Barley is a wonderfully versatile cereal grain with a rich nutlike flavor and an appealing chewy, pasta-like consistency. Its appearance resembles wheat berries, although it is slightly lighter in color.
In addition to providing bulk and decreasing the transit time of fecal matter, thus decreasing the risk of colon cancer and hemorrhoids, barley’s dietary fiber also provides food for the “friendly” bacteria in the large intestine. In addition, barley’s dietary fiber is high in beta glucan, which helps to lower cholesterol by binding to bile acids and removing them from the body via the feces. Yet another reason to increase your intake of barley is that, in addition to its fiber, barley is also a good source of niacin, a B vitamin that provides numerous protective actions against cardiovascular risk factors.