The richest common foods in beta-glucan are oats and barley. A cup of oatmeal provides about 3 grams of beta-glucan, which is the minimum required daily intake! Other grains, certain mushrooms, algae, and seaweed contain decent amounts of beta-glucan as well.
What is beta-glucan?
Beta-glucan is a type of soluble fiber. The human body can’t synthesize it. We have to take it from food or dietary supplements. But, there are only a few natural sources of beta-glucan!
Beta-glucan has gained popularity due to its ability to lower cholesterol. In addition, beta-glucan regulates blood sugar levels, supports weight loss, and even improves heart health.
Barley & oatmeal are the richest foods in beta-glucan
The richest common food in beta-glucan is barley. Barley has up to 20 grams of beta-glucan per 100g (dry weight).
The second-richest food in beta-glucan is oats. Oats have up to 8 grams of beta-glucan per 100g (dry weight). Hence, eating oatmeal can help you boost your daily beta-glucan intake.
Moreover, it’s better to prefer oat bran than oatmeal. The bran contains much higher beta-glucan concentrations. Commercial oat bran is about 7–10% beta-glucan!
Other natural sources of beta-glucan
Many whole grains contain decent amounts of beta-glucan:
- sorghum has up to 6.2 grams of beta-glucan per 100g (dry weight)
- rye has up to 2.7 grams
- maize has up to 1.7 grams
- triticale has up to 1.2 grams
- wheat has up to 1 gram
- rice has up to 0.13 grams
You could use them to prepare a high-quality homemade muesli!
Additionally, certain types of mushrooms, such as Reishi, Shiitake, and Maitake are good dietary sources of beta-glucan.
Last, but not least, various types of algae, and seaweed contain decent amounts of beta-glucan.
How much beta-glucan do I need per day?
As a rule of thumb, we should consume at least 3 grams of beta-glucan a day. This dosage seems to help lower LDL cholesterol levels by up to 10%.
Furthermore, you could eat barley bread for consuming more beta-glucan!