Why Plant-Based Minerals Are Good Supplements

Supplementation of the diet with plants goes back to ancient times. Greek athletes would consume a barley mush before competitions, because it was nutrient rich and easily digested. Roman gladiators also fed on barley and were known as the "hordearii," or barley men.

Plants are a superior source of minerals, in comparison to conventional mineral sources. Common sources of minerals found in the majority of multivitamin tablets are inorganic minerals and mineral chelates.

Inorganic minerals are those that have been mined from the earth or are developed in a lab by reacting one chemical with another. Only a small portion of inorganic minerals are assimilated by the human body, due to their large size and lack of solubility (Ashmead et al. 1985).

Mineral chelates are formed by attaching an organic molecule or complex such as a protein to the mineral. Most of these mineral chelates are compounds not normally found in nature and may even be viewed as foreign substances by the body. 

There are many conflicting studies on the absorption of these so-called "organic minerals" that can attest to this fact (Gregor 1987, Monsen 1988, Scholmerich et al. 1987).

Plants are the ideal mineral factory. The plant can take up both inorganic and chelated minerals into its root system and convert them to small, water soluble minerals. 

In this way, large, insoluble minerals are pre-digested by the plant into a form the human body was designed to utilize.

Plant-bound minerals have been found to be more soluble in simulated gastric and intestinal fluid and therefore are potentially more bioavailable than other commercial supplements (Elless et al., 1998). The plant is a perfect "factory" - no laboratory required. 

Instead of producing a mineral through reaction of a metal with a chemical or protein, the plant does the work for us.

Our bodies are designed to digest minerals from natural food sources and recognize plant minerals as food. Plant minerals are formed within the plant matrix; therefore they have the stability and order that are associated with naturally occurring compounds.

Barleylife is an example of this perfect plant factory. It contains an abundance of many different minerals in a natural form. 

LeafBrand™ chromium, found in GlucoChrom, is another example, targeted to the mineral chromium.

Why Is Barley Grass Such A Good Natural Food?

Barley grass acts as a perfect mineral matrix for a number of reasons:
  • Barley grass is an effective accumulator of minerals, particularly at the beginning of the growing period (Kivisaari, 1998). 
  • Barley grass is known to have an affinity for binding minerals to proteins, due in part to its exceptionally high protein content (Gissel-Nielson, 1987). 
  • Young barley grass plants are free of anti-nutritional factors and, in fact, are rich sources of enzymes that act as catalysts and cofactors in numerous reactions involving minerals in the body (Duffus, 1984).
Regular consumption of barley grass and plant-based minerals such as those found in GlucoChrom, along with a healthy, well balanced diet, will help ensure that our bodies are receiving the nutrients required.

As Roman gladiators and ancient Greek athletes consumed barley for strength and stamina, we need to consume it to get us through today's fast-paced and often hectic lifestyle.
Paul Eilers is an Independent Member of The AIM Companies™