You might know barley as the ingredient used to make beer and as an ingredient in your cereals. What’s interesting is that barley is a multifaceted grain that can be consumed in more ways. You can also drink it as barley water, which can benefit your health greatly and is incredibly easy to make. Wondering how? Here are 9 great health benefits of drinking barley water and how you can make it at home.
9 Health Benefits Of Drinking Barley Water
1. Cools Your Body
Unable to bear the scorching summer heat? Instead of drinking cool drinks or soda, drink barley water and feel your body cooling down almost immediately. Barley water is known for its cooling properties, which reduce your body heat. Not only that, it also hydrates you and is great when you want a change from regular water.
2. Helps Treat Urinary Tract Infections
Barley is said to be a diuretic, which means that it increases the production of urine. So, drinking barley water often when you have urinary tract infections (UTIs) helps flush out all the toxins and bacteria from your urinary tract. Not just that, barley water is also said to be great for kidney stones.
3. Improves Digestion
Barley water is quite popular as a digestive aid in Ayurveda. Its high fiber content is extremely beneficial for those with constipation because fiber eases the movement of food through the digestive tract, allowing for regular bowel movements.1 Barley water is also said to restore the electrolyte balance in your body when you’ve suffered digestive infections.
4. Aids Weight Loss
Drinking barley water often makes you feel full for longer. This is because barley water is rich in fiber. 100g of barley contains 3.8g of fiber.2 Not just that, barley water is also said to heighten metabolism, helping you burn your calories easily. So, if you’re looking to lose weight, drink barley water. It helps you cut down on your food intake and, at the same time, keeps you full and prevents overeating too.
5. Lowers Cholesterol
Because it is rich in fiber and beta-glucans, barley water prevents the absorption of LDL or “bad” cholesterol and triglycerides, which are components of natural fats and oils in food. This helps in keeping cholesterol levels in check.3
6. Maintains Heart Health
Because barley water is rich in fiber and decreases cholesterol levels, drinking it can also reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.4 It has been found to prevent atherosclerosis – a condition in which the walls of the arteries thicken and reduces blood flow – in rabbits.5 However, further research is required to confirm these results in humans.
7. Helps Manage Type 2 Diabetes
Barley water can aid in managing blood glucose levels. Its high beta-glucan content improves the use of insulin by the cells in your body, building insulin resistance. Improved insulin resistance means less glucose in your blood, which is especially helpful to those with type 2 diabetes.6 It also has a low-glycemic index, which means that it raises the blood sugar levels very minimally.7Reduced blood glucose also reduces the chances of obesity – a primary risk factor for type 2 diabetes.
8. Improves Skin Health
Barley water is abundant in antioxidants, which help fight free radicals in your body and slow down the signs of aging such as wrinkles.8 Not just that, because of its detoxifying properties, drinking barley water can also rid your face of toxins and clear it right up, making it radiant.
9. Rich In Nutrients
Apart from being rich in fiber, barley water is loaded with nutrients like magnesium, selenium, calcium, and copper. All these nutrients aid in improving your body’s immunity. Barley also contains iron, which prevents anemia, and copper, which is important to prevent illnesses resulting in inflammation like arthritis.9
All these amazing benefits of barley water also make it a great drink for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
How To Make Barley Water
- 1 cup barley (Hulled barley is a better choice than pearl barley because it is the richest in fiber and nutrients.)
- 3–4 cups water
- Rinse the barley thoroughly with water; then, soak it for about 4 hours.
- Strain the barley, and add about 3–4 cups of water to it.
- Boil this mixture till the grains become soft; let the mixture cool.
- Then, pour out only the water and drink it.
- You can add some freshly squeezed lemon juice and 1 tbsp raw honey for taste if you like.
- You can also refrigerate the excess water, and drink it for up to 3 days.
- It’s best to avoid drinking too much barley water because it is a diuretic. You can drink up to 6 glasses a day.
- Also, if you have a sensitive stomach constitution, drinking too much barley water may give you loose stools.
- Barley water contains gluten, so it might not be a good idea for you if you’re intolerant to gluten.10
Start drinking barley water today, and enjoy its abundant health benefits!
|↑1, ↑2, ↑9||Basic Report: 20006, Barley, pearled, cooked. United States Department of Agriculture.|
|↑3||Behall, Kay M., Daniel J. Scholfield, and Judith Hallfrisch. “Diets containing barley significantly reduce lipids in mildly hypercholesterolemic men and women.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 80, no. 5 (2004): 1185-1193.|
|↑4||Behall, Kay M., Daniel J. Scholfield, and Judith Hallfrisch. “Lipids significantly reduced by diets containing barley in moderately hypercholesterolemic men.” Journal of the American College of Nutrition 23, no. 1 (2004): 55-62.|
|↑5||Yu, Ya-Mei, Chien-Hsi Wu, Yueh-He Tseng, Chingmin E. Tsai, and Weng-Cheng Chang. “Antioxidative and hypolipidemic effects of barley leaf essence in a rabbit model of atherosclerosis.” The Japanese Journal of Pharmacology 89, no. 2 (2002): 142-148.|
|↑6||Behall, Kay M., Daniel J. Scholfield, and Judith G. Hallfrisch. “Barley β-glucan reduces plasma glucose and insulin responses compared with resistant starch in men.” Nutrition Research 26, no. 12 (2006): 644-650.|
|↑7||Glycemic Index and Diabetes. American Diabetes Association.|
|↑8||Zieliński, H., and H. Kozłowska. “Antioxidant activity and total phenolics in selected cereal grains and their different morphological fractions.” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 48, no. 6 (2000): 2008-2016.|
|↑10||Baker, P. G., and A. E. Read. “Oats and barley toxicity in coeliac patients.” Postgraduate medical journal 52, no. 607 (1976): 264-268.|