Barley has a long history of cultivation. It was grown in the Fertile Crescent alongside other ancient grains like emmer and einkorn. It is a crop that grows well under cool conditions, and it is widely grown in countries where the climate is less favourable for wheat cultivation.
Barley is high in fibre and low in gluten. The grain provides a good source of B vitamins, minerals and protein. There is some evidence that barley may help protect against heart disease. There is some evidence to suggest that including barley in the diet can change the composition of the gut microbiome, and may help protect against obesity.