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      Barley wholegrainIt’s January and we’re all on a mission to become healthier but for most people that means taking drastic measures and not implementing small changes into your lifestyle that you’ll stick too which is the only way true lasting change will happen.


      Today I’m going to focus on Barley and it’s benefits of which there are many. Barley is a wholegrain. But what is a wholegrain??


      Well all grains actually start life as whole grains. In their natural state growing in the fields, whole grains are the entire seed of a plant. And yes WHOLE GRAINS ARE HEALTHIER. They contain all three parts of the kernel. Refining (processing) normally removes the bran and the germ, leaving only the endosperm. Without the bran and germ, about 25% of a grain’s protein is lost, along with at least seventeen key nutrients. This is why you’ll often see added vitamins on cereals and breads, which are really just the ones they took out in the first place!

      I always remember Barley in my soup as a kid. I loved those little pearls but you don’t see it so much anymore and that’s a shame because it’s a very good source of nutrients including molybdenum, manganese, dietary fiber, selenium, and a good source of copper, vitamin B1, chromium, phosphorus, magnesium, and niacin.

      It’s really important that we look after our digestive health as it’s where a lot of our bigger health problems have their origin. You’ll often hear people referring to the Gut as being the real brain in our body because if it’s not healthy it can contribute to poor mental health, IBS, impaired immune and nervous system function and it can also wreak havoc with our hormones.

      Barley’s dietary fiber provides food for the friendly bacteria in our gut and is naturally high in Beta-glucan, a soluble fibre which slows digestion in the stomach.

      Beta-glucan is also scientifically proven to lower cholesterol and reduce blood sugars with authorised health claims from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). When consumed it turns into a thick gel that binds with excess cholesterol and sugar, which slows and reduces its absorption into the blood stream.

      There’s a new product called Heart Up+ which I really like its a 100% natural whole grain Barley food supplement. It’s ideal for those with high cholesterol, or digestion problems such as irritable bowel or stomach bloating, diabetics or those who simply want to maintain normal healthy cholesterol and insulin levels.

      Group Heart Up IMG_8444

      If you’ve seen any of my nutribullet recipes this can be added to them. You can also add it to soups, porridge, scrambled eggs, yogurts, casseroles and the list goes on. As you will notice from my facebook posts I’m a big fan of adding nutrient rich supplements especially if they can alleviate or help with health issues.


      Taking 3g (3 scoops) of Heart Up+ per day a person will lower cholesterol.  Heart disease is the biggest killer in Ireland and taking simple steps such as reducing your cholesterol can have a huge impact on your cardiovascular health.

      Taking 4g (4 scoops) per meal which contains 30g of carbohydrate will reduce blood sugar rise and insulin levels after the meal as it acts like a natural food statin.

      In short Heart Up+ provides the following health benefits:


               Lowers cholesterol


               Reduces blood sugar rise and insulin levels


               Prebiotic for gut health


               High in Folic Acid


               Feel fuller for longer


      Heart Up+ is available in three natural flavours including original, blueberry and red berries. The RRP is €7.79 and it is available in Lloyds Pharmacies, Sam McCauley Chemists, The Health Store, selected Dunnes Stores and  Super Valus, Eurospar, Spar stores and pharmacies and health stores nationwide as well as online at

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