Bulgur wheat is also known as cracked wheat, it’s a lesser-known type of whole wheat. When compared to refined wheat, bulgur wheat has much more vitamins, fiber, antioxidants, minerals, and phytonutrients.
Bulgur wheat is low in fat and high in minerals like iron, manganese, and magnesium. It is more of a plant-based protein. In addition to this, it is a good dietary fiber for maintaining your digestive and cardiovascular health.
Several studies state that consumption of whole grain can be beneficial against various health conditions like cancer, cardiovascular, obesity, and diabetes. Thus, Bulgur wheat can be a part of your daily diet.
Next important aspect of bulgur wheat is the phytonutrients that decrease body inflammation and prevent any free radical damage. It has important phytonutrients like plant sterols, plant stanols, and lignans.
Bulgur wheat is a staple in Indian, Turkish, and Middle Eastern cuisines for ages. However, it is mostly used in the West as the main ingredient of a very famous dish tabbouleh.
Nevertheless, you can use it in a variety of ways in your soup, salad, bread, main course, etc. Try including Bulgur wheat in your daily diet as it has a variety of health benefits. To know more about this wheat, read the below article.
What Is Bulgur Wheat?
Bulgur wheat is a mixture of the groats (hulled kernels) from different types of wheat. It is a very popular ingredient in West culinary dishes as it cooks very fast. You can make it in many forms like pasta, bread, salads. etc.
There are many types of cereal, most of them are refined wheat which produces refined carbohydrate foods. But, Bulgur wheat is totally different from them. It has loads of packed nutrients like minerals, fibre, vitamins, antioxidants, etc. These nutrient-packed nature of Bulgur makes it very beneficial for your health.
The key ingredients of Bulgur wheat are iron, copper, zinc, manganese, magnesium, niacin, dietary protein, and potassium. More off, it contains negligible calories and fat. If you consume it daily, its valuable ingredients will add an extra boost of energy in your body.
Nutritional Value Of Bulgur Wheat
A cup of bulgur wheat will give you following nutrients:
- Calories- 151 kCal
- Fibre- 8 grams
- Protein- 6 grams
- Fat- 0.5 grams
- Manganese- 1 mg
- Magnesium- 60 mg
- Iron- 7 mg
- Niacin- 8 mg
- Vitamin B6-0.2 mg
Health Benefits Of Bulgur Wheat
Bulgur wheat has an array of health benefits as it has many vital nutrients essential for your body growth. A few of the health benefits of Bulgur wheat are as follows:
1.Keeps Your Heart Healthy
Studies suggest people who consume bulgur wheat maintain their weight and cardiovascular health as it has plenty of fibre. It has antioxidants and phenolic compounds that prevent diseases.
The bulgur wheat is good for the heart as it can reduce the body inflammation and correct cholesterol levels. If you suffer from cardiovascular issues, try consuming bulgur wheat at least once a day.
A few more studies found consumption of whole grain food can drastically lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases. However, to get maximum benefits you should eat 49-50 grams of bulgur wheat daily.
More off, whole grains lower the concentrations of homocysteine in the blood which in turn decreases the inflammation levels in the body. High homocysteine is linked to cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and a decline in cognitive functioning. So, to avoid all the above-mentioned issues you can try upon bulgur wheat.
2.Aids In Weight Loss
Excessive body weight is undesirable and bad for health too. It increases the risk of gout, stroke, gallstones, heart attack, diabetes, and many other chronic diseases. Additionally, it will make you feel tired, fatigues, joint pain, and breathing issues too.
Bulgur wheat is a high fibre rich food item. Fibers keep you fill for a longer time. It will also stop you from the want to eat more.
It significantly reduces binge eating habit too. You can replace one or both your meals with bulgur wheat when undergoing a weight loss tour.
One-third cup portion of cooked bulgur wheat provides 5.2 grams of protein and 2.7 grams of fiber. So, if you are planning to reduce weight do keep this power packaged food in your diet plan.
3.An Excellent Anti-inflammation Agent
Bulgur wheat might help to reduce chronic body inflammation, thereby protecting against a few diseases. Studies found that whole wheat grains have loads of betaine, a metabolite that can lower the concentration of homocysteine.
Homocysteine is a crucial agent to cause body inflammation and is also linked to causing cardiovascular diseases. So, lowering homocysteine levels in the body is a way to reduce body inflammation too.
People who suffer from arthritis, body pain, and body inflammation should try eating bulgur wheat to control inflammation.
4.Balances The pH Level Of The Body
The fibers in the whole grains are basically the resistive form of starch and oligosaccharides that cannot be digested by the small intestine. Instead, these fibers are fermented in the gut, producing short-chain fatty acids.
These short chain fatty acids are capable of balancing the pH level of the body. If your body pH is balanced than you won’t face acidity issues which are developed due to sugary and refined foods.
