References to barley are found in Egyptian writings more than 5000 years old. Barley has a chewy, pasta-like consistency and is covered with a tough, inedible hull that must be removed by a mechanical sanding process called "pearling." The more the barley is pearled, the lighter it will be in color. Much of the barley grown in the U.S. is soaked until it sprouts and then used to make beer, but barley is much more nutritious as a cereal added to other foods.
- high in manganese, a co-factor for more than 300 important enzymes
- rich in selenium, an essential component of thyroid hormone metabolism
- high in phosphorus, required for bone and tooth formation
- good source of copper, required for critical enzymes to function properly