Barley water benefits our health in many ways and may aid in weight loss as well. Barley water is obtained from boiling barley grains in water. Barley is a cereal grain cultivated in temperate climate zones around the world and is considered a superfood these days. Barley, however, was first cultivated thousands of years ago and has been consumed by people in some countries of Europe and Asia for ages.
The barley whole grain is a powerhouse of essential nutrients like manganese, selenium, B-group vitamins, and much more. Barley water is also very nutritious. Owing to its impressive nutrient facts, barley water benefits health in amazing ways.
Barley is also used as livestock fodder. It is a key ingredient in some breads, in beverages like beer, and in various cuisines. Barley water may be an excellent choice as a weight-reducing drink. It offers a good amount of dietary fiber, boosts metabolism, and lowers cholesterol. In addition to promoting weight loss, there are many other barley water benefits.
Barley Water Nutrition Content
Barley water is made from its whole grain, and is as healthy as the cereal itself. This simple healthy drink contains the goodness of nutrients like manganese, selenium, folate (vitamin B9), thiamin, iron, potassium, vitamin K, vitamin B6, vitamin C, magnesium, copper, and much more.
It is also rich in dietary fiber that is favorable to those with a diabetic condition and aids in weight loss as well. It keeps the body well-hydrated, and because of its natural cooling and detoxing properties, it has become a popular health drink.
Barley Tea Benefits for Health
Additionally, barley water benefits respiratory problems like bronchitis, too. The magnesium content in barley water helps reduce the inflammation of the mucous membranes of the bronchial tubes. Therefore, barley water provides relief to the throat and the lungs. Here are some other benefits of this tonic.
1. Improves digestion
Barley water contains a large amount of insoluble dietary fiber, which aids in digestion and boosts metabolism. It is helpful in treating digestive problems including constipation, hemorrhoids, and gastritis.
2. Cures urinary tract infection (UTI)
Barley water is a natural diuretic, which means that it promotes urine production and regulates kidney health. It helps to flush toxins out of the body, thus preventing diseases.
3. Prevents kidney stones
Drinking barley water for kidney stones is beneficial. Studies show that it may prevent the formation of kidney stones since it is a good source of magnesium.
Low levels of calcium in the body lead to kidney stone formation. On the other hand, excessive levels of calcium contribute to the formation of kidney stones. Barley water has some amount of calcium, which may help strike the required balance in calcium levels.
This mineral helps prevent the formation of crystals as well. Most foods rich in magnesium are also good sources of oxalate, which increases the risk of calcium oxalate stones being formed in the kidney. Barley water is also a source of vitamin B6 which is known to reduce the oxalate levels in the urinary tract. Both these factors may reduce the risk of kidney stone formation.
4. Lowers cholesterol
Barley water benefits the heart by reducing cholesterol levels. In addition to insoluble fiber, barley water also contains soluble fiber like beta-glucan fiber.
This helps to decrease the low-density lipoprotein (LDP) and increase the high-density lipoprotein in the blood. Thus, it reduces conditions like atherosclerosis and other heart-related ailments.
5. Controls diabetes
Barley water has a low glycemic index due to the good amount of fiber it contains. The high-fiber content in barley water benefits diabetic patients immensely.
Since dietary fibers are a complex carbohydrate, our body takes more time to digest them. Thus, insulin secretion remains normal without any abrupt spikes in the blood sugar level.
While barley water may help normalize blood sugar levels in diabetics, it may intervene with diabetes medications. This could result in hypoglycemia. As such, it is essential to speak with your doctor and adjust your dosage if barley water is a part of your daily diet.
6. Improves bone health
Manganese is present in good amounts in barley water. An essential nutrient, manganese helps in the formation of connective tissues, builds stronger bones and bone metabolism, and also regulates the production of important enzymes required for healthy body functions.
7. Reduces inflammation
Barley water has anti-inflammatory properties. One cup of cooked barley has about half a milligram of selenium.
This is a mineral required in trace amounts and known to act against ailments that arise from inflammation. Therefore, barley water brings relief to joint inflammations like arthritis and other similar inflammatory conditions.
8. Aids weight loss
In the last few years, much has been written about the use of barley water for weight loss. With zero saturated fats and a good amount of fiber, it keeps us feeling full and satisfied for a long time. This, in turn, reduces the snacking urge.
Barley water also speeds up the burning of fat by improving metabolism. Thus, barley water may aid weight loss if supported by a balanced diet and exercise; however, it lacks scientific evidence.
