Barley grass juice powder has been mentioned quite a bit in the raw food community on social media platforms in the past two months. Don Bennett has helped raise its profile, explaining the benefits he and his clients have experienced in using this supplement, specifically the brand Daily Green Boost, at talks late last summer at The Woodstock Fruit Festival and Arnold’s Way, a raw vegan café in Lansdale, Pennsylvania.
I first learned about barley grass juice powder in the fruit-based raw food community in March 2013 from Dr. David Klein during my interview with him for a profile story in Fruit-Powered Digest. Klein said he experienced improved health, particularly dental health. Klein recommends another brand of barley grass juice powder: Purium.
I wanted to find out more about barley grass juice powder and set up this special interview. Below, Bennett answers questions about barley grass juice powder and supplementation with it. Jamie Pounds, owner of Daily Green Boost, shares information about the barley grass juice powder he sells. Daily Green Boost has reported a couple of temporary sellouts, prompting me to explore this recent supplement phenomenon.
Interview with Don Bennett on Barley Grass Juice Powder
What exactly is barley grass juice powder and what distinguishes it from barley grass powder?
Barley grass powder, as the name implies, is simply dried barley grass, and while we need nutrients, extracting them from grass is not something we’re designed to do. Powdered barley grass juice is the juice extracted from barley grass that is then turned into a powder that can be added to water, juices, smoothies or made into a paste by mixing it with a little water and then spread on fruit or veggies (used as part of solid food is preferable over mixing it with a liquid as it will spend more “face time” with your gut and thus more opportunity for nutrient absorption. Plus, it will also spend more time in the mouth, where it will mix with saliva, which is an important part of the digestive process). So two tablespoons of barley grass powder does not give you nearly as much nutrition as the same amount of barley grass juice powder.
Is barley grass considered a grain? If so, why would we benefit from the juice of a grain?
Although there is a barley that is a grain, the barley grass that is used to make this supplement is not a grain, and as such, it contains no gluten (unless it is processed in a facility that also processes gluten-containing products. But my very gluten-sensitive clients have no issues with Daily Green Boost, the brand I recommend).
Is barley grass juice powder superior to other broad-based supplements? If so, why?
Its nutrients are more bioavailable by virtue of the fact that they are the “post-plant” form of the nutrients. Multivitamins like Theragram, One A Day and Centrum use the “pre-plant” form of nutrients, the kind found in the soil, and although humans can utilize a certain percentage of these, we can use far more of the post-plant form (the pre-plant form is the food of plants). And if you’re talking about other whole food green “superfoods” that contain dozens of ingredients, more is not necessarily better, and many of those superfoods also contain ingredients that are irritating to the human body. And compared to wheat grass juice, barley grass juice is superior. Don’t take my word for it, drink equal amounts of both juices (separately) and increase the amounts until one of them makes you nauseated, and it will be the wheat grass juice. In general, wheat grass is “hard to take,” but barley grass juice isn’t. All grasses are not created equal. And had she lived longer, it’s likely that Ann Wigmore would have eventually discovered barley grass juice’s superiority over wheat grass juice, as her contemporaries have.
Are supplements such as barley grass juice powder needed on a low-fat raw food diet, rich in fruits and vegetables? Are our fruits and vegetables deficient in nutrients?
The short answer is “yes” and “yes.” Here’s some empirical evidence: People who’ve been eating an all-raw fruit and greens diet for a goodly amount of time found benefit in adding a meaningful amount of barley grass juice powder into their diet (specifically Just Barley or Daily Green Boost; not all barley grass juice powders are the same quality). And I know this because ever since discovering the benefit of using it, I’ve recommended it to all my clients, and I’ve seen the benefits. If we were eating our fruits from where we used to eat them from, we’d not need any additional food-provided nutrients. But today most people’s fruit comes from an agri-based food industry that grows for yield, sugar content, pest resistance, shelf life, appearance and just about everything except nutritional content. Those farmers replace only potassium and phosphorus, and only because they must or their crops won’t grow. But what about all the other equally important nutrients? Barley grass juice powders are grown specifically for their nutritional content. Don Weaver can speak more to the specifics of why our fruits and veggies are not as nutrient rich as they once were, but my experience has been that they are not providing enough of all the nutrients our bodies require for optimal functioning, and that includes the immune system. I’ve seen, firsthand, how people’s health can improve when they finally get the nutrients their body has been craving. And consider that my glowing recommendation for barley grass juice powder has nothing to do with any financial gain, because I purposely do not sell it so that my recommendations will have the highest degree of credibility, because I know that it is beneficial to the body.
