You may think we have lost our marbles – but honestly, rice water has some amazing health-giving properties. Yes, we mean the water that you have just cooked your rice in!
Rice water, sometimes called Kanji in the Asian world is extremely beneficial for your body, but also for your skin and hair. It may sound strange to put that ‘gloopy’ after-cook water on your face or even into your body, but trust us, it works.
Rice water many years ago was fed to babies and children, whenever they had stomach problems that caused vomiting or diarrhoea. But as usual, there was some nutty professor or scientist somewhere in the world who experimented with rice water properties and found that it was very beneficial to your health, whatever age group you fall into.
The water remaining after rice is cooked may not look that appealing, but it is a major source of energy as it is packed with carbohydrates. Those of you watching your weight will turn your nose up in disgust, but it is very soothing on the stomach. Does it taste good – not particularly. But you can put herbs or spices into it, even a little fruit to make it more palatable. Your body gleans energy by breaking down carbohydrates, so a glass of rice water first thing in the morning will stop dizziness and weakness. Add a touch of honey, a squeeze of lemon and there you have an energy-rich drink.
If you have had a ‘dodgy’ tummy try rice water. It can prevent constipation as it has a high fibre content which will regulate bowel movements. On the other side of the coin, if you are rushing to the toilet due to a stomach infection, rice water can facilitate the management of nasty diarrhoea. When diarrhoea hits, if not controlled it may easily cause rapid dehydration – now we all know the dangers of that particular scenario. Worried about going to work and spending your day in the loo, as opposed to at your desk? You can drink rice water hot or cold, so take some to work with you in either a Hydratem8 Adventure bottle if you prefer it hot, or take it cold in one of our regularly marked bottles – if you follow the markings, drink when they tell you to drink, you will prevent dehydration as well as stopping the uncomfortable and debilitating flow of diarrhoea.
Sometimes with a bad stomach or other viral infections you may experience a fever – once again rice water can be your friendly antidote. Used to prevent water loss and consequent dehydration, rice water will replenish any lost nutrients and aid in the recovery process. Likewise in hot weather, our bodies lose water and salts through perspiration at a rapid rate of knots. You can rehydrate with rice water due to its nutritional benefits.
It is best to drink rice water warm in all honesty, as it is tastier and you can dissolve items like honey much easier. By all means add seasoning or flavourings – who knows, it may become your ‘go to’ drink!
Beauty Benefits of Rice Water
Here we go again – no, we are not crazy! In Asian countries, women have been using rice water as a beauty aid for hundreds (maybe even thousands) of years, due to its mineral and vitamin rich content. Rice water has so many nutrients that strengthen and renew hair and skin cells when used either when washing your face or rinsing your hair – and think about it, its totally natural! Once you try it, you will find your skin regains its elasticity and you will look more youthful. Not only that, it doesn’t cost anything or only a few pence. It is best to only part-boil the rice so that it is not too soft, then drain off the water. Wasteful – not at all. The slightly ‘al dente’ rice can be used mixed with olive oil for a body scrub!
In China, the Yao women are known to bathe and rinse their hair in rice water (they cook a lot of rice out there!), and they are renowned for their shiny, healthy hair. It is also used in Ayurvedic practice as an ointment for inflamed skin. It is also widely used in Japan where much research has proven the benefits of an ingredient called inisotol, which is found in rice water. It is this ingredient that is believed to add new verve to skin and hair, repair damaged hair and give both your skin and hair a healthy glow.
Sounds like rice should be on your shopping list every week!