In addition to this, a balance body pH also promotes good gut and increased nutrients absorption. However, a few people develop digestive issues when having whole grains regularly, if you are one of them then you should avoid it.
5.Reduces The Risk Of GallStones
Studies suggest Bulgur wheat reduces the risk of gallstones. Gallstone is a very common problem with the only solution of removing the gallbladder. Nevertheless, bulgur wheat might significantly reduce your risk of gallstones.
It helps to increase the food movement in the body by decreasing the amount of bile that your body produces. A decrease in the bile level decreases the chances of developing gallstones.
Additionally, it also promotes the way your body uses insulin and reduces the number of unhealthy fats. With all these health benefits, the risk of gallstones become lesser.
6.Protective Against Childhood Asthma
Asthma is one of the prevalent breathing problems among children around the globe.
Studies show that an increase in intake of bulgur wheat among children can significantly reduce the problem of asthma. They claim that bulgur wheat can reduce asthma to about 50% in children.
It is because the bulgur wheat contains vitamins C and E that protects the respiratory tract and avoid the problems of wheezing and narrowing of the breathing airways.
So, if your child suffers from Asthma, try giving them bulgur wheat. However, it is always good to consult a pediatric before taking it daily.
7.Aids In Digestion
Bulgur wheat has loads of fiber in it. The fiber content is sufficient to maintain your regular bowel movement and detox your body from harmful toxins. Further, the fiber in the digestive tract swells up by absorbing water which in turn removes the waste particles from the body.
In addition to this, studies suggest in taking a high fiber rich diet can improve your gut and colon health too. It will also increase your metabolic rate and prevent constipation. With all these health benefits ultimately your digestion will improve.
Bulgur wheat is low in the glycemic index when compared to other refined wheat products. As it has high fiber content, it can slow down the digestion rate of carbohydrates leading to an easy release of blood sugar into the bloodstream.
Studies suggested among the various whole grain products, bulgar wheat shows the slowest rise in the blood glucose levels.
The refined flour not only increases the rate of obesity but also increase the body’s insulin resistance leading to a higher risk of diabetes.
So, if you suffer from diabetes try switching off your whole grains with bulgar wheat for maximum health benefits.
9.Boosts Immunity Levels
The whole grains in the body provide the essential nutrients, antioxidants, minerals, etc. All these lower the oxidative stress levels of the body which in turn increases the immunity. Studies even suggest that the bulgur wheat can even make your body immune against cancer.
It can act as a natural cure for cancer. More off, it maintains the vital functioning of the body organs and body systems.
This is a result of high immunity levels. You should try to consume bulgur wheat regularly so as to lower the risk of diseases or infections.
10.Gives Important Vitamins And Minerals
Bulgur wheat is a powerhouse of healthy micro and macronutrients. It has loads of manganese, magnesium, niacin, thiamine, iron, folate, Vitamin B, and Vitamin E. these vitamins are sometimes not present in the other refined wheat flours.
Consuming these nutrients will prevent diseases caused by the deficiency of these nutrients. For example, iron in it will prevent anemia.
Magnesium will maintain blood pressure, protect the heart, aid in digestion, abolish pains, prevents high-stress levels, and improve sleep.
Likewise, thiamine and niacin would increase strength, stamina, and energy levels. Thus, eating bulgur wheat would, on the whole, keep your body functioning and healthy.
Bulgur Wheat Vs Other Wheat
The most important difference between bulgur wheat flour and other wheat flours is the packaging. Bulgur wheat flour is not stripped or refined to remove its bran and germ.
On the other hand, all other kinds of flour are packed after removing the husk from it. The outer bran or germ is extremely nutritious, mainly all the powerful nutrients are present in this cover.
However, Bulgur wheat is sold parboiled which means a very tiny amount of the bran is partially removed from its outer cover.
Most of the packaged wheat flour sold by the food industry is refined. Refined flours have a high glycemic index and are stripped of its outer cover. The stripping removes all the essential ingredients.
You can find refined wheat flour in store-bought pasta, noodles, bread, baked food products, cookies, croissant, and cake.
These, in turn, increase your weight. On the whole, around 60% of the original wheat grain remains intact after processing and around 40% of the bran and germ are removed.
The other wheat product after being packaged end up with high carbohydrates and low in fiber and nutrients. Some f the essential vitamins like niacin, Vitamin E, potassium, iron, folate, magnesium, and phosphorus are lost during the processing of the wheat.
Nevertheless, a few of the nutrients are added in a process called enriching but they are synthetic nutrients. The quality and quantity of these synthetic nutrients are lower than the unprocessed whole grains.
Bulgur wheat and cracked wheat is slightly different, although being used interchangeably. Cracked wheat is the crushed form of wheat grain that is not parboiled. Both of them are whole grains and almost similar in their nutrients and fiber content.
