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Activated Barley

Updated on December 14, 2014
Simply Feel Good activated barley
Simply Feel Good activated barley | Source

What is Activated Barley?

Activated barley sounds like it has had some form of electrical treatment but the 'activated' part of barley is far better explained by first taking a glimpse at why barley is genuinely classed as a superfood.

There can be no question that as far as cereal produce goes, barley has to be as old as the planet we live on, even the bible has several references to it and it's connection with religious feasts as well as a staple food for humans and animals.

Pearl Barley for example, used to thicken broths.
Barley flour used to add fibre to baked goods.
Barley flakes for rolled oats (porridge)
Barley malt is an important ingredient for beer brewing.

Activated Barley for Infant Food

Even before the birth of Christ, back in ancient Rome, a life-saving infant food was made by blending sprouted barley, honey, and colostrum (mother's milk), it was made up to feed newborn infants whose mother's had died at childbirth.

The means there must have been breast milk donors (wet nurses) who may have lost their own baby, or shared their breast milk to support new borns in their early days.

The colostrum is the first milk delivered, full of all the highly nutritional products that boost a baby's chance of survival. By fortifying this with the sprouted barley and honey, it turbo charged their survival rates even more.

Activated Barley for Infant Feeding

The Barley Eaters - Ancient Gladiators

For many years we have been taught about Gladiators protein rich diets, and until only recently we were led to believe that Gladiators were fed the best meat in order to build their bodies and develop stamina that will help make them into fighting machines.Mental images or graphic illustrations of the muscular fighting machines feeding from oxen, even horses. Oftem better meat than their emperors because there was big money invested in these gladiators - no different to race horses today.

This theory was debunked by Austrian forensic anthropologists Dr Fabian Kanz and Prof. Karl Grosschmidt as a result of scientific research on the bones of Gladiators that had been excavated. Conclusive results proved that these fighters were well fed, not on the very best red meat that we thought but on vegetarian food that was rich in carbohydrates, such as barley, beans and dried fruits.

In addition to this evidence it is also historically recorded that gladiators were nicknamed “hordearii”, this literally means “barley eaters”. The Roman Legions were knew only too well of the power of Barley to the point that its army marched on it.When you have an empire to biold you don't feed them swill.

Our ancestors were more than aware that barley was good for them although in those days it wasn't called a superfood. It was more of a case of knowing it was good but not knowing why.

Today we know it as an incredible source of fiber, selenium, phosphorus, copper and manganese.

Scientific Research in Barley

Worldwide research mainly conducted in Canada, Australia and USA has shown the same results that barley in the diet does participate in reducing blood cholesterol in hypercholesterolemic patients.It becomes conclusive when top independent scientists from totally different countries arrive at the same results.

Putting aside studies relating to blood cholesterol, other studies have proven that 'Type II' diabetes sufferers (non-insulin dependent diabetics) who introduced barley in their diet had displayed improved blood glucose levels.

Another interesting fact is that barley has an extremely low rate of 27 on the glycemic index, this is 22% less than skimmed milk.

Barley has high concentrations of tocotrienols, antioxidant compounds, they help suppress the activities of the HMG-CoA Reductase that plays a crucial part in the production of cholesterol in the liver.

So, as much as Barley has been used as a health food for thousands of years we are still limited to how much we can utilise it in the whole grain form, however it isn't the case with 'activated barley'.

What Was The Roman Gladiators Diet?

CC BY Roman Gladiators were fed on activated barley
CC BY Roman Gladiators were fed on activated barley | Source

Activated Barley At Its Best

When is activated barley at its very best?

With 'activated barley', there is a precise point when the barley is at its absolute optimum, most powerful and potent point.It's very prime!

A good example of this is when we watch a slow motion picture of a plant slowly emerging from the soil and very, very slowly reaching upwards towards the sun. So from one thin fragile stem that could so easily be destroyed or eaten by wildlife to emerging leaves, then after those leave grow, a bud appears before it gradually opens as a stunning flower.

Moving our attention once again to barley, if we watched the sprouting process in very slow motion waiting in anticipation for the point where the grain is about to sprout the pearl, however not quite sprouting in full and at that very split second we can stop it on what could be described as 'arrested development'.

The barley seed at this stage is fit to burst, at it's most energetic state, it is at its optimum and contains the highest levels of enzymes.It is at this point that the barley has been activated and at it's best.

Let's look at it another way, take a fizzy drink, give the can or bottle a good shake, the liquid is now energised and the moment you release the ring pull or lid, it will burst out like a very powerful water jet; imagine harnessing that powerful energy; that's what happens in the processing of 'activated barley'. The very same with a fire extinguisher, when the trigger is pulled, the power is released.

The process with barley increases the availability of beta-glucans and other nutrients by up to 94%.

So, the understanding of that crucial part of sprouting barley is a major achievement, the problem is how do we create this 'arrested development'?

A company based in Sweden has invented a method of utilizing low-temperature steam to tease the barley, sufficient to encourage growth but only just up to that crucial point of sprouting … and stop. That is when the barley is activated and at its optimum.

The Real Health Properties of Activated Barley

What are the real health properties of activated barley?

This very technical process of developing 'active barley' does not remove the goodness from non-sprouting barley.

The truth is, it still ranks very low on the glycemic index and has all of the original nutritional values of its non sprouted state with high levels of tocotrienols and beta glucans.

The process of using a steam jet is designed to increase the vitality of the barley seed up to a massive 400% more than in non-sprouted barley.

Activated barley contains 1,000s of active enzymes, polysaccharides, and protein.

It is no quick process and It actually takes up to 4 hours to break down in the digestive tract, thus providing a slow sustained release of energy and insulin therefore lowering the body's insulin response.

The process of activated barley provides a product that is perfect for anyone seeking to achieve their optimal weight and fitness. Activated Barley is ideal for athletes, body builders, and health enthusiasts, those who require a steady source of energy for long workouts or periods of intense concentration and focus to achieve their targets.

It isn't a slimming miracle food for fad diets, although if you wish to lose weight, it will provide the energy boost required to help you become more active to burn off calories. It is more of a muscle building superfood than a low calory grain.

Always check with your doctor to make sure you don't have any allergies relating to barley.

Barley in Beer

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    • The Ghostwriter profile image

      Peter Yexley 3 years ago from UK

      Thank you. As a child we always had barley in a jar and put it in soups, on cereal, in porridge etc.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

      The history of gladiators and motherless babies being sustained by barley was very interesting. I guess I´ve taken this grain for granted. It is available in Peru, so I´ll have to look into adding it to our diet. The whole idea of "activated" barley was new to me. Thank you for explaining it.

    • The Ghostwriter profile image

      Peter Yexley 6 years ago from UK

      Thank you, You are absolutely right; Barley grass and Wheat grass make fantastic juices. I understand they are an excellent hangover cure too!

    • profile image

      tebo 6 years ago

      A very informative hub. Barley does seem to be an important part of our diet and has as you say been around for many years. I seem to remember barley grass being quite popular at one point and probably still is.