Does supplementing with barley grass juice powder eliminate the need to supplement with anything else? If not, what else do you recommend?
In a perfect world, it would be all you’d need to add (well, in a perfect world you wouldn’t need it at all). But here in our world, even this wonderful whole-food supplement does not contain enough iodine to restore a person’s low iodine level back up to whole body tissue sufficiency of iodine. And if someone is low in things like chromium, selenium or zinc, and are manifesting symptoms because of the insufficiency, they may find they need to bring their levels up to normal and then the added barley grass juice powder can help maintain those levels. We often talk about the supply side of the Supply and Demand equation, but our demands need to be considered too, especially if our demands are higher today than they would have been many millennia ago because of our unnatural environment and unnatural amounts of stressors. Then there are the non-food-provided nutrients D and B12, and obviously barley grass juice is not going to help with those, and we must be vigilant to make sure our levels of these equally important nutrients do not fall into the insufficiency range, and this is best accomplished with monitoring (unless you live in the tropics, then just test your MMA/B12 level every so often because you should be getting enough D-producing sunshine).
What benefits have you experienced from consumption of barley grass juice powder? How much do you use per day and how many days a week do you supplement with it, on average? Which brand do you use?
I believe in eating the best foods as I possibly can, and this philosophy applies a nutritional supplement as well. Of all the barley grass juice powders, Just Barley has been the industry leader for a very long time, and Daily Green Boost is the same product only with a different distribution channel. Personally, I use two heaping tablespoons a day in a banana smoothie, making for a much more nutritious banana. And this is the amount I’ve been recommending to all my clients. The list of benefits are numerous, but I can generalize this answer by saying that once the body has enough of all the resources it requires for optimal health, it can do what some people term “amazing” things in the health restoration department (it’s not really amazing, it’s just the body doing what it’s supposed to do when we support its efforts). Me? If I am without it in my diet for any appreciable length of time, my occasional irregular heart rate will return, as will occasional muscle cramps and “melon-belly,” and there are hard science reasons for this. And this just underscores the less-than-stellar nutritional condition of our agri-based fruits.
Do you continue to eat whole greens such as lettuce? Has your consumption of greens changed since supplementing with barley grass juice powder?
Another huge benefit of consuming a high-quality barley grass juice powder that many people experience but don’t think much about is this: When you add this to your diet, after a while your desire for leafy greens diminishes. This is because we’re meant to get the bulk of our minerals from fruit, but since the fruit we’re buying isn’t going to supply enough of what we need, we’re admonished to eat greens; it’s called a “fruit and leafy greens diet” because the greens help to compensate for the minerally sub-par fruit. But the greens are grown in essentially the same soil as the fruit, so they are not going to be as minerally rich as they should be. So when we start to get meaningful amounts of minerals from something that is grown for its nutritional content, our body naturally dials back its desire for greens. And I said this was a huge benefit because, just as greens are easier to digest than meat, fruit is easier to digest than greens. And, in general, the easier your digestion, the healthier you can be. I go more into this on Health101.org/blog.
What key nutrients are contained in barley grass juice powder?
There are a couple of ways to answer this question. You could say, based on the improvement people experience, that it contains the most important nutrient: the one you’re low in. And obviously this will be different for everyone. You could say it contains amounts of minerals that are lacking in sufficient quantity in the fruits we’re buying. And you can say that all the nutrients it contains are key to optimal health because they are all considered essential nutrients because our bodies can’t make them, so they must come from our food, but they must also come in sufficient quantities. A nutritional breakdown is on my website, but the proof of the pudding is in the tasting, and not in the nutritional listing, meaning, try it, daily, for a few months—two heaping tablespoons a day—and see if you notice a difference. And keep in mind that you may never know if regular daily use helped play a role in you not getting a diagnosis of something serious. And if it did help, but I never knew that it did, that would be just fine with me. My goal is to never get a diagnosis of something serious, and in my opinion, helping to make sure that my body gets enough of all the nutrients it needs to help me achieve that goal is the best reason to add a nutritional adjunct to the diet.
