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With the temperature hitting the 50°C mark in parts of the country, cool drinks are in high demand. Instead of guzzling empty calories from colas and other carbonated drinks, try beating the heat with traditional and natural beverages.
A local favourite is sattu – the desi version of lemon barley water; made from roasted, ground barley dissolved in cool water, it is most refreshing with a generous squeeze of lemon juice and a pinch of brown sugar or jaggery.
Lemon barley water is also packed with the nutritional goodness of barley, making it an ideal beverage to serve during Ramazan.

Here are some ‘cool’ reasons to drink sattu this summer:

  • Barley water has cooling agents that help reduce body heat and quench thirst. Sipping barley water also helps restore electrolyte and fluid balance in the body while flushing out toxins and cleansing the kidneys.
  • Roasted barley contains alkylpyrazines, a chemical compound which improves blood circulation. Drinking barley water daily can avert health problems related to poor blood circulation including cardiac arrest, kidney failure and dementia.
  • Barley is rich in insoluble fibre which lowers cholesterol levels and is also known to help prevent the occurrence of gallstones, especially in women. A warm glass of fibre-rich barley water aids in regulating bowel movement.
  • High levels of magnesium in barley help control blood sugar levels (in combination with certain enzymes). Barley water is known to help cut the risk of type-2 diabetes.
  • Barley contains lignin, a phytonutrient that works as an antioxidant which fights cancerous growths and helps keep the heart healthy.

– Beenish Israr
The writer is a PhD scholar, studying Human Nutrition at University of Reading, UK. She is also a lecturer of Food and Nutrition at University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan.

First published in the Health Advertiser Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on June 23, 2013.