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How to make Barley Water

barley water

Learn how to make Barley Water

Barley water. As one of the most ancient cultivated grains in the world, barley originated in Ethiopia and Southeast Asia, where it has been cultivated since 8000 B.C.E. It is thought that post-Ice Age climatic changes, plus barley’s development of a hardened rachis, which prevented early grain scattering, allowed for better barley cultivation.

As one of the first cereals cultivated in the Middle East, barley was used by ancient civilizations as a food for humans and animals, as well as to make alcohol. Actually, the first known recipe for barley wine dates back to 2800 B.C.E. in Babylonia. Barley water has also been used for various medicinal purposes since ancient times.

The best-known brand of barley water concentrate, Robinsons, now part of Britvic, developed from the business established around 1818 by Matthias Robinson at Red Lion Street in Holborn, London producing barley flour as a thickening agent and for preparing baby and invalid foods, and, of course, as an easy way of making your own barley water at home.

Robinsons have associated their drink with the Wimbledon tennis championships and have promoted a story that “In 1934 a gentleman steward at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships mixed the barley flour with iced water, lemon juice & sugar for the 1st time.” But lemon barley water is very well known from long before then.

5 Potential Health Benefits of drinking Barley Water.

    1. Fibre boost. Many of barley’s health benefits come from it being an excellent source of dietary fiber. Fiber is essential for keeping the digestive system healthy, contributing to healthy bowel movements, and helping people avoid problems such as constipation. Researchers have linked a diet high in dietary fiber to a reduced risk of developing some chronic diseases. For example, people who eat plenty of fiber have a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Barley is a soluble fiber, meaning it can dissolve in water and provides the body with useful energy. Fiber can also be insoluble, meaning it passes through the digestive tract without breaking down and does not provide the body with energy. The American Dietetic Association recommend that adult women eat 25 grams (g) and adult men eat 38 g of dietary fiber every day. Most people in the United States do not meet this target, so barley may be an easy way for people to increase their intake. In addition to its high fiber content, barley also contains a mix of beneficial vitamins and minerals.
    2. Lowers cholesterol. A 2010 analysis of clinical trials found that barley may reduce the level of LDL or “bad” cholesterol in the blood. While the results varied depending on the participant’s overall health and the doses and quality of barley used, the author’s concluded that eating or drinking barley products can be considered part of a plan to reduce total and LDL cholesterol.
    3. Helps balance gut bacteria. The balance of natural gut bacteria plays an essential role in keeping a person healthy. Studies have shown that consuming barley-based foods leads to a reduction of a gut bacteria called bacteroides.While these bacteria are not usually a threat, they are the most common species found in anaerobic infections, which occur after an injury or trauma. These infections can affect the abdomen, genitals, heart, bones, joints, and the central nervous system.
    4. Lowers blood sugar levels. Barley-based foods have been shown to help boost the number of beneficial bacteria prevotella in the gut. These bacteria have been shown to help lower blood sugar levels for up to 11–14 hours. Keeping blood sugar levels in check can help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. It can also help those who have diabetes manage their blood glucose levels.
    5. Encourages weight loss. Barley prompts the body to release hormones that regulate appetite by making the person feel fuller for longer. These hormones may also boost the metabolism, which can contribute to weight loss.

Barley Water Directions

Place the water and barley into a medium saucepan; cover, set over high heat and bring to a boil. Once the barley comes to a boil, decrease the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. While the liquid is cooking, peel the lemons, being careful not to cut into the white pith. Juice the lemons and place the juice along with the peel into a 3-quart pitcher and set aside.

After 30 minutes, strain the barley water through a fine mesh strainer into the pitcher. Discard the barley. Add the honey and stir to combine. Refrigerate until chilled.

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