By: Pallavi Vathiar. Practicing Clinical Nutritionist, Mumbai.
Most of us cook rice in pressure cookers and electric cookers and that is the reason why we don’t have the habit of drinking cooked rice water. In fact, we don’t know the health benefits of boiled rice water. When rice is cooked in a pot along with water, the remaining water can be removed and consumed after the rice is cooked
More energy, healthier skin and shiny hair are just some of the benefits that you will gain from this old Asian recipe that is becoming increasingly popular in the West. All you need are just two cheap ingredients: water and rice.
By rice water we mean the water in which the rice is boiled and not the water in which the rice is washed. This rice water has a lot of cosmetic as well as health benefits. This water can be consumed internally while it is still warm or used to wash hair and face once its cooled. Below are some of the goodness of rice water:-
- Provides energy
- Regulates body temperature
- Great when it comes to preventing cancer
- Cures and prevents constipation
- Prevents gastroenteritis
- Washing face with rice water makes skin softer
- Hair becomes healthier and softer by washing with rice water
- Rice-water assists your face’s closed pores (1)
Rice water has amazing hair and skin benefits. A recent research showed that rice water exhibits hair care properties, such as decreasing surface friction and improving hair elasticity (2).
Rice water has inositol, a carbohydrate that can repair damaged hair, as well as protect it from further damage. Specialized imaging technique shows that inositol stays inside the hair even after rinsing, offering continuing hair protection and beautifying effects. Rinsing or washing your hair with rice water will improve manageability and protect it from future damage.
In addition, the amino acids in rice water strengthen the hair roots, add volume and sheen and even make the hair silky smooth (3).
Due to its cooling and soothing effects on skin, it is often prescribed as an effective ointment to cool off inflamed skin.
Rice water also has moisturizing, antioxidant, and healing properties that help to improve circulation, prevent or fade age related spots, and ease inflammation to give you a healthy, better moisturized and clear skin. As long as it’s left on the skin, rice water is even believed to offer mild protection from the sun.
A 2013 study showed that rice wine (fermented rice water) can help improve skin damage from the sun. Rice wine increases the collagen in the skin, which keeps your skin supple and helps prevent wrinkling (4).
Chemicals contained in rice have been shown to help protect the skin against the sun’s rays. A 2016 study showed that it was an effective sunscreen when combined with other plant extracts (5).
Rice water contains a substance called as oryzanol. It helps withstand the UV rays from the sun. Use rice water internally and externally to help your skin take the sun’s heat.
Rice water is said to prevent gastroentritis and also good for preventing constipation. It is recommended to drink rice water if you get food poisoning or a stomach bug. Rice water has been shown to significantly reduce symptoms of an upset stomach and decrease bowel movements. While there’s an evidence that rice helps diarrhea, it often contains traces of arsenic (6).
When rice gets cooked, it releases many of its nutrients into the water and that is the reason why that water should not be thrown away after the cooking process is over.