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Barley flour vs Wheat germ: Difference, Benefits, More

This article explains the key similarities and differences between barley flour and wheat germ, foods from the grains food group. Read on to learn more about the barley flour vs wheat germ comparison.
Dennis Gillett, Health & Fitness Writer

Written by Dennis Gillett, Health & Fitness Writer. Updated on January 28, 2023.

Barley flour and wheat germ belong to the grains food group, one of the staple food groups for people on a plant-based diet.

Grains and grain products are an affordable source of carbohydrates, as well as essential vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins (such as thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin), iron, and zinc, minerals that are usually harder to get on a plant-based diet.

They also provide a small amount of protein and healthy fats.

However, it is important to note that whole grains are generally a better source of these nutrients than refined grains.

This article will thoroughly compare barley flour and wheat germ and help you learn more about their similarities and differences.

Barley flour

Barley flour (Hordeum vulgare) is made from ground barley, which is a type of cereal grain that is grown in many parts of the world.

It is a good source of carbohydrates, dietary fibers, and small amounts of vitamins and minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, and B vitamins. It is also rich in antioxidants and protein, making it a valuable food for vegetarians and vegans.

Barley flour is commonly used in baking, particularly in traditional dishes such as bread and porridge. It has a slightly sweet, nutty flavor and can be used as a substitute for wheat flour in most recipes. It is also gluten-free and easy to digest, making it a great option for people with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.

Barley flour is considered a functional food, as it has been shown to positively impact health when consumed regularly as part of a balanced diet. It is also a sustainable crop, as it can be grown in poor soil conditions and is resistant to pests and diseases.

Barley flour is an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), and Vitamin B3 (Niacin).

It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine) and some Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), and Vitamin E.

Wheat germ

Wheat germ (Triticum aestivum) is a by-product of wheat milling and is derived from the inner part of the wheat kernel.

It is a good source of essential nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy fats. It is particularly high in vitamin E, folate, and minerals like zinc, magnesium, and phosphorus.

Wheat germ is also a good source of plant-based protein, making it a valuable food for vegetarians and vegans.

It is often used as an ingredient in breakfast cereals, granolas, and baked goods or as a topping for yogurt, oatmeal, and salads. It can also be added to smoothies and other drinks for an extra boost of nutrition.

Wheat germ is an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and Vitamin B9 (Folate).

It also contains Vitamin E, and Vitamin K in a small amount.

Barley flour vs Wheat germ Nutrition

Now that we’ve described the origin, taste, and usage of these foods, we can move to the most interesting part – comparing barley flour vs wheat germ.

This comparison will start by comparing the caloric value of barley flour and wheat germ and their macronutrients and then go more in-depth by analyzing their vitamin and mineral content.

Barley flourWheat germ
Energy345 kcal360 kcal
Carbs74.5 g51.8 g
Sugar0.8 g0.98 g
Fiber10.1 g13.2 g
Protein10.5 g23.2 g
Fat1.6 g9.72 g
Saturated Fat0.335 g1.66 g

Barley flour vs Wheat germ Calories

Most calories in grains come from carbs.

Comparing barley flour vs wheat germ for weight loss, barley flour is slightly lower in calories, with 345 calories per 100 grams, compared to 360 calories per 100 grams of wheat germ.

However, both barley flour and wheat germ can and should be a part of a healthy diet, and neither one shouldn’t be avoided if you’re looking to lose weight.

Barley flour vs Wheat germ Protein

Grains and most grain products, including barley flour and wheat germ, are important sources of plant-based protein.

However, it should be noted that most grains, with the exception of quinoa and buckwheat, for example, are low in lysine and methionine.

That said, you can combine grains with legumes to get a complete protein.

Wheat germ offers around 55% more protein than barley flour.

Wheat germ has 23.2 grams of protein per 100 grams, while barley flour has 10.5 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Barley flour vs Wheat germ Carbs

Counting carbs can be important for some people for different reasons, including blood sugar control, weight management, or athletic performance.

It’s also important for people on a keto diet, so let’s compare the carbs content in barley flour and wheat germ.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 30% higher in barley flour than in wheat germ. It has 74.5 grams per 100 grams, compared to 51.8 grams in wheat germ.

There’s less sugar in barley flour than in wheat germ, 20% precisely.

That said, 100 grams of barley flour contains 0.8 grams of sugar, while the same amount of wheat germ contains 1 grams.

Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in barley flour and wheat germ.

Dietary fiber keeps the digestive system healthy and helps with weight management by promoting a sense of fullness.

With 13.2 grams of fiber per 100 grams, wheat germ is a better source of fiber than barley flour which offers 10.1 grams per 100 gram portion.

Barley flour vs Wheat germ Fats

Like most other grains, barley flour and wheat germ are low in fat.

Fats in barley flour and wheat germ are mostly healthy unsaturated fats. They are naturally cholesterol-free and trans-fat-free.

Total fat in barley flour and wheat germ:

  • Barley flour: 1.6 grams per 100 grams
  • Wheat germ: 9.7 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, barley flour is 82% lower in saturated fats.

Barley flour and wheat germ contain 0.3 grams and 1.7 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Barley flour vs Wheat germ Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of barley flour and wheat germ.

Vitamins are micronutrients, meaning we need only a small amount. However, they are very important for many processes in our bodies.

Barley flour has a higher amount of vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), vitamin B9 (Folate), vitamin E, and vitamin K.

Barley flour and wheat germ contain the same amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).

The following table shows the exact amount of vitamins barley flour and wheat germ contain side by side, so you can easily compare them.

Barley flourWheat germ
Vitamin A00
Vitamin C00
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.37 mg1.88 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.114 mg0.499 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)6.27 mg6.81 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)0.145 mg2.26 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.396 mg1.3 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)8 µg281 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E0.57 mg0.85 mg
Vitamin K2.2 µg5.9 µg

Barley flour vs Wheat germ Minerals Content

Minerals are important for our body to function properly. We need only a small amount of minerals, so they are called micronutrients.

Some minerals, like iron, calcium, zinc, or iodine, are relatively hard to get on a plant-based diet, so it’s important to choose your foods thoughtfully. This part of the barley flour and wheat germ comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Barley flour is a better source of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium, and zinc than wheat germ.

Barley flour and wheat germ contain the same amount of fluoride.

Check out the table below to learn how barley flour and wheat germ compare when it comes to mineral content.

Barley flourWheat germ
Calcium32 mg39 mg
Copper0.343 mg0.796 mg
Fluoride00
Iron2.68 mg6.26 mg
Magnesium96 mg239 mg
Manganese1.03 mg13.3 mg
Phosphorus296 mg842 mg
Potassium309 mg892 mg
Selenium37.7 µg79.2 µg
Sodium4 mg12 mg
Zinc2 mg12.3 mg

The Final Word

This article highlighted the similarities and differences between barley flour and wheat germ.

Grains, also known as cereal grains, are an important source of nutrition for many people around the world. They are a rich source of carbohydrates, which provide energy for the body.

Whole grains contain important vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins and iron. Whole grains, in particular, are high in dietary fiber and can help with digestion and weight management.

They may also have other health benefits, such as reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

Grains are also a staple food and an important source of food security in many parts of the world.

Sources

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