Research in the late 20th century revealed young barley grass is the most nutritious of the green grasses. While barley has been used as a grain since ancient times, the value of barley as a grass was overlooked.
Japanese researchers discovered young, green barley grass was a complete source of nutrition, containing a wide spectrum of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, proteins, enzymes, chlorophyll, and phytonutrients.
Researchers also discovered young barley is at its nutritional best before the beginning of the reproductive cycle, when the plant channels nutrition to the seed heads. In fact, when harvested at this early stage, young barley leaves have a different nutritional makeup from their adult counterparts.
A dilemma arises when humans try to get nourishment from this nutrient-rich barley grass. The human body is not equipped with the enzymes to break down the fiber in the barley grass. Therefore, without intervention, this nutrition is not bioavailable to the human body.
As research progressed on young barley grass, it was discovered when it was juiced and fiber removed, the vast nutritional profile of barley was unlocked for human consumption. Barley grass became bioavailable.
However, the nutrients in the liquid state were quite fragile and had to be consumed within a very short time to retain their nutritive value. To provide a realistic shelf life, one more step was needed to make this barley juice readily available to humans.
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