Which brands offer the best barley grass juice powder? Purium, Just Barley and Daily Green Boost are ones I’ve heard mentioned in the fruit-based raw food community.
These are all the same product, just packaged differently. (Editor’s note: Quality Assurance International searches show Purium’s Organic Green Juice, Just Barley and Daily Green Boost are all produced by Organic By Nature Inc. of Long Beach, California.) My research has shown that a dark-colored glass bottle with a moisture-absorbing packet is the best packaging for this product. So I avoid plastic or paper packaging and ones without the packet. This narrows it down to Just Barley and Daily Green Boost. Of the two brands, Daily Green Boost is less expensive per ounce because of the pricing structure of the company that sells it. And I believe in giving my hard-earned money to good companies run by good people who are doing what they’re doing for the right reasons, and these are few and far between in our profit-motivated culture. But I’m very happy to give my money to the company that sells Daily Green Boost because of its management and ethics.
What about health educators who maintain that we don’t need any supplements of any kind? Why do you think they say this?
My opinion is that they are either not keeping up with the latest information on optimal health restoration and maintenance, or they have a philosophy that, although lovely, has no basis in reality, or they want to tell people what people would rather hear, and people would rather hear that they don’t have to deal with supplements, or they see the health benefits from the prudent use of worthwhile nutritional supplements as “competition” to the services they offer (herbal preparations, fasting, etc.), and they would rather you use their approach (sorry, but these people exist in all industries, and ours is no exception).
After supplementing with barley grass juice powder, did you discover yourself eating less because you’re getting enough nutrition?
My eating less food over the years, I can only guess that as my body finished the high-priority healing and became more efficient, I needed less of, well, everything. And since I had been consuming the barley grass juice since 2008, this has certainly played a role. With nutrient insufficiencies, some ill-health issues can come upon us slowly, and some more quickly, it depends on our genetic weaknesses and strengths. This is why there are such vast differences in the problems people manifest. And this fact is why I like to take a first-things-first approach and deal with the basics of health, instead of a “do-this-for-that” paradigm. Health restoration is such a complex thing (from the body’s perspective), that we can’t hope to know exactly what to do specifically for this issue or that, so I think it’s better to simplify our approach with a “back-to-basics” philosophy. And this is why I say, facetiously, that everyone needs the exact same things to be healthy: enough sleep, enough nutrition, enough physical activity, enough sunshine, enough calories, etc. And equally as important, enough but not too much. And I see a lot of over-doing it going on with folks who would never overdo the fat or sunshine or water but seem to have no problem overdoing the physical activity spoke of the wheel of health. And just as with “not enough,” “too much” is also bad for the body, but for a whole ‘nuther set of reasons. Hmmm, sounds like an editorial in there somewhere. 🙂
About Daily Green Boost Barley Grass Juice Powder
Jamie Pounds, owner of Daily Green Boost, answers questions from Brian Rossiter about the barley grass juice powder he sells.
Can you please share general information about Daily Green Boost, a brand of barley grass juice powder, and how it is packaged?
Daily Green Boost is a private-label product. This means I created the name, brand and product label. I’m the one who sells it; however, I don’t make it. I contract with a manufacturer that makes the product for me, puts my label on it and ships it to me. This, of course, is a common arrangement in the food and supplement industries; however, I didn’t realize how widespread it is until I started making my own product. As I did research by walking the grocery aisles and reading labels, I was shocked at how many well-known brands are private label. The words “distributed by” or “manufactured for” on the label above the company name are clear indicators.
This structure between the manufacturer and the distributor (private-label company) is important for a number or reasons, including the availability of detailed information about a product such as what’s in the product, how is it made, where is it made, when is it made, etc. In some instances, the only information a private-label company will have about a product is the information that was provided to them by the manufacturer. In other cases, the private-label company may spend tens of thousands of dollars or more researching and producing its own product information.
