Benefits of Bulgur Wheat
Bulgur wheat, sometimes also called cracked wheat, is a lesser-known type of whole wheat durum grain. Compared to refined carbohydrate foods made with enriched or refined wheat, bulgur wheat is a much better source of vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients.
Bulgur is low in fat, high in minerals like manganese, magnesium and iron, plus it’s a good source of plant-based protein. On top of this, bulgur wheat provides a very good dose of the dietary fiber you need for digestive and heart health — over 25 percent of your daily needs in every one-cup serving!
Epidemiological studies find that whole-grain intake can be protective against health conditions like cancer, heart disease, digestive disorders, diabetes and obesity, which suggests that bulgur wheat can be a part of a healing diet. In addition to vitamins and minerals, whole grains supply important plant-based phytonutrients that lower inflammation and prevent free radical damage. These include compounds such as phytoestrogens like lignans, plant stanols and plant sterols.
Protects Heart Health
Studies show that people who consume whole grains like bulgur wheat and eat plenty of fiber are more likely to maintain a healthier weight, cardiovascular health and even live longer. Whole grains are rich in antioxidants, including trace minerals and phenolic compounds that are linked to disease prevention. Fiber-rich bulgur wheat is beneficial for heart health because it helps lower inflammation and can correct high cholesterol levels.
Some research reveals that people who regularly consume 100 percent whole-grain wheat products obtain higher levels of important heart-healthy nutrients like niacin, vitamin B6 and betaine, which can help lower concentrations of homocysteine in the blood — an indication of lower inflammation levels.
Bulgur provides a good dose of the fiber you need daily in order to maintain regular bowel movements and detox the body of toxins. Fiber swells up in the digestive track, absorbing water and taking with it waste and excess cholesterol particles.
Many studies show that diets higher in fiber can lead to improved gut and colon health, fewer instances of constipation or other IBS-related symptoms, and a healthier body weight since fiber makes us feel full.
Slows Down Absorption of Sugar
Bulgur wheat has a low score on the glycemic index, especially compared to enriched or refined carbohydrates. Because bulgur contains high levels of fiber, it slows the rate that carbohydrates are digested and blood sugar is released into the bloodstream.
Frequently eating foods made with refined flour, including most breads and pastas found in stores, is linked not only to a higher rate of obesity but also to insulin resistance and a higher risk for diabetes. Switching refined grains for whole grains is one way to start reversing diabetes naturally.
Help with Weight Loss
Compared to processed and refined carbohydrates, whole grains like bulgur wheat contain more filling fiber, in addition to more vitamins and minerals that supportweight loss. Fiber is actually not absorbable within the body and contributes no carbohydrates or calories to your diet, even though it’s found in carb-containing foods.
Because we can’t digest fiber, it sweeps through our digestive tract and takes up a large amount of space while absorbing water. This gives you the feeling of being satisfied and can help curb cravings and the tendency to overeat. At the same time, the fiber found in bulgur helps balance blood sugar levels, which promotes a more stable appetite and healthier body weight. In fact, a side dish made with bulgur can make a great pre-workout snack or post-workout snack because it provides slow-releasing carbohydrates to support energy.
Balances the Body’s pH Level
Whole grains are concentrated sources of fiber in the form of resistant starch and oligosaccharides, which are carbohydrates that escape digestion in the small intestine and are fermented in the gut, producing short-chain fatty acids (SCFA). These SCFAs help balance the body’s pH level, preventing it from becoming too acidic due to foods like sugar, low-quality animal products and refined grains.They also promote ongoing gut health, which improves immunity and nutrient absorption.