Couscous is a kind of North African semolina (sooji) which is made from crushed durum wheat. Most couscous dishes are spicy in nature and are prepared by steaming or cooking couscous in vegetables or fruit. The food is popular all over the world. You can find couscous in most grocery stores near you. It can be easily confused for a grain. Couscous is of three kinds, namely, Lebanese, Israeli and Moroccan. Moroccan couscous is the tiniest and most readily available kind of couscous. Israeli couscous is about the size of peppercorns and takes longer than usual to cook. They are chewy in texture and taste like nuts. Lebanese couscous is the largest of the 3, which takes most long to cook.
1. It may help in weight loss
Couscous which is grain-based, has fewer calories than rice or quinoa. 1 cup of couscous does not contain anything more than 200 calories. It can thus be used in your weight loss regime. Couscous is rich in protein which helps in keeping full for longer. Fibre and protein in couscous help in reducing appetite and hunger for a long period of time.
2. It is rich in selenium
Couscous is rich in selenium. Only 1 cup of couscous contains more than 60% of the daily recommended intake of couscous. Selenium is powerful antioxidant which helps in repairing damaged cells in the body and also decreases inflammation. Selenium is good for the health of thyroid hormone. It offers protection to thyroid gland form damage and facilitates healthy production of thyroid hormones. Antioxidant effect of selenium is good for heart health.
3. It helps in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels
Fibre and protein in couscous help in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. The body experiences spikes and fall in blood sugar levels after meals. This fluctuation in blood sugar levels can create feelings of lethargy and cause hunger shortly after you completed a meal.
High blood sugar levels can put you at risk of diabetes. Fibre and protein in couscous can prevent spike in blood sugar levels after a meal. Fibre in couscous also helps in better absorption of carbs. Proteins, on the other hand, take longer to break down in the digestive process. This can help you have steady levels of blood sugar.
4. It is a good source of plant protein
Here’s some good news for vegetarians and vegans. Couscous is considered to be a great source of plant-based protein. However, vegetarians and vegans should make sure that they consume couscous along with other healthy sources of protein in order to get adequate amino acids which are essential for the body. Consuming foods rich in plant-based protein can reduce risk of cancer, stroke and death caused by heart disease.
5. Couscous is good for the immune system
Selenium in couscous can give a great boost to the immune system. Antioxidants in couscous help in reducing oxidative stress on the body. In fact, deficiency of selenium can harm immune cells and their functioning. Selenium regenerates Vitamin C and E, both of which are responsible for promoting functioning of immune system.