Barley and other whole grain foods have rapidly been gaining popularity over the past few years due to the various health benefits they provide. Whole grains are important sources of dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals that are not found in refined or "enriched" grains. When refined, grains lose certain components (specifically, the bran and germ), which also removes most of the fiber and nutrients naturally found in most grains. Choosing whole grains over their processed counterparts reduces the risk of several chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. This article provides a nutritional breakdown of barley and an in-depth look at its possible health benefits, how to incorporate more barley into your diet, and any potential health risks of consuming barley.