Barley vs Rice: Difference and Comparison

People get confused within these two kinds of cereal because both are very closely related. We take barley and rice for various reasons like weight loss, health benefits, etc.

Barley and rice both are carbohydrates being the primary elements of our diet. Like rice, barley is also a grain. Both provide us with a great amount of nutrition.

Key Takeaways

  1. Barley is a cereal grain primarily used for animal feed and brewing, while rice is a staple food for many cultures worldwide.
  2. Barley has a lower glycemic index than rice, making it a better choice for managing blood sugar levels.
  3. Rice is a better source of dietary fiber than barley.

Barley vs Rice

Barley is a cereal grain grown in temperate climates globally. It has a lower glycemic index and is higher in carbohydrates. It has more calcium, fibre and overall, a better nutritional profile than rice. Rice is a seed and is richer in folate. It has 3 times less calories than barley.

Barley vs Rice

Barley is a major cereal mainly grown in temperate climates all over the world. The very first cultivated grain in Eurasia about 10,000 years ago. Barley is mostly used as animal fodder, materials for beverages, beers and few health benefits.

Barley comes in different varieties, one of them is Hulled barley, it’s the part in which the outer inedible cover is removed without the removal of bran.

There is pearl barley in which bran is removed making it less nutritious. Thus consuming Hulled Barley is considered better. 

On the other hand, Rice is a monocot, grown annually. In tropical regions, it can survive as a perennial by producing a ratooning crop. As a cereal grain, Rice is the most extensively consumed staple food for over half of the world’s population.

Rice is the 3rd highest worldwide production. Cooking rice takes no time, it’s very easily prepared. Rise also has many varieties from long-grain rise to short-grain rice. 

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonBarleyRice
Definition Barley is a cereal plant of the grass family grown in temperate climates.Rice is the seed of grass species Oryza sativa commonly grown in warm climates. 
Scientific nameHordeum vulgareOryza sativa
ProductionBarley is largely produced in Russia and Rajasthan in India. Rice is largely produced in China and West Bengal in India.
UsesBarley is most commonly used in bread, soups, stews, alcoholic beverages like beer.Rice is chiefly used as food, in the form of grain, flour, etc.  
CaloriesBarley has 354 calories.Rice has 130 calories.
Nutrition contentBarley has a better nutritional profile having more fibre.
Rice have low fibre.

What is Barley?

Barley was one of the first domesticated grains in the Fertile Crescent in Western Asia and near the Neil river of northeast Africa ranges from North Africa and Crete in the West followed to Tibet in East.

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The method of preparing barley into an edible food supply is in two types of consumable grain: pearl barley and hulled barley. 

Inexpensive and easy to grow, barley yields exceptional erosion control as well as weed suppression in semi-aired regions and light soils. Barely prefers growing area which is cool and dry.

It can be grown anywhere in the north due to its short growing span. Barley is very delicious as it’s an ancient grain, tastes like nuts and chewy structure.

Even s,o there are numerous uses of barley in food products including flatbreads, muffins, noodles, and rice extenders but not many supplies in novel products. Barley has a high salt tolerance.   

Having anti-inflammatory vitamins, barley helps in reducing joint pains. Barley aids in losing weight. Soaking and sprouting of barley may also increase vitamin, mineral, protein and antioxidant levels.

Its soluble and insoluble properties help improve digestion. 


What is Rice?

Rice is the third-highest worldwide production crop. 95 % of the world’s rice crop is consumed by humans. The origin of rice cultivation is too complicated.

It is said that rice was first domesticated in the Yangtze River, China 13,500 to 8,200 years ago. Rice was spread all over the country. Green Revolution in the 1960s led to an increase of many crops including rice.

More than 90% of rice is cultivated in Asia, principally in China, India, Indonesia and Bangladesh also cultivated in some parts of Europe and Australia.

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Rice grows on several soils like slits, loams and gravels. In hilly areas slopes are cut down for the cultivation of rice, those are known as upland rice. It requires ample water to grow.

Rice is eaten alone, boiled or steamed, however its flour is also used to make some dishes, especially in the South.  

Some researchers say that eating rice make you fat, but it’s not true. Taking rice in a certain amount according to our needs doesn’t make you fat. It is neutral in flavour so you need an alternative to eat rice.

White rice is loaded with carbohydrates so it gives you energy and boosts your glycogen level after exercise.  


Main Differences Between Barley and Rice

  1. Barley is an excellent source of dietary fibre having 51 times more dietary fibre than rice. 
  2. Hulled barley (with the outer covering) takes a long time to cook whereas rice takes a much shorter time to cook.
  3. Barley is recommended for babies because of its high fibre and vitamins content. It is easy to blend and mix with other foods as well. On the other hand, rice is considered to be filling for babies.
  4. Barley is a light yellowish colour, and spindle-shaped. It has long, smooth and sharp-pointed auricles which clasps and overlap. On the contrary, rice is 1.2 m about 4 feet long. White in colour after removal of seedcoat, they also have spikelets bearing flower that assemble the grain.
  5. Barley takes a quite long time to cook than rice. Rice can be cooked in under 20 mins but it takes 30 to 40 mins to cook barley.
Difference Between Barley and Rice

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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