Is couscous healthy?


by Lorna White |

Affordable, easy-to-prepare and super versatile, it's easy to see why couscous is a cupboard staple. But is couscous healthy?

Although it might seem similar to rice, couscous is actually classed as a pasta, made with semolina flour from durum wheat, mixed with water.

Couscous is readily available in most supermarkets and shops, and comes in the form of pre-cooked, dried balls in bags. You can buy a different range of couscous, from Moroccan to pearl to Lebanese.

To prepare couscous, all you need to do is pour over boiling water and leave to stand for 5-15 minutes.

Couscous nutritional value

80g of cooked couscous provides:

142Kcal / 607KJ

5.8g Protein

0.8g Fat

30.0g Carbohydrate

1.8g Fibre

123mg Potassium

2.4mcg Selenium

103mg Phosphorus

Health benefits of couscous

It's a source of fibre

Couscous is a brilliant source of fibre. If you really want to up your fibre intake, opt for wholegrain couscous as this is made from the whole grain. Not only does fibre help you feel fuller for longer, but it's also great for supporting your digestive health. It can also help lower your cholesterol and stop your blood sugar levels from spiking.

It contains selenium

Selenium is an essential mineral which acts as an antioxidant in the body to help support the immune-system as well as thyroid-function.

It's healthier than rice

Looking for a healthy swap? Couscous is a brilliant swap for white rice as it contains more protein, vitamins and minerals than rice does. It's also much quicker to prepare than rice.

A source of protein

Couscous contains a good amount of protein, so is brilliant if you're on a plant-based diet (although you should aim to top-up your protein levels through other foods too).

How to cook couscous

It honestly couldn't be easier to prepare couscous. Simply start by boiling your water (or boiling the kettle) in a pan before stirring in the couscous and removing it off the heat. Pop a lid on the pan and leave it to stand for around 5-15 minutes.

Once the couscous has absorbed all the water, remove the lid and give the couscous a fluff with a fork.

It can be served alongside meat, vegetables, fish or salads or even be stirred into dried fruits such as currants as well as nuts like almonds or fresh fruit like pomegranate.

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