Health Benefits of Bulgur
Bulgur is a cereal grain made from wheat kernels. The kernels are boiled, dried and undergo minimum processing to form bulgur. Bulgur is considered as a staple food in many Middle Eastern countries. Various cuisines like pilafs, kibbeh, and tabbouleh are prepared from it. Even in India, bulgur (commonly known as dalia) is consumed during breakfast. It is considered as a healthy food when a person is ill. Bulgur is known for its nutty taste and is used in various breads, soups and as a substitute for rice. So, let’s have a look at the nutritional and health benefits of bulgur.
Nutritional Benefits Of Bulgur
Bulgur is a high calorie food. It provides around 340 calories for 100 grams of its consumption (dry bulgur). It is rich in dietary fibre and carbohydrate. Protein content is also significant in bulgur. Vitamin-B6 and folate is present in it. Iron, potassium, phosphorous and calcium are some of the minerals found in bulgur.
Bulgur is Heart Friendly
Bulgur is loaded with antioxidants. Lignans present in bulgur are a type of antioxidants that can decrease the amount of cholesterol in the body. They restrict the bad LDL cholesterol from depositing into the artery walls, which can result in heart strokes. Moreover, dietary fibre in bulgur can prevent absorption of cholesterol in the blood and instead flushes it directly. It even has anti-inflammatory properties due to the presence of a compound – betaine. It can suppress the level of homocysteine, thereby inhibiting coronary artery diseases,
Bulgur aids Digestion
Bulgur is a good source of insoluble fibre. These fibre aid in bulking the food particles. They aid in efficient bowel movement and make the digestive tract clean and healthy. Constipation, diverticular diseases and intestinal polyps can be combated by it.
Bulgur Benefits – Prevents Gallstones
High amount of insoluble fibre can increase the rate of flow of food through intestines. It can make the body more sensitive to insulin and can reduce the secretion of biles. All these factors make bulgur a healthy food in combating the production of gallstones.
Source of Folates
Bulgur is a good source of Vitamin-B6 and folates. They play an important role in the conversion of food to energy. They even aid in the synthesis of hormones and various neurotransmitters.
Bulgur Benefits for Weight Loss
Cooked bulgur provides only 80 calories for 100 gram of its consumption. Bulgur is high in fibre and thus it can keep a person sated over a long time. Bulgur can be consumed during breakfast or during evening so as to avoid unhealthy snacks.
Bulgur for Diabetics
Bulgur is highly recommended for diabetic patients. It has low glycaemic index and is loaded with fibre. Fibre contributes in lowering the rate of absorption of glucose in the body and thus controls unwanted sugar spikes.
Bulgur Benefits – Prevents Cancer
Nitrosamines are one of the reasons of cancer. Bulgur contains ferulic acid which inhibits nitrates and nitrites from converting into nitrosamines. Post menopausal women are recommended high dietary fibre food to reduce the onset of breast cancer.
Bulgur has Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Betaine is an anti-inflammatory compound present in bulgur. It can be consumed to lower homocysteine level, which can cause osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s, arthritis and heart diseases.
Bulgur Benefits – Source of Protein
Bulgur is a rich source of protein. Vegetarians, who want to gain lean muscles without adding unwanted fats, should add bulgur to their diet.