Ever heard of bulgur before? It’s a funny word, but if you’re trying to get healthy, it’s definitely one you should make a regular part of your vocabulary.
You see, bulgur is a simple grain that can be eaten in dozens of ways – at breakfast, lunch, dinner and even in snacks. It comes with a whole slew of health benefits that can improve your overall wellness and, in many cases, even help you lose weight faster and more dramatically.
Sounds amazing, right?
Well keep reading to learn more about this amazing grain and how it can help you with your personal health goals.
What is Bulgur?
Bulgur comes from whole wheat kernels. These kernels are simmered and baked, and then usually, crushed up or cracked.
It’s a staple food in Middle Eastern culture, and it’s been in use for centuries across the world. Most say it has a mild, nutty flavor that goes well with many flavors and cuisines.
How Bulgur Benefits Your Health
In just one little serving, bulgur offers you everything from fiber and protein to iron, vitamin B-6 and more. It’s especially high in fiber, offering a whopping 8 grams in just 1 cup – that’s 21 percent of a woman’s recommended daily value and 32 percent of a man’s.
And as we all know, fiber is crucial if you’re looking to drop a few pounds.
For one, the fiber takes longer for your body to digest, so it keeps you full, it staves off unwanted cravings and it keeps you from consuming too many calories in the day. (This makes it easier to have a calorie deficit on the whole!) Fiber also helps cleanse out your digestive system and keep you regular, so there’s no bloating, and your body can absorb all the minerals possible from the food you eat.
Bulgur is also high in iron, which is crucial to your body’s overall health. It helps your blood better carry oxygen through your blood stream, and it’s a vital part of your cells’ enzymes and proteins. It also helps forms collagen in your skin and muscles, and it boosts your immune system.
The B vitamins in bulgur can help with weight loss and improve your health as a whole. First off, they work as coenzymes, which activate other enzymes that metabolize your food, convert food into energy and produce hormones. They also help lower your risk of cardiovascular disease later on down the line.
In addition to all these benefits, bulgur is also extremely high in protein, which is vital if you’re working out or committing to daily exercise. You can even use it as a substitute for meat – something that very often can contribute to cardiovascular problems and more.
Some other benefits of bulgur include:
- It has anti-inflammatory properties – Bulgur can reduce inflammation in the body and provide relief to those who suffer from painful, chronic inflammation conditions.
- It reduces your chances of gallstones – Bulgur has been shown to actually reduce your chance of developing gallstone. This is due to the high fiber content in the grain.
- It can protect you from cancer, particularly breast cancer – A 2007 study found that pre-menopausal women who had diets high in fiber (which bulgur offers!), had a reduced risk of developing breast cancer later on in life.
- It’s high in minerals – Bulgur is especially high in minerals – particularly manganese. It actually offers 1.11 mg in just one serving – a whopping 55 percent of your daily recommended value.
Bulgur is very low in calories too, so you can eat a good, filling serving of the stuff without consuming too many calories in one sitting.
In general, you want to simmer or boil bulgur until it is soft, much as you would rice or quinoa. Then, you can add it to soups, stews, chilis or even just eat it as a side dish on its own by mixing in some fresh, grilled veggies.
Bulgur is also good on salads, or you can cook it in chicken or veggie broth to add a little extra kick. Sometimes, people even eat bulgur like they would a cereal (over milk with some fresh berries), or they simmer it until soft, like an oatmeal.
Around the holidays, you can use finely ground bulgur in turkey stuffing or dressing. It’s also a popular ingredient in tabbouleh, a cold Mediterranean food, and in pilaf dishes.
One of the best things about bulgur is that it’s extremely quick to cook. All it takes is a few minutes, and you’ve got a warm, fresh dish ready to go. It’s perfect for weeknights, when the kids have soccer practice and you’re running late in the kitchen.
Have you ever tried bulgur before? If so, share your favorite recipes with me in the comments! I’m always looking for new ways to cook this healthy, weight loss-boosting grain!
Remember to share this article with all your family and friends so that they can also enjoy the amazing benefits of this nutritious food.
Together we can make this world a happier, healthier world!