Although barley may not be as popular as other whole grains like oats, wheat, or even grain-of-the-moment quinoa, barley has some impressive health benefits. A very high fiber content, vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, heart health and diabetes protection are just some of the barley nutrition benefits that make it one of the best whole grain choices. Barley is actually one of the oldest consumed grains in the world. It was a staple grain for peasants during medieval times for centuries and today is still included in the diet of many european, african, and middle eastern nations that have been eating barley for thousands of years. Barley provides a range of important vitamins and minerals: fiber, selenium, b vitamins, copper, chromium, phosphorus, magnesium, niacin, and more. And when compared to many other grains, even other ancient whole-grains, barley is lower in fat and calories, but higher in dietary fiber and certain trace minerals. For example a one-cup serving of cooked barley has less calories, but more fiber, than an equal serving of quinoa, brown rice, amaranth, sorghum, millet or wild rice.