Barley Water Benefits
Health Benefits of Barley Water
Did you know that next to wheat, one of the most common grains that people prefer eating is barley?
The best thing about using this as a health drink is that you need not consult a doctor before starting this as a remedy as it is a natural drink.
Barley is a kind of cereal belonging to the plant family Gramineae .
Since history, barley has been used by ancient civilizations such as the Chinese, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans as their main bread food until the late sixteenth century.
And today, modern science has also identified many uses of barley and recommends it be used daily to improve general health.
Barley is a nutritious and fiber-rich whole grain that can be enjoyed in the form of barley water, barley soup or barley tea.
The so-called barley water with so many advantages is a very good drink people can make from this grain.
Barley water is made by soaking the grain for several hours and then cooking it in sufficient water. One can always improve the taste of barley water if it is insipid by adding orange or lemon rind or lemon juice or orange voice.
Barley water has been used for many medicinal purposes "since ancient times," The amount of that one can get out of drinking a glass of barley water is unimaginable.
Did you know that drinking a glass of barley water daily can give you relief from an array of conditions? But please remember that you must avoid the ready made ones available in the market that have sugar added to it as it is well known that bottled and processed drinks will have preservatives which reduce the of the drink.
“Why should a healthy person drink barley water? Its only for sick people.” This is the notion many people have about this humble grain.
Now let’s explore the benefits of drinking this seemingly insignificant drink. These have been compiled by me,Vijaya Kurup after some intense research for the benefit of all readers.
1. Dr. Bartram calls barley "an almost perfect food" because it is high in fiber, protein and niacin. According to WHFoods.org, it can reduce cholesterol, provide intestinal protection, and aid with disease protection. Glutinous particles from the cooked barley remain in the water when the grain is strained out of it, and it can be a delicious alternative to teas and coffee.
2. Barley contains almost all vitamins, minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium & potassium, amino acids and fiber that our body needs.
3. It is also a good source of Lysine, one of the essential ( it means must be obtained from food) amino acids.
4. The fiber in the barely water is a very effective in lowering cholesterol,also called a "cholesterol blocker". Barley also has rich amounts of beta glucan and niacin and also produces propionic acid within the body. Both these compounds help in lowering cholesterol.
5. Drinking barley water is beneficial for digestive health. For any digestion related problem like constipation, diarrhea or nausea barley water can be used as a remedy .
6. Barley provides rich amounts of fiber to the body. Fiber adds bulk to our food and slows down its movement during the process of digestion. It thus helps in the better digestion of food and helps in maintaining intestinal health.
7. The inclusion of barley is just like adding a natural and healthy laxative to the food.
8. Barley water also creates a perfect heart condition and thus prevents any heart related disorder including seizures and attacks. So, it is very beneficial for heart health.
9. It is used in the treatment of arteriosclerosis; a condition where there is a thick plaque build up on the walls of the arteries. When you drink this water it washes away any formation on the arteries and thereby gets rid of it.
10. Barley water contains high amounts of magnesium; this mineral reacts with the enzymes in the body and leads to controlling the level of glucose in the body. So barley water can be used to control diabetes.
11. Magnesium present in barley water reacts with several different enzymes. Magnesium is also responsible for the glucose levels in the blood. Regular intake of barley helps to reduce the risk of the occurrence of diabetes.
12. Barley water is also beneficial to those suffering from gallstones and kidney stones. The fiber content in the water helps to prevent the formation of the stone and also helps to cure the existing ones; this is due to the fact that the fiber content in the barley is water soluble.
13. It has antioxidant properties and so help to fight a number of diseases and prevent cancerous growths. Barley water also contains important phytonutrients known as lignans. These are ntioxidants that are known to help fight and prevent cancer, in addition to promoting a healthy heart. This was proven in a Danish study published in the Journal of Nutrition.
14. Barley water will also help in cell growth and repair because it contains phosphorous, and can also aid in healing tissue injuries on the body.
15. For children suffering from asthma barley water can be used as a cure.. It is extremely effective and can also be used for immediate relief.
16. According to Ayurveda ( an ancient Indian Life science)barley products are the best grain for balancing kapha and pitta as well. Barley is easy to digest and it does not produce excess mucous in the body.
17. Barley water is highly beneficial for balancing weight and for kidney balance. Take 14 parts water and 1 part barley and boil for 1 1/2 hours. Mix and strain barley. Keep in a thermos flask and drink throughout the day.
18. It is rich in a phytochemical called Lignans that provides protection against several heart diseases. Lignans get converted into enterolactone, which prevents the occurrence of breast cancer.
