The 5 Grain Stars of the Mediterranean

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Whole grain barley is incorporated into Mediterranean cuisine.

Barley is important to the world’s food supply; it’s the fourth most common cereal grain, after wheat, rice, and corn.

Barley is a real grain star because it has more fiber and more protein than your run-of-the mill grain. In fact, in ancient Rome, gladiators were also called hordearii, literally translated into “Barley Men,” because they ate this grain during training to give them strength and endurance.

Even pearled, or pearl, barley, which is stripped of its outer bran layer, contains fiber and can help boost your energy and reduce your risk for disease. The reason is that barley, unlike other grains, contains fiber throughout its entire kernel, not just the outer layer. This fiber is largely in the form of soluble beta-glucan fiber, which has specific benefits to help reduce bad cholesterol and improve blood glucose levels.

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