Barley is an excellent source of dietary fiber, but also contains other essential minerals, including magnesium, manganese, and selenium.
Five potential benefits of barley water include:
1. Fiber boost
An excellent source of dietary fiber and is essential for keeping the digestive system healthy, contributing to healthy bowel movements, and helping people avoid problems such as constipation.
Barley is a soluble fiber, meaning it can dissolve in water and provides the body with useful energy. Fiber can also be insoluble, meaning it passes through the digestive tract without breaking down and does not provide the body with energy.
In addition to its high fiber content, barley also contains a mix of beneficial vitamins and minerals.
Barley may reduce the level of LDL or “bad” cholesterol in the blood. Eating or drinking barley products can be considered part of a plan to reduce LDL cholesterol.
3. Lowers blood sugar levels
Keeping blood sugar levels in check can help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. It can also help those who have diabetes manage their blood glucose levels.
4. Encourages weight loss
Barley prompts the body to release hormones that regulate appetite by making the person feel fuller for longer. These hormones may also boost the metabolism, which can contribute to weight loss.
5. Aids in Detoxification
Regular usage of barley water helps flush out toxins from the body and the intestines through the urinary tract. This process is primarily triggered by a group of sugars called beta-glucans which are present in the cell walls of barley. It therefore helps in cleansing the internal system of the body.
6. A Good Diuretic and Subsides Urinary Tract Infections
Barley water acts as a diuretic, and is considered to be a natural remedy for urinary tract infections, and children or adults are often recommended a few glasses of barley water on a daily basis till the infection subsides. It is also said to be a good remedy for kidney stones or cysts.
Barley Water Recipe: Elixir to Good Health
You can use hulled barley or pearl barley to make the drink. Ensure that you cook the grains well to extract the most nutrients from it.
- 1/4 cup pearl barley
- 4 cups water
- A pinch of salt
- A drizzle of honey (optional)
- A lemon rind (optional)
1. Heat the water and pearl barley in a saucepan and bring it to a boil.
2. Add the salt and let it cook on a low flame for 30 minutes. You can muddle the grains a little, using a spoon.
3. Strain it into a glass, tip in a lemon rind, and drizzle with a little honey on top. Let it cool completely. You can also keep it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes and then have it.
Optional: You can use ginger, cinnamon, cumin seeds and other spices, or orange juice to enhance the taste. The leftover grains can be used to make cereals, salads or a thickening agent for curries and smoothies. Don’t waste it!