Let’s admit it. Not many people know what barley water is even though it has been around for thousands of years and consumed regularly by all sorts of ancient groups. Well, in short, it is a catch-all for a dozen drinks made from boiling barley, a type of grass, and then serving it strained or with its grains. It can also be mixed with other ingredients. Just to be clear, barley water is different from barley tea and certainly different from related alcoholic drinks, such as beer, malt liquor, barley wine and malt whiskey. The other thing that escapes notice is that barley water is loaded with health benefits that can boost everything from the heart to the kidneys. Naturally, WellWell is here to point some of the most important ones out. Read on.
Battles Cholesterol—Helps Hearts Barley water holds chemicals called tocols that can fight back LDL cholesterol while building cardiovascular health. Its antioxidants can also reduce the heart’s oxidative stress.
Fiber is critical for digestive and gut health and barley water has plenty of it—six grams for every cup. In fact, barley water contains both soluble and insoluble fiber, which aids digestion and regular bowel movements.
Barley water’s fiber also helps people feel sated, which deters overeating. One cup contains 125 calories, 31 grams of carbohydrates, 0.04 grams of fat, 2.8 grams of protein and, as noted, about 6 grams of fiber.
Canada’s Guelph Food Research Centre in Ontario reports that unsweetened barley water can control blood sugar spikes, making it particularly attractive to people with diabetes who want to lower levels after eating. One caveat: individuals on medication to lower blood sugar levels should consult their doctors before diving into a barley water regimen.
Anyone looking to flush toxins out of their body should consider gulping some barley water. It helps flush these nasties from the body and the intestines via the urinary tract. A group of sugars called beta-glucans present in the cell walls of barley is responsible for the process.
Add some citrus to barley water through a lemon rind or orange peel and the drink becomes charged with vitamin C, which in turn supports stronger immune systems.
Thanks to the high amount of calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium and copper in barley water, it can give kidneys a big boost. These minerals help kidneys function properly while promoting large amounts of urine to pass. This, in turn, helps to clear kidney stones. Vitamin B6 and the magnesium in barley water are also particularly useful in breaking down kidney stones. Beyond this, barley water supports normal pH levels of the urine, preventing it from turning acidic.
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