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Is barley better than rice? Is there arsenic in barley?

Rice and barley are both excellent foods. Both of them are wholesome grains that can be a beneficial part of one’s diet.

Here are few of the health benefits of both grains:


Barley is a health fad and has been in use for centuries on. It is the most popular unprocessed, wholesome grains cereal.

Pearl barley is very popular. It contains a lot of fiber. Barley is genetically modified at times. It has the low glycemic index (GI). It is good for diabetics.


Rice is also a popular healthy diet and people usually have it with curries, soups, and stir-fries. It is gluten-free. It is good for those who have gluten sensitivity or Celiac disease. Rice is prone to become rather contaminated with arsenic.

Rice has indeed very higher levels of inorganic arsenic as compared to other foods, in part because as rice plants grow, the plant and grain tend to absorb arsenic more readily than of course other food crops.

Rice guidelines have been set up for pregnant women on account of potential effects of arsenic on a developing fetus.

Rice does have a higher GI than barley. It is acknowledged as a medium-GI food.

One would prefer Barley as the fiber content is minimal and it has several healthful benefits. Rice can also be part of a healthy and wholesome diet.

Barley (wheat free, but not gluten-free) is indeed a bit smaller than rice. It has a neutral flavor. It is also good in soup. It is tasty if had with beans. Similar to rice, it is best served warm. One can go in for whole barley or hulled barley at the grocery store. While pearled barley is indeed more nutrient dense than a fully refined grain and it is not technically a whole grain as the bran has been removed.

Different dishes with Barley:

• Warm Barley Cereal with Dried Cherries
• Barley Risotto
• Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries and Barley
• Vegetable Beef and Barley Soup

Barley is often goes overlooked as one tends to go in for rice and oats. Yet the benefits of pearl barley are manifold and it is a highly nutritious food and has a wide-ranging positive effect on one’s health as a whole. It is indeed often compared to brown rice, which has been highly acknowledged as a very healthy food.

Both Rice and Barley are similar in many ways. Both are highly nutritious and contain a lot of essential minerals along with other precious nutrients. Barley contains a higher content of sodium and it is known for its dietary fiber. It is good for diets and weight loss programs.

Pearl barley is very popular for its nutritional value as well as rice. So, there are other factors you will need to consider to decide which the healthier food is. Let’s focus on the health benefits offered by these two foods.

Brown Rice:

A high content of manganese:

Manganese helps the nervous system to function in a healthy manner. It does play a role in the production of cholesterol and some sort of hormones. It is also a potent antioxidant that does help one’s body protect itself from the detrimental effects of free radicals.

A high content of fiber and selenium:

Selenium reduces the risk of colon cancer. If combined with dietary fiber, the level of protection does increase. In case one is at risk of developing cancer, one should include more brown rice and other selenium-rich foods in one’s diet.

Lowering the level of LDL cholesterol:

Brown rice helps in flushing out “bad” cholesterol from one’s body and replaces it with “good” HDL cholesterol. This does promote one’s cardiovascular health.

Pearl Barley:

• Blood sugar control:

Barley, in general, is the best choice of grain for diabetics as it does help keep one’s blood sugar levels under control. Barley dinner does improve one’s insulin sensitivity by up to 30%.

It lowers glycemic index:

Barley contains beta-glucan.

It reduces blood pressure:

Pearl barley controls one’s cholesterol levels and also promotes cardiovascular health in general. It does lower one’s blood pressure and also reduces the risk of heart disease as well as stroke.

It helps control weight:

Not only does barley contain more dietary fiber, it also takes longer to digest as compared to other grains. It is a good choice for the people who want to lose weight as eating some barley-based meal will keep one full length. Pearl barley nutrition value is so high, that one will get enough energy to keep one going for several hours.

Is brown rice good for you? Is pearl barley good for you?

The answer for both is “yes”. Barley is a more nutritious option as well as healthier and is good for those trying to lose weight and those who have face problems in controlling their blood sugar levels. It is advisable to consume both these grains on a regular basis.

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