Another most important difference between bulgur wheat and other wheat is that Bulgur wheat does not contain any gluten but other wheat do contain Gluten.
Gluten is a plant protein present in all the grains like wheat, barley, and rye. It can cause digestive system issues in many people. Thus, Bulgur wheat is a step higher than other refined carbohydrate products.
Nevertheless, if you have a gluten allergy or sensitivity, you should avoid bulgur wheat altogether, instead, you should go for other grain like buckwheat, quinoa, brown rice, etc. If you have the leaky gut syndrome and candida avoid bulgur wheat as it may aggravate your condition.
Buying And Cooking Bulgur Wheat
You can purchase Bulgur from any food store but, make sure buying from a reputed source. When buying check about the beneficial bran and germ.
It should contain bran and germ as they contain many vital nutrients. Don’t go for packages that have enriched term as it means it is a highly processed form.
Bulgur wheat is mainly produced from white wheat in America. You can find it in four common sizes like fine, medium, coarse, and extra coarse. The larger the grain, the more cooking time you will require.
So, you can go for any kind as per your requirement. Mostly pilafs are made from the medium, coarse, and very coarse bulgur grains.
However, for making light dishes like Tabbouleh, you will need fine bulgur. Nevertheless, a medium coarsely grind bulgur is versatile and you can use it in a lot of ways.
The biggest benefit when cooking bulgur is the fast cooking time. In fact, a few times you just need a quick few minutes boil. The fine ground bulgur becomes cooked and fluffy if you just pour it in boiling water.
For the fine bulgur, you have to add it to boiling water, and then cover it. Let it sit for good 15 minutes and you are good to go. Before eating remove the excess water.
For cooking coarser grind bulgur combines one part or coarse bulgur wheat to four parts of water. Bring it to boil and next simmer it for good 10 minutes.
Keep stirring in between. Further, remove it from heat and let it sit for another 10 minutes. Drain the excess water and you are good to go.
Bulgur Wheat Recipes
Bulgur wheat has a mild, somewhat nutty taste. It easily blends with other flavors. It has a chewy texture and is generally very small. You can try out the following bulgar wheat recipes. They are extremely delicious.
1.Bulgur Wheat Salad
- 2 cups cooked bulgar wheat (preferably the fine one)
- 2 cups halved red cherries
- 1cup finely chopped kale
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1/2 cup sprouts
- 1/4 cup nuts of your choice (optional)
- A pinch of salt ( as per taste)
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon of minced garlic
- Cook bulgur wheat and wild rice in two separate pans.
- For cooking, rice adds 3 cups of water and cook it for good 15 minutes.
- For cooking add 3 cups water and let it simmer for good 10 minutes. Next, cover it and let it fluff for good 5-10 minutes.
- Add bulgur, wild rice, vegetables, and cherries in a large bowl.
- Add oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and a dash of your favourite sauce. Serve it on a salad platter.
- 1 cup of Bulgur (preferably fine)
- 2 cups of grated jaggery
- 1 cup of milk
- 2 tablespoon of raisins, almonds, and cashew nut
- 1 tablespoon of ghee
- Cook bulgur in one and a half cup of water. Cook it for good 15 minutes.
- Next, take a separate pan, add jaggery and 1/4 cup of water to it. Let it cook for 4-5 minutes. Strain the mixture and keep it aside.
- Now, take a large bowl add the melted jaggery and 3 cups of water. Let it boil for sometime.
- Next, add the bulgur to the large bowl. Add milk and continue boiling it for another 3-4 minutes.
- Pour it a bowl, add the nuts and you are good to go.
3.Bulgur Wheat Pancakes
- 1/2 cup of fine bulgar wheat
- 2 whole eggs
- 2 tablespoon of butter
- 1/4 cup of sugar
- A pinch of salt
- A pinch of cinnamon powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of crushed seeds (optional)
- Soak the bulgur in a cup of boiling water. Let it sit for good 10 minutes. Next, strain out the excess water.
- To the strained bulgur add eggs, sugar, butter, and crushed seeds.
- Mix it in a blender for around 1 minutes.
- Next add, the salt, and cinnamon powder. Stir all the ingredients well.
- After that heat, a pan. Pour 1 ladle full of this mixture and spread it to form a pancake.
- Add little butter and flip it cook both the sides.
- Serve it with a dash of maple syrup.
Bulgur wheat is an extremely healthy whole grain. You can make it a part of your daily diet to enjoy its health benefits and keep yourself healthy.
However, try to purchase the purest form of bulgur from the market that is free from any processing or refinement. There are no side-effects with its consumption.
You won’t face any side effects when consumed in normal amounts, overdose might cause vomiting o loose motions.
To avoid it, you should consume it in moderate amounts. Additionally, you should not consume it if you suffer from a gluten allergy or gluten sensitivity.