The Main Natural Sources of Beta-Glucans

4th October 2019
We can find beta-glucans in several highly accessible and versatile foods. In this article, we'll explain what they are and the properties they contain. 

Surely you’ve heard of beta-glucans? You’ll probably hear this word if you regularly watch TV shows or visit websites about health. Up next, we’ll tell you which are the main natural sources of beta-glucans.

It’ll surprise you to know that this element is found in very common foods. In fact, you’re probably already consuming beta-glucans and you’re not aware of it. Learn more about it with the following facts.

What are beta-glucans?

Beta-glucans are a type of molecule that belongs to the carbohydrate group. These molecules are quite limited since they’re only found in some types of bacteria, fungi, and cereals.

In a very simple way, without entering into complex chemical concepts, we can say that beta-glucans are a type of soluble plant fiber. 

Main natural sources of beta-glucans and properties

Beta-glucans have numerous properties, so it’s beneficial for all kinds of people. Additionally, it acts very effectively against specific problems. 

One of its most outstanding qualities is the reduction of cholesterol levels. Eating foods rich in beta-glucan is a natural and totally healthy way to reduce high cholesterol levels. In the event that you take medication, foods with beta-glucan will be the perfect complement.

Its consumption is also advisable for those who suffer from cancer. Beta-glucans contribute to cell regeneration and increase the body’s resistance to infectious agents. Moreover, other outstanding properties include its effectiveness against constipation and antioxidant power.

Where can we find beta-glucans?

It’s especially important to know what foods contain beta-glucan. The reason is that there are very few that contain this type of molecule. Besides, it’s extremely positive to nourish ourselves with beta-glucans especially considering the many benefits we’ve mentioned.

Beta-glucans contribute to cell regeneration.

To keep you from troubling yourself too much or going crazy looking for foods rich in beta-glucan in the supermarket, we’ll present a list that points out these foods. Best of all, they’re easy to find and very versatile in the kitchen.

Main natural sources of beta-glucans: corn bran

Corn bran is one of the foods with the highest concentration of beta-glucans. Despite this fact, its consumption isn’t widespread and there’s a lot of ignorance regarding this food. It’s consumed in the same way as oat or rice bran. 

We can use it as a base for cooking biscuits or healthy homemade cookies. You only need to invest less than an hour in the kitchen to make a breakfast with corn bran.

That’s not all, since it’s completely homemade, it doesn’t entail an excess of fats and the harmfull added sugars that most purchase products contain.

Oats

Oats not only contain beta-glucans, but they’re also rich in protein. That’s why people who do sports usually consume them. Additionally, oats are very versatile, so it’s possible to prepare a wide variety of foods with them.

Oatmeal pancakes or porridge are two healthy and very satisfying options; perfect to eat as a hardy breakfast. In addition to helping you meet your sporting goals, they’ll keep you from feeling hungry throughout the morning.

Barley: main natural sources of beta-glucans

Lots of people may think that barley is animal food. The truth is that it’s also recommended for humans and it’s increasingly found in specialized stores. Just like oatmeal, it’s very healthy and satiating

Cooking with barley is very simple. One of the most popular recipes is sauteed with vegetables, although you can also make it as a soup.

Shiitake is a good source of beta-glucans.

Shiitake: main natural sources of beta-glucans

Of all the foods with a high concentration of beta-glucans, shiitake is one of the most unfamiliar. It’s an edible mushroom that comes from Central Asia. Its appearance is similar to that of common mushrooms. Regarding flavor, shiitake is smoky and much tastier.

Like all mushrooms, it’s very versatile in the kitchen. You can use it to make sauces or simply grill it as a side to a meat or fish meal. Moreover, it provides a lot of flavor to vegan recipes.

In conclusion, we have many alternatives to add beta-glucans to our bodies. It’s a beneficial element, so ensuring we eat it in the right amounts is worth it.

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