Barley has made a major comeback in our lives. Also known as ‘jau’ in Hindi, this grain was quite popular during the olden days and is something that our grandparents used extensively in Indian food. Over the years, its usage has become quite low, but it’s only recently that we’ve started to reintroduce it in our diet. And why not? Barley has some incredible benefits to offer, one of which is that it helps manage blood sugar levels. Now, most assume that barely can only be used as a substitute for refined grains like white rice or all-purpose flour. Which is true, but there’s another way to consume it that is especially beneficial for managing diabetes: barley water.
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Is Barley Water Good For Diabetics? | Barley Water Benefits
1. Regulates Blood Glucose Levels:
According to research, sipping on barley water can be beneficial for regulating blood glucose levels. Whole-grain barley in particular has been shown to be effective in achieving this in Indian food as it is rich in soluble fibre. This prevents sudden spikes or drops in glucose levels. As per a study conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the blood glucose levels of type 2 diabetic patients who consumed barley were significantly lower than those who had white rice when tested three hours post-ingestion. That’s why many Indian recipes are being prepared with barley these days.
2. Improves Insulin Production:
To manage diabetes, it is important to have good insulin levels. Insulin is a hormone produced by our pancreas that allows our body to use sugar. Several studies suggest that the consumption of barley water can help improve insulin production. This helps our body use it properly and regulates overall blood sugar levels.
3. Enhances Insulin Sensitivity:
Another issue that people suffering from diabetes face is insulin resistance. This occurs when our cells become less responsive to insulin. Barley is one of the common Indian foods which are high in fibre. Barley also contains certain bioactive compounds that can help increase our body’s response to insulin. According to the book ‘Healing Foods’ by DK Publishing House, “Barley water is a great source of fibre and beta-glucans, which help improve insulin resistance.”
4. Supports Digestive Health:
Barley water is also quite beneficial for digestive health. When your digestive system is healthy, it promotes better nutrient absorption and controls diabetes. As per the book ‘Barley for Food and Health: Science, Technology, and Products’ by Rosemary K. Newman and C. Walter Newman, “Barley water has been used as a home remedy for stomach-related issues and gastroenteritis for many years.”
5. May Lower Cholesterol:
Diabetics should make a conscious effort to keep their cholesterol levels in check. Not doing so can make them more susceptible to developing heart disease. Barley contains certain chemicals that help lower LDL cholesterol levels in the body. A study conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) showed decreased LDL cholesterol in both men and women after adding barley to their diet. Many Indian recipes make use of this whole grain.
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How To Make Barley Water?
- To make barley water, you just need to boil two glasses of water with one tablespoon of barley.
- Add salt to taste and boil again for half an hour. Once done, strain the water and drink.
- You can also squeeze in some lemon juice or add fennel seeds to make it flavourful.
- Consume this water first thing in the morning, before meals, or right before you hit the bed.
Barley, the prized Indian food, offers many health benefits. Include barley water in your diabetes diet to better manage it. However, remember to consult your nutritionist before making any major changes to your diet. Stay fit and healthy!