Barley grass is a type of nutritional grass which is usually found along roadsides and hedgerows. Nutritional grasses are often called cereal grasses since they are the young green plants that subsequently develop into cereal grains. Although barley grass later grows into barley grain, it is not really the same as barley grain, and its nutritional profile is distinctly different from the latter.
For one thing, barley grass and other nutritional grasses do not contain the gluten that their cereal grain counterparts do. They are entirely gluten-free, and are regarded as a class of superfoods which have an extraordinarily high nutrient profile similar—and even superior to—the nutrient profile of dark green leafy vegetables.
Dr. Yoshihide Hagiwara, a Japanese doctor, scientist, inventor and researcher, conducted extensive research involving the study of more than 150 plants over a period of 13 years—and he discovered that barley grass was the best source of nutrients needed by the body for healing, vitality, restoration, growth, and well-being. Dr. Hagiwara also claims that barley grass has the potential to prevent cancer and aging.
There is a school of scientific thought that supports the theory that both cancer and aging result when genes become damaged, and fail to repair themselves. In a collaborative research with biologist Dr. Jasuo Hotta, a specialist of gene engineering at the University of California at La Jolla, Dr. Hagiwara found that when barley grass juice was introduced to damaged cells, the DNA within the cells repaired itself remarkably fast. The two doctors conducted experiments wherein they exposed cells extracted from mice to a powerful carcinogenic (cancer-causing) chemical as well as radiation. Thereafter, they divided the cells into two sets, incubated both, and introduced barley juice to only one set and not the other.
The cells exposed to the barley grass juice repaired themselves at an accelerated rate—twice the speed of normal cells. The cells that were not given the barley grass juice repaired themselves at a significantly slower rate, and many of the cells died. When they introduced barley grass juice to the mouse cells before subjecting them to a carcinogenic chemical and radiation, Dr. Hotta noted that the repair rate was about 3 times as fast as normal.
Over the last 30 years, many doctors, scientists and researchers have investigated the therapeutic effects of barley grass. One of those doctors is Allan L. Goldstein, Ph.D., head of the biochemistry department at George Washington University’s School of Medicine and Health Sciences. He discovered that specific components of barley grass appear to inhibit several types of cancer, including leukemia, brain tumors and prostate cancer.
Due to the fact that barley grass is abundant in Vitamins A, B1, B2, C, folic acid, B12, calcium, iron, potassium, chlorophyll, and all 9 essential amino acids, it helps chelate chemicals from the body. Furthermore, the live enzymes barley grass contains, which number in the thousands, help to neutralize and combat the numerous carcinogens we are exposed to in modern living, such as benzpyrene, black char and BHT.
The pure juice of young barley leaves has also been identified as one of the most abundant sources of Superoxide Dismutase (S. O. D.), an anti-aging enzyme. Kenneth Munkres, a molecular biologist, and his colleagues at the University of Wisconsin studied several strains of the same species of mold—and found out that those richest in S.O.D. were the ones that live the longest.
The studies of Dr. Richard Cutler, a biophysicist at the National Institute of Aging, also prove that the life spans of many mammals, including humans, are directly proportional to the amount of S.O.D. they have in their bodies. The highest levels of S.O.D. have been found in humans and animals with the longest life spans. Since barley grass juice contains the most abundant supply of S.O.D., it can be fairly expected to delay or even slow down the aging process — and consequently lengthen human life spans!
The S.O.D. contained in barley grass juice functions as a super scavenger enzyme which destroys free radicals that damage several elements of a cell, including DNA. When an adequate amount of DNA is damaged, cells start to die, and this contributes to the aging process. While there exists no known substance or mechanism that prevents aging from occurring, an increasing number of scientists believe that S.O.D. has the potential to delay aging indefinitely.
Its nutrient profile not only gives barley grass formidable cancer-fighting and anti-aging properties, but also makes it an ideal item to incorporate into one’s diet. Just one serving of barley grass has 7 times more vitamin C than an orange; 30 times more Vitamin B1 and 11 times more calcium than 8 ounces of cow’s milk; 5 times more iron than 1 cup of spinach; and 4 times more Vitamin B1 than 2 slices of whole wheat bread.
A growing number of nutritionists and health practitioners also recommend barley grass for the treatment and prevention of ailments such as arthritis, migraines, asthma, fatigue, and gastrointestinal disorders. Dr. Howard Lutz, former Director of the Institute for Preventive Medicine in Washington, D.C., recommends a teaspoon of barley juice powder in 8 ounces of water daily, as part of his recommended program for looking 10 years younger. Barley juice powder is widely available at most health food stores, supplement stores, and from many online retailers.
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