diabetes?

Commercially bottled barley water is available, particularly throughout sizzling and humid climate. Whereas it’s handy, barley water bought in cans and bottles accommodates preservatives. As well as, these variations usually comprise synthetic sweeteners to reinforce the style. In line with research, extended use of synthetic sweeteners triggers increased insulin resistance. Over time, insulin resistance causes extreme sugar or glucose within the blood.

Apart from preservatives and added sugars, pre-made barley water is significantly dearer. So why purchase bottled barley water bought in outlets when you may make it house so simply? Better of all, you possibly can management the elements in home made 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 stress cooker, range prime, or prompt pot. However first, you must prep or soak the barley grains.

Prep Barley

You possibly can select hulled, pot, pearly barley or barley flour. Type 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 occasions. 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 stress cooker methodology is without doubt one of the quickest and best methods to make barley water whereas the range pot is the normal 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 you might want so as to add extra water whereas cooking.
  • Cease cooking as soon as the barley grains flip mushy and barely sticky.
  • Pressure and press nicely to extract barley water. Add salt to style. 
  • You might 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 offers an electrolyte increase. 

Potential Facet Results of Barley 

Some folks may have completely different responses to barley. Your blood glucose response to every meals is very personalised. Due to this fact, the acceptable portion measurement can even range. Discuss to a HealthifyMe nutritionist to seek out the right portion measurement that doesn’t spike blood glucose ranges. You may as well subscribe to HealthifyPRO to entry Steady Glucose Monitoring with real-time insights.

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

  • Barley just isn’t gluten-free. Due to this fact, it will probably trigger allergic reactions in folks with gluten sensitivity or Celiac illness.
  • Extreme consumption of barley can result in constipation and bloating. 
  • It could possibly trigger blood sugar to drop to a dangerously low degree if you eat barley with diabetes medicines. 


Amongst entire grains, hulled barley is without doubt one of the greatest sources of beta-glucan. It’s also low on the glycemic index scale. These two components make barley good for diabetes. Nevertheless, it could assist to eat barley carefully to avail the perfect blood sugar-controlling advantages. Discuss to your physician earlier than altering something in your weight loss program.

Ceaselessly 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 degree of fibre and magnesium, barley is right for folks with diabetes. Fibre and magnesium work collectively to enhance blood sugar management. Nevertheless, it could assist for those who 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 also be a great substitute for refined flour. Moreover, low GI barley flakes are good as a breakfast porridge, soups, and stews for folks with diabetes. Or you possibly can 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. Nevertheless, consuming an extra of barley is unhealthy. It’d 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. Nevertheless, common consumption of barley water or utilizing barley as an alternative of refined grains can preserve your diabetes below management. 

Q. Can barley have an effect on the kidney?

A. Other than 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. Nevertheless, 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 really helpful quantities reveals no extreme unwanted side effects. Nevertheless, 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 day by day?

A. You possibly can drink barley water each day, however restrict it to a single serving. Including home made barley water reasonably than pre-packed ones to your each day weight loss program is greatest. Nevertheless, speak to your physician earlier than making an attempt one thing new or if you need extra perception on appropriate serving sizes. 

The Supporting Sources

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

2. Lund College. “Barley helps enhance blood sugar ranges, cut 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 medication and first care, 9(1), 69–71.

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