Is Couscous Healthy or Not? A Detailed Analysis

Couscous is a traditional side dish in North Africa that has now been becoming popular all around the world. These tiny beads are a source of delight for those who want to enjoy something delicious and can be cooked within minutes.

But one question people search online is, Is Couscous healthy? 

If you love couscous, then we have good news for you. Couscous is absolutely healthy to eat, and you can consume it however you like. 

Want to know how healthy couscous is? Then read along to know all about it.

What Is Couscous Made Of?

People ask Is couscous a pasta and the answer is yes. Some people mistake couscous beads with grains, but it is actually pasta made up of powdered durum wheat (semolina flour) and tastes very similar to other wheat-based foods.

Couscous you see in western countries are primarily pre-cooked, so it is quicker for you to make. There are three kinds of Couscous available in the market: Israeli, Moroccan, and Lebanese. 

is-couscous-healthy

The Moroccan couscous is the tiniest among the three and takes only five minutes to cook.

Israeli couscous pasta beads are bigger than the Moroccan ones and take 10 minutes to cook. 

Lebanese couscous pasta beads are larger than the rest and take 15 minutes to cook.  

Want to know how many calories there are in Couscous. Don’t worry; we have made a whole table for you to know what is present in your favorite side dish. 

Couscous health benefits and side effects Infographics

Is Couscous Healthy? Decide by Analyzing Nutritional Content

People often ask us, is couscous nutritious? The answer is a Big Yes!

In an 80g bowl of cooked couscous will have the following nutritional value:  

NutritionValue
Calories176Kcal
Proteins06g
Fat0.8g
Carbohydrate36g
Fiber1.8g
Selenium2.4mcg
Potassium123mg
Phosphorous 103mg

Health Benefits of Couscous

Whenever people ask, Is couscous good for you? answer them by describing the benefits. Couscous is full of the following benefits that make a person healthy: 

Improves Heart Health

According to an estimate, more than 30 million Americans are dealing with some sort of heart problem. According to the CDC, one in every four Americans dies due to any cardiovascular disease. You can prevent this from happening to you by consuming couscous pasta.

The couscous fiber content prevents any heart disease from occurring. It lowers cholesterol, controls high blood pressure, and improves heart pumping in general. This reduces the heart diseases which are getting prevalent day by day. 

moroccan-couscous

Improves Digestion

The fiber in the couscous not only improves heart health but also helps in smooth digestion. The couscous pasta beads themselves are easily digestible as they are easily accessible to the digestive enzymes. 

You might also ask, is couscous good for constipation? and the answer is again yes. Couscous quickly travels in the intestine, which also relieves a person suffering from constipation. 

Prevents Cancer

The most significant nutrient in Couscous is Selenium. The selenium content in the couscous prevents any cancerous cells from growing. A study was conducted on the 350,000 people who were given high selenium foods. It was found that the selenium in the blood levels doesn’t let any cancer cells grow. 

Another study was conducted, which concluded that selenium deficiency leads to prostate cancer. Thus, the high selenium content in the couscous helps you stay away from cancer. 

Moreover, Selenium along with Vitamin C and E has been shown to improve lung health and reduce the chances of lung cancer in smokers. 

Excellent Source To Improve Thyroid Health

Selenium is also vital to improve thyroid health. It promotes thyroxine hormone production and also protects the thyroid from any internal damage. Furthermore, Selenium has antioxidant properties that repair cell damage and lessens inflammation.

Strengthening Immunity

The strengthening of immunity is one of the significant benefits of couscous. Its antioxidant properties are like a blessing. The selenium in couscous boosts immunity which protects the human body from different harmful substances by relieving it from oxidative stress. 

Selenium also promotes the regeneration of vitamins which also improves the immune response. 

Weight Loss

People ask, “is couscous healthy for weight loss” and we give them good news by answering yes. Couscous is high in vitamins & fibers and low in fat. Plus, you will feel full after eating a bowl of couscous. Hence, you will eat less which will lead to faster weight loss. 

weight-loss

Replaceable with white rice and pasta

Refined white pasta and rice are unhealthy compared to couscous. You can replace these kinds of pasta and rice with couscous pasta to enjoy a quality life. Since the couscous is made up of wheat, you can trust its safety and quality. 

Also, it is super easy to make couscous. Start by adding water, and then boil it. Next, use the fork for fluffing for about 5-15 minutes, and boom- couscous is ready to be served. 

