The richest common foods in beta-glucan are oats and barley. 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 common foods rich in beta-glucan!
Health benefits of beta-glucan
Above all, beta-glucan has gained popularity due to its ability to lower cholesterol. Other amazing health benefits of beta-glucan are regulating blood sugar levels, promoting weight loss, and even improving heart health.
Foods rich in beta-glucan
The richest common food in beta-glucan is barley. It has up to 20g of beta-glucan per 100g dry weight. The 2nd richest food in beta-glucan is oats. Oats have up to 8g of beta-glucan per 100g dry weight.
Other whole grains are great sources of beta-glucan as well. Sorghum has up to 6.2g, rye has up to 2.7g, maize has up to 1.7g, triticale has up to 1.2g, wheat has up to 1g, and rice has up to 0.13g of beta-glucan per 100g dry weight, respectively!
Additionally, certain types of mushrooms, such as Reishi, Shiitake, and Maitake are good dietary sources of beta-glucan.
Last, but not least, various species of algae, and seaweed contain decent amounts of beta-glucan.
Hence, eating oatmeal can help you boost your daily beta-glucan intake.
Moreover, you better prefer oat bran than oatmeal. The bran contains much higher beta-glucan concentrations. Commercial oat bran contains about 7–10% beta-glucan!
How much beta-glucan do I need per day?
As a rule of thumb, we should consume at least 3g of beta-glucan a day. This dosage seems to help lower LDL cholesterol levels up to 10%. This is the dangerous cholesterol for the heart.
Furthermore, you could eat barley bread for getting more beta-glucan!