Rice is a staple dish across various regions of the country, and even across the world. There are so many ways that a humble bowl of rice can be spruced up - whether it is a sumptuous mutton curry or a comforting dal. A simple bowl of rice is reminiscent of childhood and reminds us of simpler times with every bite. The process of cooking rice is quite simple too, with just a few basic spices and water. But did you know that the water you cook or soak rice in actually can be really beneficial health-wise? Rice water offers a range of health benefits that were hitherto under-explored.
Rice water, also known in some regions as kanji, is the water leftover after making or soaking rice in it. It is known to contain a number of healthy amino acids, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which are scientifically proven to benefit the body. "The leftover starch after making rice is full of nutrients. It has Vitamin B, Vitamin C and a whole lot of minerals which is beneficial for your body. So, it's not sensible to throw away the liquid which is so nourishing," says Macrobiotic Health Coach and Nutritionist Shilpa Arora.
Here Are 5 Well-Known Health Benefits Of Kanji Or Rice Water:
1. Aids Digestive Processes
Experts recommend drinking rice water to soothe digestive ailments such as food poisoning, diarrhoea and even indigestion. Consultant Nutritionist Rupali Dutta says, "Kanji is a traditional drink which has been around forever. Children are constantly being given Kanji water when they are unwell when suffering from diarrhoea." "Rice water contains an abundance of vitamins and minerals and prebiotics essential for our gut health," agrees Arora.
2. Boost Energy And Mood
Rice contains carbohydrates, some of which proliferates down to the water that it is boiled or soaked in. This helps replenish the body's energy levels and make the mood better. "It contains some quantity of carbohydrate in it which gives the body energy," agrees Dutta. In many Southern states such as Kerala, people start their day with Kanji water in the morning after a long period of overnight fasting. So, it is a good idea to kickstart your day with some energy provided in a glass of Kanji.
3. Helps Stay Hydrated
Rice water is one of the most effective ways of rehydrating in the hot summer months. "It is a good natural oral rehydration solution, so it also prevents dehydration. Since it is a good rehydration with energy-giving fluids, it can be used when you have any kinds of infection such as vomiting or fever," recommends Dutta. Simply take the rice water in a tall glass and drink up the healthy decoction!
4. Good for Hair Growth
Rice water has been used as a hair treatment product since times immemorial in parts of Southeast Asia. The traditional fermented rice water is a part of many beauty rituals even today. According to experts, rinsing hair in rice water or helps make it shinier and smoother, along with strengthening the hair which aids in growing it long too.
(Also Read: What Kind Of Rice Is Best For Weight Loss?)
5. Maintain Healthy And Supple Skin
Nutritionists and experts recommend using rice water to combat problems such as dry skin, open pores and acne. Nutritionist Shilpa Arora has a very easy way to bring it into use for healthy skin, "Put rice water into the ice tray and freeze it. Add cucumber too. Apply these ice cubes onto the face as a toner. These ice cubes are very nourishing for your skin as they contain a whole lot of nutrients. It increases blood circulation and boosts collagen. It's got Vitamins A, C and K, minerals and antioxidants which are great for your skin. Rice water is great to keep the skin glowing and hydrated."
So, next time you make rice, make sure to save the excess water and bring it into use for the range of health benefits and nutritive value!
About Aditi AhujaAditi loves talking to and meeting like-minded foodies (especially the kind who like veg momos). Plus points if you get her bad jokes and sitcom references, or if you recommend a new place to eat at.