In this uneven pandemic environment, everyone wants to stay healthy. Despite taking care, we may lack in something that leads us to land up in various diseases. We consume a lot of nutritional supplements. However, we need to focus more on natural sources of nutrients. Barley can be one of the best food to fulfil your nutrient requirements.
Barley is a wonderfully versatile cereal grain with a rich nut-like flavour and an appealing chewy, pasta-like consistency. It is an essential ingredient while making bread, soups, stews, and health products. It also acts as a source of malt for alcoholic beverages, especially beer. It is a cereal plant, scientifically known as Hordeum vulgare from the grass family Poaceae. It grows throughout the area of Western Asia and northeast Africa.
Barley water is more beneficial than other forms of barley. The ancient Greeks consumed kykeon, a drink made of water, barley and naturally occurring substances. Indian version of barley water is known as “sattu” is extremely popular in Punjab. It is rich in various nutrients that help remove all toxins from your body by improving body metabolism.
How to make barley water?
Barley water is a drink made from water cooked with barley. Here is a simple recipe to make homemade barley water.
Ingredients – 1 cup pearl barley, 7-8 cups of water, juice of 1 lemon, 1 tablespoon honey (optional), cinnamon stick, root ginger.
Method – Boil the water along with the barley with a cinnamon stick and ginger. Let the pot simmer for at least 30 minutes and then let the water cook. Strain the concoction. Then you can mix lemon juice and honey (optional) for flavour.
Barley water can also be flavoured with various other concoctions, such as lemon juice and lemon rind.
Nutritional facts of barley water
Barley and its water is a rich source of essential nutrients as follows –
- Vitamins – vitamin B complex
- Minerals – manganese, selenium, phosphorous, iron, calcium and zinc
- Dietary fibers
Health benefits of barley water
Drinking barley water can do wonders for your health in various forms. The health benefits of barley water include:
1: Help in weight loss
Since barley is a rich source of dietary fibres, barley water can keep your digestion and metabolism balanced. It can also make you feel fuller for longer and reduce cravings. Barley water can help in weight loss because it digests slowly and keeps you fuller for longer. This is because barley water contains lots of calories, very little fat, and still hydrates you. Apart from that, barley water also stimulates the metabolism of fat.
2: Excellent for urinary tract infection
Barley water is a magical drink for urinary tract infections. It works as a diuretic that increases urination and flushes out toxins from the body. Barley water is an excellent solution for kidney stones and cysts too. This drink is recommended in children and adult age groups daily till the urine infection subsides. t is also said to be a great remedy against kidney stones and cysts. Barley water benefits include its ability to cleanse the kidney and help treat health issues like high creatinine and cystitis.
Barley water is a beverage known since ancient times as a folk remedy or preventative for stomach and intestinal problems. According to Ayurveda, it is considered a digestive tonic that helps in facilitating the process of digestion. All digestive health benefits are due to the high amount of fibre in it. It is also a light beverage, easy on the stomach, and because it contains essential minerals, it aids in various body processes.
Barley water also helps to kill a certain harmful bacteria known as Bacteroides present in the stomach. In severe cases, these Bacteroides can even affect other organs of the body. Not only this, but since barley water is high in dietary fibre, it reduces the propensity of developing intestinal issues like constipation. Researchers have also found that consuming barley water for a prolonged period can to some extent help reduce the chances of contracting or developing cardiovascular diseases as well. Among other health benefits of barley water, it also helps cleanse the internal system of the body by flushing out toxins. This happens due to the beta-glucans which are present in the barley’s cell walls.
4: May reduce blood sugar
Barley water helps boost intestinal bacterial growth-prevotella, shown to help lower blood sugar levels for up to 11–14 hours. Drinking unsweetened barley water can give you the benefit of controlling blood sugar spikes. Antioxidants present in barley also help to control blood sugar.
Chemicals present in barley – tools, found to suppress LDL (bad) cholesterol and contribute to better overall cardiovascular health. The antioxidants and fibres present barely also help reduce cholesterol levels in the blood.
6: Boon for skin
Not many people know that drinking barley water is good for your skin. It gives a glow to your face and makes it look healthy. It also improves your skin texture and adds freshness to it. Barley water also contains a compound called azelaic which can help treat mild to moderate acne. Barley water also has anti-ageing effects and helps fight radicals as it contains a high amount of antioxidants.
7: Helps to control Blood Pressure
Barley water has also been known to lower blood pressure. High blood pressure has often been known to be one of the leading causes of the cardiovascular disease called atherosclerosis. Since barley water helps reduce and regularize blood pressure, it can effectively help reduce the onset of atherosclerosis.
8: Ensures a healthy Pregnancy
Barley water has several health benefits for the body due to being nutrient-dense and is therefore considered the perfect health drink for pregnant women. It promotes healthy digestion, prevents the occurrence of constipation and can even help to reduce morning sickness. Most importantly, barley water has diuretic properties, which means it reduces water retention during pregnancy.
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There are several benefits of barley water with numerous recipes on the internet to choose from. However, not all of them may be good for you. Some recipes may contain higher amounts of sugars and artificial sweeteners which hamper the health benefits of barley water derived. It is high in calories and excessive consumption of barley can lead to constipation due to its high fibre content. Barley contains gluten which also makes it unsuitable for those with gluten intolerance.
Barley water is a great way to ensure you are consuming adequate amounts of fibre, vitamins and minerals but excessive consumption can lead to unwanted side effects. To ensure that you are making the best use of your barley water, keep in mind that consumption should never be excessive and always in moderation.
Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a health care professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.