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4 reasons you must drink rice water or kanji every day

...And you thought it was only to drink when you were ill!

Written by Poorva Chavan |Updated : September 11, 2015 1:08 PM IST

You probably have had kanji or rice water as a child or when you were really sick. You might not have enjoyed the taste, but this humble concoction has various health benefits.

  1. Is a good source of energy: Kanji or rice water is rich in carbohydrates, and hence, an excellent source of energy. The body can easily derive energy by breaking down carbohydrates. Drink a glass of rice water in the morning before heading out and you will never feel dizzy or weak due to lack of energy.
  2. Prevents constipation: It is rich in fibre and facilitates smooth bowel movements. Also, the starch stimulates the growth of useful bacteria in the stomach promoting healthy bowel movement.
  3. Prevents dehydration: On a hot sunny day, rice water becomes your go-to-drink. In summer, the body tends to lose water and salts through sweat and, rice water helps replenish the lost nutrients and the water, reducing your chances of dehydration.
  4. Home remedy for viral infections: Rice water is widely used as a remedy for fever as it prevents water loss due to fever and vomiting during an infection. It helps replenish the lost nutrients and speeds the recovery process [1].
  5. Can manage diarrhoea: Rice water proves to be an excellent home remedy to treat diarrhoea [2], not only in adults but also infants. Infants are more prone to diseases like diarrhoea and if not treated at the right time, can lead to severe dehydration. A study found that rice water was more effective in controlling diarrhoea by reducing the volume and frequency of stool output in babies [3].

How to prepare Kanji

Cook a cup full of rice in three to four cups of water. Once the rice granules are half-cooked, strain the liquid. To this liquid, add some salt or sugar to taste. Drink while warm.

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References:

  1. Lum L, Ng C, Khoo E. Managing dengue fever in primary care: A practical approach. Malaysian Family Physician : the Official Journal of the Academy of Family Physicians of Malaysia. 2014;9(2):2-10.
  2. National Research Council (US) Working Group on the Effects of Child Survival and General Health Programs on Mortality; Ewbank DC, Gribble JN, editors. Effects Of Health Programs on Child Mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 1993. 4, Other Interventions Targeted at Single Diseases. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK236388/
  3. Comparison of rice water, rice electrolyte solution, and glucose electrolyte solution in the management of infantile diarrhoea. Mehta, MeenakshiN. et al. The Lancet , Volume 327 , Issue 8485 , 843 - 845

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