Barley is such a common cereal grain that we often tend to ignore and look in other places for health remedies. However, the fact that it is this common makes us even bigger fans of this cereal because it is extremely easy to use it for all its beneficial effects. And there are many benefits that you and your body will feel if you decide to include it in your menu regularly .
The best thing is that there are so many ways in which you can consume barley: salads, smoothies, stews and basically any food recipe, because the final taste won’t be very much influenced. But, besides all these methods, there is one that is currently gaining more and more popularity: barley water. While the one on the market might also contain preservatives, home-made barley water is a miracle for your overall health.
Barley Water Recipe
- 1 cup barley
- 3 cups water
- Honey and lemon juice (for the taste; not necessary)
Start by rinsing and soaking the barley (make sure to soak it completely). Mix the ingredients in a normal pot, bring the mixture to a boil, and let it simmer for about an hour (or until the grains are cooked). When ready, pour the mixture in a cup (strained preferably) and add lemon or honey if you want. Serve it one or two times a day.
Health Benefits of Barley Water
- It reduces blood cholesterol. A high cholesterol level is among the first causes of heart disease. Being high in fiber and beta-glucans, barley has the power to prevent your body from increasing the level of cholesterol in the intestines and stomach.
- It helps you fight diabetes. In strict connection with the first benefit, barley and the beta-glucans present in it will help you keep the blood glucose level under control. At the same time, barley is extremely useful in the insulin resistance diet and in the fight against obesity.
- A simple remedy for urinary tract infections (UTIs). The best way to help your body fight this condition is to increase the urinating frequency in order to eliminate toxins and damaging bacteria as soon as possible. And barley, in its position as a natural diuretic, is definitely a safe and easy way to do it. Furthermore, barley can also treat several diseases (kidney stones and cystitis being two of them).
- It keeps your heart healthy. Besides the fact that it lowers cholesterol and high blood pressure, barley is also rich in vitamin B, which is a great tool to fight atherosclerosis. This condition manifests through a thickening in the arterial walls and often leads to cardiovascular disease.
- It helps you lose weight safely. Regarding this aspect, barley functions in two ways: it keeps your body satiated for longer periods but, at the same time, it hurries the metabolism to burn fats faster. The high-fiber content will make you feel full for a long time and it will also help you ignore food cravings.
Such a common ingredient and so many health benefits. And all of them are, directly or indirectly, linked to the high-fiber content. However, in order to experience them fully, it is important to consume it regularly and to drink, in our case, about 3 cups of barley water per day.