What is so important so couscous required to be named twice? Couscous is one of the important staple foods like rice, quinoa and pasta. If you cannot live without rice, quinoa or pasta, some people out there also cannot live without couscous, that’s what making this food is so important. Furthermore, unlike most staple foods that are only consisting of carbohydrate, there are a lot of benefits of couscous for health because couscous is packed with important vitamins and minerals that make it more than just another staple food.
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What is Couscous?
Couscous is widely well known as staple food in North Africa but then it becomes famous around Middle East countries from Lebanon, Israel, Jordanian, Palestine and also Turkey. Couscous is actually one of the types of pasta because it was made from semolina, types of wheat especially used to make pasta, but since it doesn’t look like pasta at all, it is not included as part of pasta. Furthermore, while pasta is from Europe, couscous is from Africa and some parts of Middle East countries. The way couscous is served also quite different with how pasta is served. Most types of pasta are needed to be boiled but couscous is steamed. As staple food, you cannot just serve it but it should be accompanied with other foods like vegetables, meats and sauces, just like the way you serve pasta.
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Nutritional Value of Couscous
As mentioned above, there are a lot of benefits of couscous for health because couscous is packed with important vitamins, minerals and some natural compounds that are great for human health.
Serving Size: 157 grams
|Calories||176 – 9%|
|Protein||5.9 g – 12%|
|Total Carbohydrate||36.5 g – 12%|
|– Dietary Fiber||2.2 g – 9%|
|– Sugar||0.2 g|
|Vitamin E||0.2 mg – 1%|
|Vitamin K||0.2 mcg – >1%|
|Thiamin||0.1 mg – 7%|
|Niacin||1.5 mg – 8%|
|Vitamin B6||0.1 mg – 4%|
|Folate||23.5 mcg – 6%|
|Panthothenic Acid||0.6 mg – 6%|
|Calcium||12.6 mg – 1%|
|Iron||0.6 mg – 3%|
|Magnesium||12.6 mg – 3%|
|Phosphorus||34.5 mg – 3%|
|Potassium||91.1 mg – 3%|
|Zinc||0.4 mg – 3%|
|Copper||0.1 mg – 3%|
|Manganese||0.1 mg – 7%|
|Selenium||43.2 mcg – 62%|
|Omega 3 Fatty Acids||4.7 mg|
|Omega 6 Fatty Acids||94.2 mg|
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To get to know more about couscous and how this simple staple food could bring so much benefit for human health, the list of benefits of couscous for health below will tell you why.
- Natural Source of Selenium
Selenium is one of the minerals that are not easy to be found in foods but from the table above, you could see that one cup or 157 grams couscous could fulfill up to 62% daily intake of selenium.
- Contains Powerful Antioxidant Compounds
One of the amazing function of selenium is it could acts as powerful antioxidant, especially when it is combined with vitamin C and vitamin E.
- Prevents the Accumulation of Plaques in Blood Vessels
Plaques in blood vessels could be fatal because it will disturb the distribution of blood and oxygen as well as force heart to work too hard.
- Helps Managing Cholesterol Level
Selenium will optimize the production of HDL or good cholesterol while fiber will assist in binding unnecessary amount of LDL or bad cholesterol to help managing its normal level.
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- Reduces the Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke
As mentioned in point number 3, the significant reduction of plaques in blood vessels will improve the distribution of blood and oxygen that will reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
- Regulates Blood Pressure Effectively
The trace of potassium in couscous is also effective to regulate blood pressure by making sure there is no excessive sodium in bloodstream.
- Prevents Heart Arrhythmias
The combination of selenium and potassium found in couscous is great to prevent some heart conditions, including heart arrhythmias by maintaining the normal heart rhythm.
- Couscous is Great for Heart
From the seven points mentioned above, you could conclude that overall couscous is great food for heart health. In other words, if you want to have healthy heart, adding couscous to your daily diet is strongly recommended.
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- Prevents the Development of Cancerous Cells
Some studies have conducted and showed there are significant correlation between couscous and the reduction risk of certain cancers like prostate cancer and lung cancer.
- Reduces the Risk of Lung Cancer for Smokers
Every smokers must have realized that lung cancer is like a ticking bomb they should face but couscous could help them reducing its risky rate.
