Have you heard of bulgur wheat before? Sometimes called cracked wheat, it is thought to be a good source of essential vitamins and minerals, and it’s oozing with phytonutrients, antioxidants and fiber. If you want to know more about this amazing wheat, give this article a read. You will definitely learn a lot!
What is Bulgur Wheat?
Bulgur wheat, or cracked wheat, is a less popular kind of whole wheat grain, but it provides better nutrients than refined or enriched wheat. Bulgar wheat if low in fat but high in minerals like iron, magnesium and manganese. It’s also a good source of plant-based protein and provides a lot of dietary fiber, which is good for your heart and digestive health. In fact, just one cup contains about 35% of you daily fiber.
Various epidemiological studies suggest that eating whole grains like bulgur wheat may protect against various health conditions like obesity, diabetes, digestive disorders, heart disease and cancer. In addition to their content of vitamins and minerals, whole grains supply various important plant-based phytonutrients, which lower inflammation and prevent damages from free radicals. These include compounds like plant sterols, plant stanols and lignans.
A staple of Middle Eastern, Turkish and Indian cuisines for centuries, bulgur wheat is one most popular in the West as a main ingredient for tabbouleh. Nevertheless, there are a lot of other ways to use this versatile, fast-cooking grain, including soups, salads and, of course, bread!
Nutritional Facts of Bulgur Wheat
A one cup serving of cooked bulgur wheat has approximately:
|% Daily Value
One important thing to clarify is that, like al wheat-based foods, bulgar wheat contains gluten. Gluten is a protein naturally found in wheat, barley and rye products, and it may cause digestive issues for some people, especially if they have poor gut health or a conceded digestive system to start.
Though bulgur wheat is certainly a better choice than refined carbs or sugary foods, it is best to consume it in moderation, and if you are allergic to it or sensitive to gluten, you must avoid it entirely. Instead, opt for a gluten-free whole grain like amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat or brown rice. Foods that have gluten must also be avoided if you are experiencing candida or leaky gut syndrome, as the gluten may aggravate these conditions.
Health Benefits of Bulgur Wheat
Here are some of the most surprising health benefits of bulgur wheat:
- Supplies essential vitamins and minerals. Bulgur wheat is an amazing source of magnesium, manganese, B vitamins and iron, all of which are often lacking in poor diets.
- Helps improve the immune system. Whole grains provide essential nutrients for the body, and they are also linked to lowering stress levels. Because of the low glycemic index of bulgur wheat, it is more beneficial than sugary foods and processed grains.
- Helps balance the body’s pH level. Whole grains are good sources of fiber. Often found in the form of oligosaccharides and starch, these short-chain fatty acids help balance the pH level of the body, therefore preventing the body from becoming more acidic because of the foods like sugar.
- Helps slow down the absorption of sugar and fight diabetes. Bulgur wheat has a low glycemic index and is high in fiber, which helps slow down the rate that carbs are digested at. This causes sugar to go into the bloodstream.
- Helps improve digestion. There is an ample amount of fiber in bulgur wheat, which is vital for maintaining healthy bowel movements and detoxifying the body.
- Helps protect the heart. Consuming bulgur wheat and fiber are beneficial for the maintenance of cardiovascular health, and it can help control your weight and lifespan. Whole grains are rich in antioxidants that are essential in preventing diseases.