Plus, if you are short on time, couscous is the best food you can eat in such a situation. It only takes less than 15 minutes to cook couscous pasta. Also, you feel full for a longer period after eating these pasta beans. They are rich in carbohydrates which release energy slowly. Hence, you will not feel any need to eat for at least a couple of hours. 

A Great Option for Vegans

Couscous is a great vegetarian diet for vegans to get different benefits. Our body needs proteins to carry out metabolism processes that release energy and burn fat. Since vegans don’t eat meat, they need an effective alternative source of proteins to cover the deficiency. Couscous is a great option in this situation as it is rich in plant-based proteins. 

But vegans should not wholly rely on couscous. They should combine it with quinoa or other plant-based protein sources to have all essential amino acids. 

Vegans generally compare couscous pasta with rice. You may question, “Is couscous healthier than rice?” and the answer is yes. Couscous is slightly healthier as it contains more proteins and vitamins than rice. However, the carbohydrate content is more or less the same in both. 

Is Couscous Healthy For Babies?

One question we often get is, “Is couscous healthy for babies?” Yes, Couscous is beneficial for babies too. The couscous carbs provide the required boost, which leads to the baby’s rapid growth. Also, the Selenium, fiber, and proteins present in it nourish the baby’s body. 

However, don’t give Lebanese couscous to the baby as it may cause choking. Lebanese couscous is large in size, and the baby can’t chew and swallow it properly. Therefore, it is better if you give Moroccan or Israeli couscous pasta. 

Things You Should Know Before Eating Couscous

Following are the complications you may face after eating couscous: 

Gluten Allergy

Semolina flour (durum wheat powder) is high in gluten content, so you should take care of the quantity you are consuming. In most cases, it does not have any effect on the body as it mainly affects those that have gluten intolerance. Only less than one percent have gluten intolerance or gluten allergy. So, chances of you being gluten intolerant are very slim. 

Diabetes

People also ask, Is couscous healthy for diabetics and the answer is tricky. Although couscous is known to stabilize blood sugar levels, a complication can arise in those that have diabetes. The carbs present in the couscous can increase sugar levels, which may trouble the diabetic patient. However, consuming the couscous in moderate quantities will not do any harm. Also, diabetic patients can eat couscous with other foods rich in proteins and fibers to balance out the carbs of couscous. 

Not every essential nutrient

It is true that couscous contains selenium, fibers, and some vitamins, but it is not a complete package. This wheat-based pasta lacks some essential nutrients, which are crucial for performing routine work. Therefore, you should eat it in conjunction with other amino acid-rich foods to gain all the nutrients. 

FAQs

Is pearl couscous/ Israel Couscous healthy?

Yes, pearl couscous or Israeli couscous has many health benefits. It is rich in selenium, fiber, carbohydrates, and several minerals which nourish the body with necessary nutrients. The selenium content prevents any cancerous cells from developing. Furthermore, thyroid and heart health is improved due to the selenium and fiber content.

On top of this, the pearl couscous size is perfect. It is neither too small nor too large to consume. 

Why is couscous good for you?

Couscous is good for us as it is rich in carbohydrates, selenium, fibers, phosphorus, potassium, and many other nutrients. These nutrients do their work to make your health better. 

Also, people are always short on time in this busy world. The great thing about couscous is that you can make it in 5 to 15 minutes.

Moreover, couscous beads are fluffy and rich in carbohydrates that release energy slowly. So, you will feel full for a longer period which will make you eat less. Since you will eat less, weight loss occurs quickly.    

Is Couscous Healthy For pets?

Yes, you can give couscous to your dogs and cats. Its nutrition content helps pets to stay full for a couple of hours. 

However, you should check out the quantity you give to your pet. Couscous carbohydrate content can make your pets fat. So, don’t put too much couscous pasta in your pet’s bowl. It is better to give it in a controlled quantity or mix it up with other pet foods.

Wrapping Up

All in all, You asked, Is couscous healthy and we answered with a Big YES. The nutrients present in the couscous can lead to better heart health, improve digestion, low cholesterol levels, and better thyroid condition. Also, chances of cancer after regularly consuming couscous are low.

However, it is not a complete package as it still lacks some essential amino acids. Therefore, you should eat it with other foods to gain all the nutrients.

Dr Hafeez Arshad

Dr Hafeez Arshad

This is Dr. Hafeez. I have done my M.Phil in Pharmacology. I am a healthcare professional. My core competencies focus on writing different types of research articles/blogs regarding health sciences.

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