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The Health Benefits of Couscous

By Sara Butler

When it comes to side dishes, quinoa seems to be all the rage right now, but it’s worth it to take another look at couscous. Couscous is easy to find and it has some power benefits to your health and nutrition that you may not be aware of. Here’s what you need to know!

What is It?

Couscous is a North African delicacy that most people assume is a grain. In truth, couscous is made from semolina flour or balls of durum wheat. You can find three distinct types of couscous: Israeli, Moroccan, and Lebanese. The smallest and most common version found in stores is Moroccan.

The Benefits

There are several things about couscous that may surprise you. Some of its health benefits include:

  • Rich in selenium – One cup of couscous will provide about 60 percent of the selenium you need per day to stay healthy. This powerful antioxidant helps to reduce inflammation and repair cells that may be damaged. It also plays a role in thyroid health.
  • May reduce your risk of cancer – Some studies have found that foods high in selenium, like couscous, can help reduce your risk of developing different types of cancer.
  • Keeps the immune system functioning well – The selenium in couscous also helps to improve your immune function by lowering oxidative stress in your body.
  • Great source of protein – Couscous will provide six grams of protein in one cup, making it a great source of plant-based protein. While it is considered an incomplete protein, it’s still a great way to get the protein you need in your diet to keep your body healthy without the saturated fat found in animal protein.
  • Promotes a healthy blood sugar – The combination of fiber and protein in couscous helps the impact it has on your blood sugar, which over time can help reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • It’s easy to make – Couscous is considered better than pasta because it’s made from whole-wheat flour and is less refined. Cooking it right is easy to do and its light flavor makes it versatile to use in dishes.

Just remember that couscous does contain gluten, so if you are sensitive to gluten or have celiac disease, then you may want to avoid it. But on the whole, couscous is a nutritious and delicious food to add to your diet -- so add it to your kitchen rotation!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Greenwood Village, Colo.

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