9. Prevents oxidation of cells
Vitamins B1 (thiamine) and beta-carotene (vitamin A) work as antioxidants. Barley water has a considerable amount of these vitamins. These vitamins help destroy free radicals, reduce cell degeneration, and improve collagen formation.
Therefore, barley water benefits the skin by keeping it wrinkle-free, preventing fine-line development and other age-related problems.
10. Ensures strong teeth
For stronger teeth and improved dental health, phosphorus and calcium are essential. Barley water provides you with a good amount of these minerals.
11. Helps RBC formation
Barley water benefits anemic patients. It also contains minerals like iron and copper that help with hemoglobin and red blood cell (RBC) formation. This further aids in the proper functioning of various other organs due to the presence of the required amount of oxygen in the blood.
12. Maintain blood pressure
Barley water has magnesium and potassium which are known to maintain blood pressure levels. Magnesium regulates nerve and muscle functions in the body.
Barley water maintains other important functions like energy metabolism and protein synthesis. Also, barley water has a minimal amount of sodium, which is known to increase blood pressure.
13. May inhibit cancer
Antioxidants like selenium and vitamin A are in abundance in barley water. These nutrients may have cancer-curing properties since they destroy free radicals in the blood. More evidence, however, is required in this regard.
How to Make Barley Water for Weight Loss
It is really remarkable that something as healthy as barley water could be so easy to make. Unless you want to infuse some flavor, making this tonic is quite simple. The process simply involves boiling barley grains in water.
Barley Water with Cinnamon and Ginger Recipe
- 1 cup organic pearl barley
- 5 cups water
- Juice of ½ – 1 lemon (to taste, or other fruit if preferred)
- 1 tablespoon honey ( to taste)
- Cinnamon stick
- Root Ginger
In a medium-sized saucepot, add water, pearl barley, ginger, and cinnamon. Place the pot over medium heat and bring all the ingredients to boil. Cover the pot with a lid and continue boiling the water for 20 to 25 minutes.
Check the texture of the grains, it should feel tender and cooked. Turn off the heat and remove. Allow the barley-water mixture to pass through a mesh strainer into a glass.
Add lemon and honey to taste.
Barley and Black Grapes Summer Cooler Recipe
Ingredients (serves 4-5):
- ½ cup barley pearls
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup black grape juice
- 1 teaspoon black Salt
- Sugar, as per taste
- 1 teaspoon honey (you can also increase the quantity of honey and omit sugar completely)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon lime juice
- 6-7 fresh mint leaves
Wash the barley pearls properly and soak them for six to seven hours in water.
Next, boil them and strain out the barley water. Crush the grains in some water to make concentrated barley liquid.
Mix together the two kinds of barley water and chill it in a refrigerator. When it is chilled, add lime juice, black salt, regular salt, sugar, and honey. Combine well.
Crush a few mint leaves and mix it with grounded ice cubes and some grape juice. Pour the barley-water mixture into the grape-mint mixture. Chill it in a jug.
Enjoy the summers with this fat-burning healthy drink.
How Much Barley Water to Drink in a Day?
Barley water side effects are minimal. However, it is ideal to limit barley water consumption to three cups a day. It is advisable not to exceed the recommended intake amount of barley water because it can cause stomach irritation and impede proper bowel movements. Its high-fiber content may irritate the esophagus, too. As such, dilute the barley malt with a good quantity of water. Also, it could lead to frequent urination.
In addition, barley is gluten-rich. Therefore, people with gluten allergies should refrain from it. At times, excess consumption of barley water can lead to fungal contamination. Trichothecium roseum and Ochratoxin A are two types of contamination found in barley malt extract which may be harmful to the bones.
Barley water improves metabolism and helps with bowel movements because it is a natural laxative. While this is good for constipation, if taken in excess, can cause rectal bleeding with acute pain. Excessive drinking of barley water can lead to intestinal gas experiences as well. A high intake of barley water will provide an abundance of dietary fiber, and consequently, the beneficial bacteria in the intestines will become hyperactive and the bacterial fermentation will lead to the condition of flatus or intestinal gas.
Barley water is a rich source of most of the essential nutrients that work together to ensure overall health wellness. Consume barley water in moderation to avoid any side effects and to properly reap barley water benefits.
“Barley, pearled, cooked Nutrition Facts & Calories,” SELF NutritionData; http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/cereal-grains-and-pasta/5680/2, last accessed March 3, 2017
Ware, M., “Barley: Health Benefits, Facts, Research,” Medical News Today, July 12, 2016;
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/295268.php, last accessed March 3, 2017
“How to make Barley Water in 3 easy steps,” Happy Juicer; http://www.happyjuicer.com/make-barley-water.aspx, last accessed March 3, 2017