In the case of Daily Green Boost, it is the case of the former. I have only the information about the product that is provided to me by the manufacturer, which is very little. I don’t want to pay for my own research as I would then have to pass that cost on to the customer. Any information I provide about the product needs to be able to be proven with verifiable evidence or risk “false advertising.”
Just about all of the information I have about Daily Green Boost is on the product label. Due to the limited info, I find myself making my own comparisons, looking at books that talk about barley grass juice in general and forming my own opinions. That, in addition to information shared with me from people I trust (although often not documented and therefore not something I can share publicly), is why I think Daily Green Boost is the best barley grass juice powder available.
I understand the customer’s desire and need to know about the products they buy, as I have the same desire and need as a customer myself. What I find myself doing as a customer is aligning with brands I feel I can trust. I mention this as I feel that Daily Green Boost customers may need to adopt a similar strategy, in some cases.
Are you able to share recent sales data in units or, if you’re not comfortable with sharing this info, percentages?
It’s really too early to be able to provide any growth or sales trends information. Daily Green Boost started selling in August this year. It sold for about six weeks before I sold out. It was out of stock for about six weeks. It went back on sale at the end of October and sold out in about 12 hours (current customers had a head start, but 12 hours after opening the sale to noncustomers). The same amount of bottles that took six weeks to sell in August took about 12 hours recently. The word is definitely getting out about Daily Green Boost. It will go back on sale about November 15 with four times the number of bottles available than in the previous batches.
I’m not a plant expert, but this is my opinion. It is true, if you plant a barley grain you will grow barley grass. But if you cut the young barley grass, you do not have a grain. You have a grass. The word “young” being key, as once the grass reaches a certain maturity, it takes on properties and characteristics of the grain. I think most people are concerned about the possibility of barley grass juice powder containing gluten. I think there is information available that shows this is not the case with young (pre-jointing stage) barley grass; however, as with all food products, gluten can occur due to contamination in the fields or during processing.
What temperature is Daily Green Boost dehydrated at?
For reasons stated above, the only information I can provide is that the drying process is “low temperature” and that Daily Green Boost is considered raw.
Is there any nutrient snapshot you can provide?
The only nutrient information I’m able to provide is the nutritional facts panel that is located on the product label.
Where do you obtain your barley grass juice powder?
Daily Green Boost is made by a certified organic manufacturer that uses the highest quality standards. The barley grass is grown and juiced, turned into a powder and then bottled in the United States. I am not currently disclosing publicly my manufacturer’s name. My reason for this is that my manufacturer also makes a competing product. Whereas some people would like to piggyback their product off of a much more known product, I prefer to let Daily Green Boost stand on its own. My manufacturer is well-known in the manufacturing world, and if I told you other products that they make, you would recognize them.
I understand you’ve conducted A–B tests with Daily Green Boost and Just Barley stacked against other barley grass juice powders. What did you find?
I will not attribute any of my findings to a particular brand; however, I don’t mind sharing things that I found in general. Here is some info on my website about this:
- Difference in packaging: Paper zip pouch, plastic zip pouch, plastic bottle, amber glass bottle.
- Difference in moisture-absorbing packet: With or without.
- Difference in label: Handwritten (no joke), organic not specified, organic certifying company not specified, country of origin not specified, missing nutritional facts panel.
- Difference in consistency: From hard and clumpy to smooth and no to minimal clumps (when dry and when added to water).
- Difference in stickiness: How much did the powder stick to a metal spoon? From a lot to not much at all.
- Difference in taste: From a terrible taste (one product tasted so badly I was scared to drink it), slightly toasted taste, slightly grassy taste.
- Difference in manufacturer: Most manufacturers are unknown due to private-labeling; however, I found out the manufacturer of one product because my package came from the manufacturer and had its name on the shipping label. A quick Google search provided a scathing letter from the FDA about all of the manufacturer’s unsatisfactory cleanliness and labeling violations. Needless to say, this product did not even get taste-tested as I would not put it in my mouth.
How are you able to keep prices much lower than the barley grass juice powders Just Barley and Purium?
My goal is to provide the highest quality barley grass juice powder for the best price. When it comes to improving your health, I think this is something that should be available and affordable to everyone. There is some information about how I do that. I do this by keeping my expenses low. I have very little overhead and almost no marketing budget.