From weight loss to managing diabetes: 10 health benefits of sooji

Semolina, popularly known as sooji or suji in many parts of  South Asia, is a popular variety of flour. It is used to make many common foods. It is a type of coarse flour that’s made from durum wheat which is a hard type of wheat, rather than the popular wheat type known simply as common wheat. When durum wheat is milled, its most nourishing parts are ground into semolina. Durum wheat grains are golden in color, so the milled semolina is a pale-yellow flour. It has a mild, earthy aroma. Along with its culinary uses, semolina also benefits weight management, heart health, and your digestive system. This article will delve into details about some health benefits of sooji, or semolina.

Nutritional benefits of semolina

Semolina is loaded with many essential nutrients in the form of vitamins and minerals to improve the overall health. 60 grams of raw semolina flour contains 198 calories which when you consumed provides the following nutrients:

  • Calories: 198 calories
  • Carbs: 40 grams
  • Protein: 7 grams
  • Fat: less than 1 gram
  • Fiber: 7% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Thiamine: 41% of the RDI
  • Folate: 36% of the RDI
  • Riboflavin: 29% of the RDI
  • Iron: 13% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 8% of the RDI

Semolina is high in protein and fiber. Both of these help slow digestion and increase feeling of fullness between meals. It is also high in B vitamins like thiamine and folate. These are important for the body, as they help convert food into energy. Semolina is a good source of iron and magnesium which are essential for production of red blood cells, heart health, as well as managing blood sugar levels.

Health benefits of semolina

Durum wheat is certainly a healthy choice and is getting increasingly popular on par with whole wheat across the world. Being rich in protein, antioxidants, an array of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants Durum wheat can be a part of your daily diet. It is tasty, nutritious at the same time and most of the dry pastas available in market are made from this variety.

Loaded with protein, fiber, this is also an ideal choice for those on weight loss regimen.

Here are some major health benefits of semolina or sooji:

Regulates blood sugar levels: The glycemic index of semolina is just 47, which makes it an ideal food choice for those suffering from diabetes. It is easily digestible, yet absorbed into the body at a slower rate. This results in feeling satiated for longer hours. Along with that, magnesium and fiber are also two important elements present in semolina that help to regulate blood sugar levels in the body. This makes you less prone to Type 2 Diabetes as well as cardiac diseases. When consumed regularly semolina can help balance blood sugar levels.

Rich in protein: Protein plays a major role in maintaining the overall health. Made up of amino acids, protein keeps each cell in the body active and going. As semolina is rich in protein, eating dishes made from this aids in weight loss. It helps repair and build muscles and tissues, trigger metabolism, and maintain structural framework. It also ensures fluid balance.

High in folate: Semolina is a rich source of B-complex vitamins including thiamine and folate. Vegetarians have a higher risk of having Vitamin B deficiency. This particular vitamin is crucial for maintaining healthy vision, regulate liver function and for maintaining glowing skin and hair. Semolina can be included in regular diet for staying energetic, strengthening the nervous system, as well as for regenerating red blood cells.

Maintains kidney health: Semolina is loaded with potassium that helps in regulating high blood pressure. It also flushes out excessive salts. This keeps renal organs healthy as well. Consuming foods that have a high potassium content but are low in sodium help keep kidneys healthy.

Strengthens bones: Semolina contains 17 grams of calcium and 47 mg of potassium for every 100 grams. This can give a major hand towards protecting the density of bones. Besides that, the presence of minerals like magnesium,  zinc and phosphorous also help in strengthening of bones and muscles. These play a crucial role in maintaining the functioning of central nervous system at an optimal level as well.

Maintains heart health: Would it be surprising if we told you that pasta can be healthy as well? Pasta made from semolina can be a healthy alternative to the regular carbs which are generally taken in through rice or rotis.. Wheat in general is recommended as a part of diet plan for those suffering from cardiovascular diseases. Being rich in potassium makes semolina a great choice for heart patients too, as it supports the healthy functioning of heart. It maintains electrolyte balance between cells, maintains fluid, and regulates heart rhythm. It also helps manage high blood pressure.

Regulates digestion: Semolina, just like whole wheat, is rich in fiber. It can be included in the daily diet for improving gut health, preventing constipation as well as for better absorption of nutrients in to the blood. The dietary fiber found in semolina helps the growth of good bacteria in the stomach. Good gut bacteria improves the rate of metabolism and reduce your risk of issues such as constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, indigestion and bloating. In a study, a few people were asked to consume semolina and 5 grams of fiber from whole grains daily for two weeks. After two weeks, they reported that they felt a huge improvement with regards to problems such as bloating and constipation.

Helps to lose weight: Fiber not only helps care for overall health of the digestive system but also in weight management. Including fiber-rich foods in daily meals has been proven to show positive results when trying to lose weight naturally. Fibre has the potential to suppress the hunger hormones- ghrelin and leptin- in the body. The protein content of semolina maintains the feeling of satiety for a long time, thereby limiting the quantity of food intake. Two hundred fifty-two women participated in a study, where they consumed dietary fibers every day for 20 months. Whenever they increased their fiber intake by 1 gram, they reported a weight loss of 0.5kg during the 20-month period. Other studies have also proved that people who consumed a high-protein diet could lose up to 1.7 pounds more than what people who ate a standard protein diet lost.

Rich in antioxidants: Consuming semolina provides a lot of minerals, antioxidants, and iron which the body would generally require. Antioxidant rich food fight free radicals. This in turn plays a vital role in preventing chronic conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, and even cancer. The presence of selenium in semolina strengthens immunity to fight against various bacterial and viral infections.

Reduces the risk to anemia: Semolina is rich in iron. One can get as much as 13% of the daily recommended level of iron from just 56 grams of semolina flour. This helps the body produce red blood cells which in turn directly reduces risk to issues such as anemia, low hemoglobin, fatigue, and dehydration. However, a key point to note here is that the iron content in semolina belongs to the non-heme type. This means that it is not absorbed as well by the body as the iron content in animal products. Therefore, semolina has to be consumed along with Vitamin-C rich foods, because Vitamin C helps in better absorption of iron.

Risks associated with consuming semolina

  • Semolina is high in gluten — a protein that can be harmful to people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. Celiac disease affects roughly 1.4% of the population worldwide.
  • It’s thought that 0.5–13% of individuals may have non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS). Those with celiac disease or NCGS should avoid eating gluten-containing foods like semolina.
  • Since semolina is made by grinding durum wheat, it can be harmful to individuals with an allergy to wheat.
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