What is Bulgur Wheat?
Bulgur is an edible wheat grain that is prepared by boiling wheat and then drying and cracking it into various sizes, to turn it into a grain that can be cooked quickly.
Consistency of Bulgar wheat is similar to that of quinoa or couscous. Bulgur wheat is quick to prepare and is also very nutritious. It is a minimally processed grain and has more nutritional value than refined products.
Bulgur wheat contains a variety of vitamins and minerals and a good amount of fiber. A single serving of Bulgur wheat provides 30 % of the daily value of nutrient intake.(1,2) It is rich in manganese, magnesium, iron and slightly lower in calories than other whole grains. A cup serving of Bulgur wheat is known to contain the following nutrients:
- 151 calories
- 6 grams protein
- 34 grams carbohydrates
- 8 grams fiber
- 8% of the daily value of folate
- 8% of the daily value of vitamin B6
- 10 % percent of the daily iron value
- 15% of the daily value of magnesium
- 55% of the daily manganese value
- 9% of the daily value of niacin.
Health Benefits of Bulgur Wheat
Bulgur is a whole grain and daily consumption of whole grains is linked with numerous health benefits.
Promotes Heart Health
Fiber-rich foods like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are good for heart health. A review was done on people who consumed 3-7.5 servings of whole grains every day found that there was a 20% reduction in lifelong heart disease risk.(3) Bulgur being a whole grain could provide some heart-protective benefits.
Controls Blood Sugar
Whole grains are known to keep the blood sugar under control by reducing the blood sugar response and lowering the insulin level. They can also improve the overall insulin sensitivity.(4) The fiber content and plant compounds of whole grains are known to be responsible for controlling blood sugar. Bulgur wheat is rich in both fiber and phytonutrients and could play a role in controlling blood sugar.(5)
Improves Digestion and Gut Health
Whole-grain consumption can promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria. These bacteria produce short-chain fatty acids that support intestinal health and promote proper digestive function.(6) Adequate intake of fiber-rich foods such as bulgur can help in the treatment and prevention of digestive issues such as constipation.(7)
Helps in Losing Weight
Weight loss is linked with numerous factors and dietary fiber intake is one of them. Fiber intake helps in reducing the tendency towards weight gain.(8) Eating fiber increase the feeling of fullness and reduces calorie intake. It also plays a role in lowering the energy absorption from food. Bulgur is rich in fiber can be added to the weight loss diet.
Who Should Limit Bulgur Wheat Intake?
Bulgur is healthy for many people but may not be a good choice for everyone. Those with wheat or gluten allergy should avoid it.
People with chronic intestinal disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease or irritable bowel syndrome may not be able to tolerate bulgur wheat as it has insoluble fiber content. Those who are unsure should start with lower quantities to see how their body reacts.(9)
Those experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms should wait for the symptoms to improve before adding something that is high in fiber to the diet. Also, if someone feels that they are not able to tolerate high-fiber foods, it is good to cut back and introduce them slowly into the diet in smaller quantities.
Bulgur wheat is known to have rich carbohydrates, fiber, and protein content and is a great option for those who want to follow a vegetarian, vegan eating plan or want to add more healthy grains to the diet. It can be added to soups, stews and chilies and can be mixed into meatballs and meatloaves to enhance their nutrient value. It can also be used instead of quinoa in many recipes. It is an ancient grain that adds nutrient punch to every bite you take.