When it comes to grains and cereals, they have been an integral part of the Indian kitchen since time immemorial. Right from preparation of different dishes to making Indian staple, chapati, both wheat, and barley have their own set of benefits.  

Wheat

The major wheat-producing states in India are Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan. Punjab has the highest production of wheat and is also crowned as the ‘wheat basket of India’.  

Health Benefits 

Wheat Barley inside

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Wheat is a storehouse of essential nutrients and provides you with copper, folate, selenium, niacin, phosphorus, calcium, vitamin B6, and manganese. It is also a great source of fiber which keeps your gut clean and healthy. The phosphorus and calcium content also helps in keeping your bones strong. The presence of vitamins makes wheat a good enough antioxidant. Zinc helps in keeping your skin and eyes healthy.   

Uses  

Wheat is widely used across India to prepare chapatis. It is such an essential ingredient of the kitchen that it is used multiple times every single day. It can also be used to prepare bread, muffins, biscuits, and halwa. You can also mix wheat with other types of flours to make multigrain flour.  

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Availability  

Wheat is the most widely available crop when it comes to accessibility. It is extensively grown all around the globe and is available in sufficient quantities in every part. 

Taste  

Since we, as Indians, are accustomed to consuming wheat from our childhood, we are habitual of its taste. Wheat has a unique sweetness, which gives the chapatti their taste and flavour.  

Barley

In India, barley is mainly produced by the states of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh. Barley is also known as ‘jau’ in Hindi. Both wheat and barley belong to the grass family and are caryopsis, which is basically the fruit of the grass.  

Health Benefits 

Wheat Barley inside

Image Courtesy: Freepik

Barley is a rich source of fiber, manganese, molybdenum, and selenium. It also contains good quantities of copper, vitamin B1, chromium, phosphorus, magnesium, and niacin. It helps in keeping you full as it has a higher percentage of fiber than wheat. It drives away hunger pangs and aids digestion. Barley contains a compound called beta-glucans, which helps in lowering cholesterol. The soluble fiber present in barley keeps a check on blood pressure and prevents it from shooting up.  

Uses  

Barley is a very healthy option if you wish to give a twist to your usual khichdi, upma, and dalia. You can add different vegetables according to your taste bud and your bowl full of health is ready.  

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Availability  

Barley is the third most grown crop in the world, which is why it might not be readily available in the market. Though, in India, it has a good amount of production and is available in almost all towns, villages, and cities.  

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Taste 

Barley is a coarse grain and thus has a unique and distinct flavour. It is chewy in nature and has a nutty undertone. It might not suit the taste of everyone because of its taste and texture.  

Make sure you avoid consuming wheat and barley if you suffer from a gluten allergy. Since both these grains contain gluten, they can trigger allergies in gluten-sensitive people. For more on diet and nutrition, stay tuned to HerZindagi.