Barley tortillas fight obesity, improves mood, scientists say

Barley tortillas could counter Mexico's obesity epidemic. Photo: Facebook
Barley tortillas could counter Mexico’s obesity epidemic. Photo: Facebook

Mexico City — Scientists from the School of Medicine at the National Polytechnic Institute have developed a tortilla that can fight Mexico’s obesity epidemic.

It is made of barley, which is lower than the traditional corn on the glycemic index.

Unlike maize and wheat, the barley tortilla contains lysine, the amino acid essential for the synthesis of muscle mass and strengthening the immune system.

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Researchers explained that barley is an ideal food for people with chronic-degenerative diseases such as diabetes, obesity and gastrointestinal problems.

Such a tortilla is also recommended for people with malnutrition. For the geriatric population, barley is helpful with intestinal motility.

And if this were not enough, barley tortillas also bring happiness to consumers. It contains a compound called hordenine, which acts as a natural antiseptic at the intestinal level and stimulates dopamine receptors, which improve mood.

This new nutritional alternative, called Maltitortilla Glucofixed, was developed to address Mexico’s obesity crisis. Mexico ranks first in childhood obesity and second in adults.

“It will definitely impact the nutrition of Mexicans and help reduce obesity rates,” said researcher Gustavo Acosta Altamirano.

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Acosta Altamirano, along with Gabriela Cortés Moreno, Eleazar Lara Padilla and Ana María González Farías were supported by students Ladys Moreno Galicia and Marlene Hernández Hernández. They prepared this innovative tortilla convinced that barley is an under-appreciated cereal in the industry. It is used mainly as food for livestock and in the production of alcoholic fermentation products, chiefly beer.

Barley contains good amounts of B-group vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate and pantothenic acid. The whole grain also contains Vitamin E, iron, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus and selenium, as well as small amounts of copper, manganese and calcium.

Next, the school intends to patent Maltitortilla Glucofixed and sell it in Mexican markets, and perhaps later to export it to other countries. 

Source: Agencies

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