Top 5 Health Benefits of Couscous!

Couscous originated from the North African diet and has a light, fluffy texture. In Morocco it is traditionally served as part of a tajine, consisting of slow cooked chicken or lamb with vegetables, chickpeas and often nuts and dried fruit in a delicious stew. Wholewheat couscous itself comes from steaming and drying durum wheat. Should you be eating it? Find out with our Top 5 Health Benefits of Couscous! 

1. Helps keep your gut healthy
Although couscous itself wouldn’t regularly be classed as a high fibre product (as it doesn’t contain more than 5g of fibre per serving), it does contain more fibre than other carbohydrate products such as white or brown rice. The wholewheat variety contains around 3.7g of fibre per 100g. Using couscous as an alternative for rice can help increase your daily intake of dietary fibre and help improve your gut health.

2. Helps formation of new red blood cells
In your body, haemoglobin transports the oxygen that you breath in, around your body to allow you to function on multiple levels. Pyridoxine (B6) supports the formation of these red blood cells (haemoglobin). Your body can produce around 2 million red blood cells every second when necessary. Adding wholewheat grains like couscous to your diet can increase the dietary B6 you get to help aid the regeneration of your red blood cells.

3. Low in fat
It’s a great low-fat grain, in fact it practically has no fat at 0.2g per 100g and no saturated fat at all. It’s important to incorporate low or non-saturated fat products into your diet to keep your heart and blood vessels happy and healthy.

4. Can aid weight loss
Swapping rice for a different grains like this one can be a simple way to help you lose weight. Couscous is a great source of carbohydrate and is low in calories, at just 112 calories per 100g. Making simple changes across your diet can help you lose weight while still tremendously enjoying what you’re eating!

5. Contains vitamin B6
As mentioned to some extent above, the B6 content of the wholewheat kind is beneficial for utilising your energy stores, especially in a vegetarian or vegan diet. B6 allows your body to store energy from dietary carbohydrates and protein, as well as use these stores as energy when needed. Meat, fish and eggs are among the highest sources for B6 so it’s important to know where else to gain B6 if you follow a plant-based diet.

Couscous is quick to make, full of nutrients and yummy to have as your carby portion at lunch or dinner, hot or cold, however you like! Check out Jamie’s quick couscous video above, why not try it out at home and make your own simple or snazzy dish. Love couscous? Tell us why and what recipes you’ve created below, join in the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Looking for other fab-fit foods? Check out these other Top 5’s which are sure to help you!

Sumaiyah Karim

Sumaiyah's passion for health and fitness has come from her BSc in Public Health Nutrition. She's currently finishing her MSc in Nutrition in Practice and is a registered nutritionist with the Association for Nutrition and works with clients alongside her studies. She loves helping people to live a healthier life and to keep fit by regularly attending the gym and enjoys weight lifting to keep active and toned. She's also aware of the impact that social media has so you can also find her on Instagram: @nutrition.with.sumaiyah - yep, that's her with the headscarf!

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