Not many people know that barley was once the staple food for Roman gladiators. Nowadays, United Nations uses it as a relief food for those in famine-stricken countries because of its ability to support human life better than many other food. For commercial market, it is used mainly to make malt for the brewing industry. As for me, barley water, when mixed with lemon and honey, is one of the best drinks. In fact, I like eating barley because of its chewy texture. If you are wondering why you should drink barley water or taking barley, here are the health reasons:
- Barley plant is quite similar to wheat. The seeds are elongated in shape with a covering of light yellow color. This whole grain is rich in protein, vitamins, minerals and amino acids. But, what is really great about barley is that it contains lots of fiber – soluble and insoluble fiber, while wheat is only rich in the latter. In fact, unlike other grains where the fiber is found in the outer bran layer, barley has its fiber throughout the entire kernel.
- Soluble fiber helps lowering cholesterol (LDL, the bad cholesterol) by removing fatty substance from system.
- Insoluble fiber reduces risk of colon cancer by ensuring digestive system functioning properly. The dietary fiber provides food for “good” bacteria in large intestines. It helps in proper excretion of waste products in your body. To find out more about fiber, check out What Everyone Ought To Know About Soluable and Insoluable Fiber
- If you want to lose weight, drink barley water because it gives a feeling of fullness and therefore lessen your craving for food. So, when you hear people saying barley reduce obesity, it is not that it allows you to eat more, just that the barley acts as appetite suppressant by delaying stomach emptying and slows down absorption of carbohydrates from food. As a matter of fact, barley has a very low glycemic index (25), allowing it be used in low-carbohydrate diets.
- In addition to that, barley has been proven effective in curing urinary infections, as believed by Chinese. Together with lemon and honey or sugar, barley water flushes out toxins and clears the urine.
Earlier, I mention that I like drinking barley water. Preparing it is pretty simple. If you want to know how, here you go for the step guide:
How To Prepare Barley Water
- Place the water and barley (ratio 3 to 1) into a covered pot.
- Set over high heat and bring to a boil.
- Once the barley comes to a boil, decrease the heat to low for 30 minutes.
- While the liquid is cooking, peel the lemons. Juice the lemons and place the juice into a jug.
- If you do not like to eat the barley, strain the barley water through a fine mesh strainer into the jug. For me, I like, I like the chewy texture of the grain and normally eat it together with the drink.
- Add the honey and stir. Refrigerate until chilled. Now, you have a refreshing drink on a hot day!
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