What is semolina? Semolina is pale yellow colored coarse flour made from durum wheat, which is used to make pasta, couscous, puddings, bread and breakfast cereals. Is semolina healthy? Incorporating Semolina flour in your daily diet is known to improve your energy as well as in offering tons of health benefits. Semolina is a highly versatile food, which makes it a popular ingredient in many Asian cuisines. Because of its health benefits it is also becoming increasingly popular in Western cuisine. The high amount of carbohydrate in semolina makes it a perfect food for people who are very active and energetic.
Nutritional value of Semolina
A quarter cup of durum wheat semolina can provide you with about 150 calories. Eating semolina for breakfast is a thus a great way to fuel your body and remain active. It is low in saturated fat, cholesterol and at the same time offers good amount of protein. It is a very good source of vitamin E and B complex vitamins, especially thiamin, niacin and folate. Semolina is also a good source of minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese and zinc. It also contains small amount of fiber that can help with digestive problems. One question which people keep on asking, does semolina have gluten? While gluten free semolina are available in the market, semolina flour like wheat flour contains gluten.
Health benefits of Semolina
The following are some of the health benefits obtained by making semolina a part of your daily diet:
Semolina for diabetics and weight watchers
Semolina has a low glycemic index which means that it is digested and absorbed in the intestine at a slower rate. Slower digestion and absorption is helpful in preventing rapid spikes or fluctuations in blood sugar levels. This property of semolina makes it an ideal food for people with diabetes and also for people who wish to reduce their weight.
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Semolina is a balanced food
Semolina is low in sodium, saturated fat and cholesterol. It provides good amounts of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. It is therefore considered a balanced and healthy food.
Eating semolina makes you energetic
As mentioned before, semolina has high carbohydrate content, which provides lot of energy. Regular consumption of this food can make you energetic and keep you active throughout the day.
Semolina boosts the immune system
Semolina is a rich source of Vitamin E and B-Complex vitamins like thiamine and folate, which improves your metabolism and helps in building a strong and healthy immune system. It contains selenium and plant pigments known as carotenoids, which have antioxidant properties. They help not only in strengthening and protecting your immune system, but also guard keeps you safe for the harmful effects of free radicals.
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Semolina is rich in protein
Semolina flour is very rich in protein. Eating semolina along with other protein rich foods can help your body get the required amounts of protein daily. The consumption of foods rich in protein helps nourish the muscles and skin, and maintains proper functioning of the cells, muscles and organs.
Semolina offers benefits of dietary fiber
Since Semolina is a good source of dietary fiber, it helps in keeping your intestinal tract and digestive system healthy. Fiber is also helpful in lowering cholesterol levels in the blood and also lowering your risk of many serious health conditions like heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
Semolina contains health essential vitamins
Eating semolina increases your intake of B-complex vitamins, especially thiamin and folate. The B-complex vitamins are important for your body as they improve your metabolism and promote the conversion of food into energy. Folate supports the production of red blood cells and prevents birth defects in babies. Thiamin is necessary for the proper functioning of your brain and nerves.
Antioxidant properties of semolina
Semolina is a source of selenium and vitamin E, both of which have strong antioxidant properties. These nutrients help in preventing the oxidation of your cells and DNA by the free radicals, thereby preventing various diseases, including cancer and heart disease. Eating selenium rich food is also beneficial in strengthening your immune system and protecting your body against infection and diseases.
Semolina improves blood circulation
Incorporating semolina to your diet helps your body get the daily recommended amount of iron. This mineral improves your blood circulation and helps in preventing iron deficiency anemia. Your body needs iron to produce hemoglobin in the red blood cells, which is responsible for carrying oxygen to all parts of the body. Iron also helps in providing your cells with adequate amounts of fuel they need for their proper functioning.
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Semolina may lower high blood pressure
Semolina is a wonderful source of potassium that helps in lowering the blood pressure levels by negating the effects of sodium. It also acts as a vasodilator, which widens the blood vessels, enabling blood to flow easily through them. This helps in preventing hypertension.
Semolina for proper bodily functions
Since semolina offers a good supply of nutrients like vitamins and minerals, it is highly beneficial for maintaining the proper functioning of the body. The high amount of potassium in semolina supports the functions of the heart, muscles and kidney. Calcium helps in making the bones strong and healthy. The zinc content in semolina helps to improve your immune system and protects your body from diseases. Semolina contains phosphorus that helps in metabolizing energy, along with magnesium, which is vital for healthy muscles, bones and nerves.
Culinary uses of semolina
Semolina is commonly used in making pasta as it gives the pasta a great texture and lovely flavor. It is also used as a cereal, to thicken stews or as a cooked meal on its own. Semolina can be cooked and dried to make couscous. It is also used to make soups and dumplings. Some people use semolina flour to make cakes, biscuits and shortbread. In North America and North Western Europe, semolina is boiled with milk and sweetened to make a popular dessert. Indians make use of semolina to make popular recipes such as halwa, upma, idli and kheer. Suji is semolina in hindi. Semolina porridge is popular healthy breakfast. Ravai is semolina in tamil; it is used to make popular dishes like upma and idli. Semolina /upma rava is semolina in telugu. Kamut flour or spelt flour are good semolina substitute when it comes to cooking.
Looking for how to cook semolina? Find some healthy semolina recipes here – If you are looking for quick dessert options, then semolina pudding is one of the best recipes here. Make it rich with dry fruit garnish and chocolate. Try this microwave semolina pudding recipe. David’s homemade semolina pasta recipe makes it look too simple. Prema explains here semolina cake recipe step by step here. If you are interested in making semolina bread at home, then read this recipe from Kate.
Semolinas play a significant role in many cuisines because of its nutritional properties. A rich bowl of this eaten as a breakfast food could fill you up for a long time and give you the energy required for carrying out your daily tasks. Because it is a healthy and nourishing food along with being a rich source of energy, it is ideal for people who lead an active lifestyle.Image Credits: Flickr - Harlan Harris