Bulgur is pre-cooked and dried wheat that is commonly associated with the Mediterranean dish tabbouleh. Its tender and chewy texture makes bulgur a perfect alternative to brown rice containing half the calories, less fat, and twice the amount of fiber.

Disease/Ailment:

Digestive disorders
Chronic inflammation
Metabolic syndrome prevention
Arteriosclerosis prevention
Diabetes prevention
Rheumatism prevention
Cancer prevention

Health benefits:

Lower Type 2 diabetes risk: Whole grains are rich in magnesium, a mineral that acts as a co-factor for more than 300 enzymes, including the enzymes involved in the body’s used of glucose and insulin secretion.

Lowers chronic inflammation: Betaine is a metabolite that is found in whole wheat and lowers the markers for chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is linked to a number of conditions such as heart disease, osteoporosis, cognitive decline, and Type 2 diabetes.

Digestive: Wheat is a laxative and regulator of the bowel movements thus aiding in constipation or any other digestive disorders. Regular consumption has been associated with preventing intestinal diverticulosis, hemorrhoids, colon cancer, and eczeme.

Good source of:

Fiber, magnesium, phosphorous, iron, B vitamins (excluding B12)

Purchasing, storing, and enjoying:

Purchasing: Bulgur can be purchased pre-packaged or in the bulk section of your grocery store. Make sure if purchasing in the bulk section, the bin is covered and the store has a good product turnover. There should be no sign of moisture in the package or container.

Storing: Place bulgur in a airtight container and store in a cool dry place where it can last for up to a year.

Enjoying:

Depending on the grind of the kernels, cooking time varies. For whole kernels, boil bulgur in water for 30 minutes and leave to soak in the hot water for 5 minutes. Drain water.

Caution: For those suffering from Celiac disease, bulgur should be avoided.

Resources & Recipes:

Bulgar Chili: http://naturallyella.com/2010/09/16/bulgur-chili-vegan/

Basil Bulgar Salad: http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2006/09/basil-and-bulgar-salad-aka-pesto.html

Lentil Bulgar Meatballs: http://www.foodrepublic.com/2013/04/12/lentil-bulgur-meatballs-recipe

 

References:

Djoussé L, Gaziano JM. Breakfast cereals and risk of heart failure in the physicians' health study I. Arch Intern Med. 2007 Oct 22;167(19):2080-5. 2007. PMID:17954802.

Ensminger AH, Ensminger, ME, Kondale JE, Robson JRK. Foods & Nutriton Encyclopedia. Pegus Press, Clovis, California. 1983.

Ensminger AH, Esminger M. K. J. e. al. Food for Health: A Nutrition Encyclopedia. Clovis, California: Pegus Press; 1986. 1986. PMID:15210.

Erkkila AT, Herrington DM, Mozaffarian D, Lichtenstein AH. Cereal fiber and whole-grain intake are associated with reduced progression of coronary-artery atherosclerosis in postmenopausal women with coronary artery disease. Am Heart J. 2005 Jul;150(1):94-101. 2005. PMID:16084154.

Jensen MK, Koh-Banerjee P, Hu FB, Franz M, Sampson L, Gronbaek M, Rimm EB. Intakes of whole grains, bran, and germ and the risk of coronary heart disease in men. Am J Clin Nutr 2004 Dec;80(6):1492-9. 2004. PMID:15585760.

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About the Author

Ashley Kim

"Our bodies are our gardens—our wills are our gardeners." – William Shakespeare

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