If you are reading this blog, you have probably heard about green barley grass and that there may be some good health benefits to it. Yes, there are ! But before we actually get down to what those benefits are, we need to be clear on how to choose our green barley grass powder so we do not waste our money and consequently feel let down and cheated on.
Is It the Same Grass?
There are actually two different types of green barley grass products. Although they are more or less the same grass, the differences are enormous. They differ in the parts used, extraction methods, fiber and nutrient content and consequently how available the nutrients are for a human organism. The word human is important here since there are many animals which live on grass only (and they are big and powerful animals, it should be noted) but their digestive systems are different to humans’ and so our needs would be naturally different.
What About Fiber?
The barley grass that we should all be wary of is the fiber containing product. Now, most of you might argue that fiber is good for us and I could only agree. Fiber does have certain health benefits, especially when it comes to digestion, elimination and detoxification and that is one of the reasons why we are always told to eat lots of fruit and veggies. However, if you grew up in a countryside and/or if you’ve ever come into close contact with any kind of grass, you might know how easy it is to cut oneself with a simple blade of grass. That small blade of grass can be pretty sharp, can’t it? Now that sharp part of the grass is fiber.
The processing method is quite simple. The grass is collected, dried and then pulverized into powder and that powder is then packaged and is on its way to a customer. That sharpness, that I talked about in a previous paragraph, may not be so obvious once the grass blade is pulverized, but nonetheless, it’s still there. Especially people with Crohn’s disease and other health problems related to intestines and elimination should be extra careful when choosing their green barley supplement. This type of product may (and most likely will) aggravate existing problems and the long term use may also have unwanted effects on our health.
This brings to mind my friend’s mother who I once talked to and suggested trying green barley for her chronic digestive issues. On the mention of green barley, she went pale in her face and admitted, she still had some green barley at home which she had bought some years ago in good faith. She only had to take it for few days to realize that not only her expectations were not being met, but on the contrary, her digestive system was markedly aggravated and the digestive problems made even worse. Anyone in their right mind would stop using this kind of product immediately, which she did.
Another issue with the fiber in grasses is the availability of nutrients. While animals’ digestive tracts are designed to break down the heavy fiber in grasses and thus make all the nutrients in the grass available to their bodies, human bodies are not so ‘lucky’ in that respect. We simply cannot break down the fiber in such a way and the result is that the product just passes through our digestive systems, all the nutrients stay trapped within the fiber and are never really released and made available for our bodies.
Let Us Juice !
On the other hand, we have green barley grass juice available on the market as well. Here, the processing and the extraction method are different. The collected grass is pressed or juiced to get the inner sap, whereas the outer fibrous part is discarded. The juice thus produced is then quickly dried at a low temperature. Low temperature and the speed of drying are essential to preserve sensitive nutrients and enzymes. Here, the final product, a powder, is essentially the juice of green barley grass which has maintained all the qualities of live, raw food. The nutrients and enzymes are preserved in the same way as if you were eating raw fruit and vegetables and because there is no fibrous tissue to ‘trap’ all those vital nutrients, they are available and easily absorbed by our beautiful bodies (which can only rejoice).
Now you might be wondering what happened to my friend’s mother. She was willing to give green barley another chance and this time around, she went for the juice version. She did not regret it. What she reported, surprised even me ! The best digestion she had ever experienced in her life… no bloating, regular and painless elimination, soft stools and consequently general improvement in her well-being. She herself could not believe that she was essentially taking the same green barley grass.
Fiber or No Fiber?
It should be more than obvious by now that when it comes to grasses, fiber is not the nutrient that gives green barley grass its health benefits. On the contrary, fiber in grasses is not suitable for human consumption and can actually be detrimental to our digestive tracts. What’s more, since we cannot break down the fiber with our own digestive systems, the nutrients thus ‘trapped’ are never released and absorbed by our bodies. And even though this type of product might be cheaper (due to a lower cost production method), it is definitely not preferred option for those of us looking for nutrients and enzymes packed green super food.
The organic juiced version available on the market is the green superhero that is going to deliver all of its promises. Ultimately, this is the product that this website is concerned about and dedicated to.