- Natural Immunity Booster
Selenium is the reason why couscous is great for immune system because selenium could act as powerful antioxidant to fight free radicals and at the same time could stimulate the regeneration of vitamin E and vitamin C.
- Removes Toxins from Bloodstream
Not only fighting free radicals, selenium also able to remove toxins from your blood stream. Furthermore, the dietary fiber contained in couscous could help eliminating toxins from your digestion for better body metabolism.
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- Essentials for Protein Metabolism
One of the benefits of couscous for health is it contains enough amount of protein to fulfill your daily intake and selenium is essential for protein metabolism to optimize its potential.
- Great to Build Muscle Mass
One of the compounds essentially required for muscle mass is protein. Selenium in couscous will assist in optimizing the protein metabolism to promote healthier and stronger muscle mass.
- Accelerates Wound Healing after Surgery
What you really need to accelerate wound healing is enough stock of protein to recover the scar. Well, as mentioned in point number 13 and 14, couscous is a great source of protein and selenium for better performance of protein metabolism.
- Excellent Weight Loss Food
As staple food, couscous is great energy source but as low calories food, it is also excellent food for weight loss. Furthermore, it also rich of dietary fiber to help optimizing the nutrient absorption and reducing the fat stock in cells.
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- Promotes Proper Digestion
As fiber rich food surely couscous is great for your digestive system. It helps you promoting proper digestion to make sure optimal absorption of nutrients and prevent some nutrient deficiencies.
- Prevents Constipation Effectively
Fiber is the reason why you could say goodbye to constipation for good and as mentioned in previous point, couscous is quite high of fiber and of course it could help you treating constipation effectively.
- Optimizes the Bowel Movement
The slower movement in your bowel the higher the risk of constipation and some digestion conditions. Couscous contains enough fiber to make sure optimal movement of your bowel to promote healthier digestion.
- Natural Scrapers for Arteries
One more amazing benefit of dietary fiber is it could act as natural scrapers for arteries and remove all plaques, bad cholesterol and toxins away from your body.
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- Balances Fluid Level
Potassium has prominent function in helping your body balancing its fluid level since your body is made of around 90% of water.
- Great Source of Protein for Vegetarians
It is not easy for vegetarians to get protein since the main source of protein is meat. However, couscous contains enough protein to fulfill the daily intake of vegetarians.
- Contains Antibacterial Properties
One more benefits of couscous for health is it contains some antibacterial properties that are effective antiviral agents.
- Maintains Healthy Red Blood Cells
Couscous has some traces of minerals like manganese and iron. They are excellent minerals to maintain healthy red blood cells for optimal body metabolism.
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- Good Energy Booster
All staple foods are supposed to be great energy booster because they are rich of carbohydrate and couscous is not the exception.
- Promotes Healthy Bones
Though the trace of calcium is not really high but selenium and vitamin K found in couscous is also great to promote healthy bones.
- Maintains Nerves System and Brain Function
Selenium is the reason why your brain is getting enough oxygen to maintain the health of nerves system as well as brain function.
- Regulates Blood Sugar
Couscous is also one of the foods that are great for diabetic patients because it could regulate blood sugar in efficient way.
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Some Cautions of Couscous
Just like other staple foods, couscous is a great source of carbohydrate though of course there is no way for you to hate carbohydrate because it is actually one of the great sources of energy you need to do activities all day. Moreover, some list below might open your eyes that even super food like couscous could have reverse effects that could be dangerous or harmful for your health.
- Couscous is great for weight loss but if combine it with other foods in the wrong way, since it is quite rich of carbohydrate so no matter how low the calories contained in couscous, consuming it in the wrong way will affect your weight significantly.
- Allergic reaction might occur for those who have allergic history with wheat products because couscous is made from one of wheat types.
- Right now there are a lot of options of instant couscous, so be careful with the choice of couscous products due to some preservation properties that could be harmful for your health.
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As staple food couscous is quite unique because it is like the combination of grains and pasta but not really grains and not really pasta. Though couscous is considered as part of traditional cuisine from North Africa but right now, couscous has been widely used as part of modern cuisine as well. The reason is of course because of its impressive nutrients and more people are really aware of the benefits of couscous for health and they are starting to change their eating habit so fit with their healthy lifestyle.