It was love at first chomp.
I first came across mugi gohan in my school cafeteria thinking it was brown rice but, when I ate it, it was even better! I came home one day lugging 2 kilos of rolled barley from the supermarket to mimic the mugi gohan at school and, boy, it was good. So good! The combination of barley’s nutty flavor and chewy texture with the softness of Japanese rice is just awesome! To my surprise, when I served it at home, boo asked me if we were running out of rice. Only then I learned that mugi gohan was considered “poor people’s rice”. This probably confirms my suspicion that my taste is a reflection of my current status. LOL.
It’s good for your body
Nevertheless, I researched more about mugi gohan and I found that even though it carries a certain stigma, consuming it is good for the body if the taste is not enough to convince you to try it.
A scientific study found that, in a healthful diet, increasing whole-grain foods, whether high in soluble (whole wheat and brown rice) or insoluble fiber (barley), can reduce blood pressure and may help to control weight (Behall KM1, Scholfield DJ, Hallfrisch J. J Am Diet Assoc. 2006 Sep;106(9):1445-9).
Moreover, a study investigated whether the consumption of a diet in which high-beta-glucan barley replaced rice would reduce the visceral fat area as well as the serum low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and total cholesterol (TC) in hypercholesterolemic Japanese men and found that the consumption of pearl barley with a high beta-glucan content reduces not only LDL-C but also visceral fat area (Shimizu C1, Kihara M, Aoe S, Araki S, Ito K, Hayashi K, Watari J, Sakata Y, Ikegami S., Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2008 Mar;63(1):21-5. Epub 2007 Dec 12).
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