Barley greens and wheat grass make green food nutrition complete. You may already be familiar with the green foods from the ocean, Chlorella and Spirulina. These two green foods are extraordinarily rich in protein and healthy fatty acids. The two most important green foods from the land are barley greens and wheat grass. They are extraordinary sources of vitamins and minerals. The combination mean super nutrition for your body and well being.
A Health Food Recommended in Natural Medicine for Over 1500 Years
Barley greens have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine as early as about the year 500, when they were mentioned in the medical text known as the Mingyi Bielu, or, in English, “The Supplementary Records of the Great Physicians.” Cultivated by sprinkling water over clean barley seeds, and then collecting and drying the sprouts, ancient herbalists used barley greens as a remedy for stomach ailments.
These green sprouts were important in formulas for stimulating sluggish digestion, and also for stopping excessive lactation in nursing mothers. Barley greens were also prescribed for “stagnation of the liver,” which was Chinese medicine’s way of describing depression following emotional turmoil.
A Great Way to Alkalize
In modern day, barley greens are considered an exceptionally balanced food. Dried barley greens are about 4 percent glutamic acid. This is the amino acid that “alkalizes” the urine. With enough glutamic acid, the kidneys do not need to leach calcium out of bone to counteract acidity.
Barley greens are also a significant source of the methionine, the amino acid the body uses to make the pain and depression relieving chemical S-adenosylmethionine, also known as SAM-e.
Just one tablespoon of dried barley greens contains a day’s supply beta-carotene, betaine, biotin, boron, copper, iron, lutein, magnesium, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamine. Barley greens offer alpha-linoleic acid, oryzanol, zinc, potassium, and selenium, as well as the alpha-, beta-, and gamma-tocopherols that make up vitamin E. You cannot get absolutely every nutrient your body needs from barley greens, but you can come very close.
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A Great Source of Antioxidants
Wheat grass is the tender shoots growing from sprouted wheat. Wheat grass can be juiced, or it can be dried, concentrating its nutrients. You don’t get a full range of nutrients from wheat grass. In fact, you take wheat grass just for its antioxidant power, but this nutritional feature of wheat grass makes it extraordinarily useful in human nutrition.
According to research published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, wheat grass contains biologically significant concentrations of two enzymes, catalase and peroxidase. These two enzymes are not yet known to be medicinal, but they are being investigated as anti-aging agents. Researchers at La Trobe University in Australia have even found that wheat grass is potentially healing when it is used on you, rather than in you. Making a cream of wheat grass to be applied to tired feet and legs, three researchers publishing in the medical journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine report that users of the wheat grass cream experienced less foot and ankle pain as they used the cream over a period of six weeks.
Chlorella and Spirulina
Barley greens and wheat grass, of course, are not the only green foods. Balancing the Minerals, Vitamins, and Antioxidants of Barley Greens and Wheat grass with the Complete Proteins and Essential Fatty Acids of Chlorella and Spirulina can be extremely beneficial.
Chlorella is a green algae that grows in the ocean, and Spirulina, a spiral blue-green algae that grows in tropical freshwater lakes, add complete protein to the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants provided by barley greens and wheat grass.
A serving of tofu is about 6 per cent protein. A hamburger patty is about 7 per cent protein. Chlorella is about 45 per cent protein, and Spirulina powder contains up to an astonishing 77 per cent protein. The protein in these ocean and lake green foods, moreover, is complete protein. It contains all the amino acids that the human body needs to make its own proteins.
Tom Hines is the Co-Founder of NutritionGeeks.com, a retired USAPL powerlifter, a volunteer youth wrestling coach, the father of 3 amazing boys, and interested in all things health.