Couscous: Benefits And Harms

Couscous is a traditional cereal popular among North African and Mediterranean cultures. Many people may think that this is just another type of cereal that looks like millet or rice. In fact, the small couscous granules are well-rolled semolina balls sprinkled with dry flour. Sometimes durum wheat, rice, or barley are used instead of semolina.

Couscous: nutritional value

Energy value – 376 kcal per 100 g of dry product:

  • Proteins 12.8 g
  • Fats 0.6 g
  • Carbohydrates 72.4 g

Couscous is an excellent source of B vitamins, especially B5, and it also contains large amounts of PP and choline. A serving of couscous is a good source of selenium, one of the most important minerals that contribute to the development of muscle mass. Studies have shown that selenium deficiency is one of the causes of muscle degradation, pathological fatigue, and general weakening of the body. It also contains a lot of potassium, phosphorus, and iron.

Couscous: beneficial properties

In the cold season, couscous successfully fights infectious diseases and improves body tone, which contributes to an active lifestyle. Trace elements in couscous accelerate food digestion and normalize the functioning of the large intestine. Regular consumption of couscous contributes to the productive work of the brain.

People who eat couscous as a regular dish note that they experience better hair growth and reduced hair loss. Those whose work requires constant physical effort say that meat with couscous as a side dish, like nothing else, gives strength and desire to work further. Couscous is recommended for athletes, as its rich composition increases the body’s reserves and gives new victories. This cereal is also indicated for the elderly who suffer from constipation due to weak intestinal motility. For young children, couscous is dissolved in milk and given as porridge for breakfast.

Couscous is indicated for people who are prone to depression, as well as for those who are very overworked and overwhelmed by work and various worries. It helps to normalize sleep and reduces the manifestations of nervous overload due to the action of B vitamins, which are contained in large quantities in couscous.

How to make couscous

To prepare it, take crushed wheat groats and add a little water.

From the resulting mixture, roll small balls 1-2 mm in diameter. Then steam them to a state of semi-cooking, and then dry them.

Harm and contraindications

  • Despite all its beneficial properties, wheat groats can be harmful to humans. Therefore, be sure to read the contraindications before using it:
    Individual intolerance or food allergy to wheat and other cereals that may be contained in couscous. If you are intolerant to gluten, you should not eat couscous. Read the composition of the packet before buying, because the product is made from different crops (barley, millet, etc.).
  • Use with caution if you have diabetes. Even with a low glycemic index (GI), couscous can provoke complications or worsen the course of diabetes. There are similar warnings for problems associated with the thyroid gland. It is advisable to include dishes based on it after consulting a doctor so that they do not harm your health.
  • If you are overweight, you should plan your diet carefully so as not to harm your figure.

Couscous is rightly considered a high-calorie product. For this reason, it is recommended to combine it with low-calorie foods: vegetables, chicken, seafood, etc. Do not combine the cereal with sweets and semi-finished meat products, otherwise, weight may increase.

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Written by Bella Adams

I'm a professionally-trained, executive chef with over ten years in Restaurant Culinary and hospitality management. Experienced in specialized diets, including Vegetarian, Vegan, Raw foods, whole food, plant-based, allergy-friendly, farm-to-table, and more. Outside of the kitchen, I write about lifestyle factors that impact well-being.

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