19. Barley water has folate, which is commonly called as folic acid, a water-soluble vitamin which belongs to the B category of vitamins. This vitamin plays a significant role in the processing of amino acid homocysteine. Folic acid is also essential for the proper growth and development of the fetus. Thus, pregnant women are suggested to increase their intake of barley.
20. It also contains good amounts of phosphorus and thus helps in maintaining bone health. Phosphorus helps process calcium and vitamin K so that our body gets sufficient amount of these minerals for maintaining bone health.
21. Barley has enough amount of the daily copper requirement of the body. Copper improves the flexibility of blood vessels, thus allowing the free flow of blood through them.
22. As mentioned before, barley is a fiber-rich food and fiber is not digestible by the human body, so it is therefore passed on through the colon. WHFoods.org says, "In addition to providing bulk and decreasing the transit time of fecal matter, thus decreasing the risk of colon cancer and hemorrhoids, barley's dietary fiber also provides food for the "friendly" bacteria in the large intestine." When the friendly bacteria in the intestines increase, food is digested better and more nutrients are provided to the rest of the body.
23. The benefits of barley and whole grain foods have been researched and proven to reduce incidence of postmenopausal breast cancer by 51% in women who had hormone replacement therapy. It has been shown to be effective in reducing the incidence of other hormone related cancers as well.
24. Because it contains copper, WHFoods.org says, barley can help those with arthritis.
25. Barley water, can be given to those with stomach and intestinal ailments for nourishment if solid food cannot be kept down.
26. Given as a porridge or barley water, it is an excellent food for the convalescent, infants, and the sick.. It is easily assimilated, and can be taken to clear stagnant mucous and soothe an inflamed digestive tract or urinary tract.
27. When given to babies, it helps with the digestion of milk, preventing the development of curds within the stomach.
28. It is commonly given to children suffering from minor infections or diarrhea, and is especially recommended for fevers.
29. Chinese research suggests that barley may be helpful in treating hepatitis. Since it is so easily digested, it would give the liver a much needed rest while making the easily digested nutrients available to strengthen the body.
30. The bran it contains may have an effect in preventing bowel cancer.
31. Cool barley water is used in drinks for fevers and to soothe and heal stomach or digestive upsets, irritable bowels, dry coughs, diarrhea, cystits, or irritable bladders.
32. It subsides the water and fire element and is useful for throat troubles like laryngitis, pharyngitis and tonsillitis.
33. Strong barley water soothes sore throats and makes an excellent wash for raw, itchy skin. It is high in starches and soluble fiber.
34. Barley water can be used as a soothing, cooling and calming recipe for patients having feverish conditions and gastric upsets.
35. Barley water given every morning and evening proves very beneficial in the case of kidney, bladder and urinary stones and even curing urinary infections It can be given with coconut water.
36. This is also useful in curing phlegm, breathing difficulty, distension, retention, and suppression of urine and colic.This flushes out all toxins quickly and clears the urine well.
37. Biologist Yasno Hotta of the University of California identified P4D1 in barley, which has a strong action on human DNA. PD41 suppresses and cures cell death and delays aging as well as curing pancreatitis, stomatitis (inflammation of the oral cavity), dermatitis, lacerations of the stomach and duodenum.
38. Another doctor ,Dr. Hagiwara found that damaged DNA repaired itself quickly when barley juice was added.
39. Postmenopausal women who consumed the most fiber had a 50% reduction in their risk for breast cancer as reported in the January 15, 2008 issue of the American Institute for Cancer Research.So barley has an effect on reducing the prevalence of breast cancer in postmenopausal women.
40. If barley water is added to diluted cow's milk, it becomes a nutritional drink for young children.
41.Barley water was believed by ancient civilizations to be a good remedy to fair up skin complexions and prevent the signs of aging such as wrinkles.
42.Cosmetic use of barley water is that it can be used on the face as a skin freshener, for cleansing and softening normal skin. Drinking barley water clears the skin .
So, now I am sure that all of us need to make this simple but amazingly beneficial drink a part of our everyday lives. Making barley water a part of our daily intake will not only keep away problems but also see us becoming healthier.
To make it more tasty and delicious,we could use our imagination.We could try adding mint leaves, coriander leaves, lime juice, tomatoes a little grated cheese ,etc.
Also can be added to the kheers, puddings, soups to give our family and friends the much needed boost to one's health.
We could add barley water in juices, drinks, etc and see what changes it brings to the overall health and harmony of our bodies.
Author Brief Bio - Vijaya Kurup worked as the Principal,Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Higher Secondary School and Ramakrishana Junior College in Secunderabad, India for two decades, presently practices Reiki, writes poems in English and Hindi, sings Hindustani Classical music and helps run a childrens' home in Nairobi.