Amazing Facts About Bulgur Wheat

What Is Bulgur Wheat?

Bulgur is a highly nutritious whole grain originating in the Mediterranean. This cereal grain is made from parboiled (partially boiled) wheat, mostly ‘Durum’ wheat but also from the parboiled ‘groats’ of other wheat species.

It is different from the usual cracked wheat that is pre-cooked rather than parboiled. Bulgur is nutritious than most of other refined wheat products as it is less processed. This healthy cereal meal occupies the top position in several traditional Middle Eastern dishes. It is very easy to prepare as it necessarily does not require cooking, soaking in water is just fine! Once cooked, the texture resembles to that of Quinoa or Couscous.

Bulgur comes in different grinds ranging from fine to extra course. It can be of white or red color, soft or hard and has a light nutty flavor.

Nutritional & Health Benefits of Bulgur 

- This high fiber grain is free from Cholesterol and fat.

- High in Manganese and low in Sodium.

- Good source of Iron, fiber and magnesium.

- Rich in protein and complex carbohydrates.

- When compared to other whole grains like Quinoa or brown rice it is particularly low in calories.

- Promotes the growth of healthy gut bacteria and thus maintains proper digestion and health. These ‘good’ bacteria can improve metabolism as well.

- Since high in fiber it can help stabilize blood sugar level, prevent constipation and promote heart health.

- High fiber intake can also promote weight loss.

- Consuming whole grains can reduce putting your heart at risk to a great extent. It is also proven to reduce chances of getting cancer and other chronic diseases.

Other Facts About Bulgur

- Considered to be one of the first processed food items in the world.

- Consumed by Chinese Emperors to ancient Babylonians.

- Believed to have originated in ‘Anatolia’- a place in modern day Turkey.

- Mentioned in the Old Testament.

- Bulgur is mentioned with the name ‘Arisah’ in the Bible.

- About 4000 years ago the ancient Babylonian Hittite and Hebrew people used cooked and dried wheat. And in 1000 BC the Egyptians and other civilizations in the Eastern Mediterranean also used the same.

- The Roman word for bulgur is ‘cerealis’. It comes from ‘Ceres’, The Roman Goddess of harvest.

- Main ingredient in Tabbouleh, Kibbeh, Pilaf and other traditional middle eastern recipes.

- Consuming bulgur wheat make your stomach feel fuller without having eaten less calories.

- Resistant to insect-pests.

- High shelf life (can stay good up to 24 months in the Pantry), economical and nutritious.

- Turkey became the first country to take Bulgur to the industrial sector when Rıza Küçükoğlu launched the first factory of Bulgur production in Karaman to meet the needs of the soldiers during World War 1.

- Bulgur found its way into the Cold War in the form of ‘Doomsday Crackers’ as part of the civil defense programs of U.S.A. Most of the prominent biscuit and cereal companies got involved in the production and by the end of the program in 1964, these companies produced over 20 billion survival crackers in total !

Written by - Afra Meera Ahamed

Edited by - Gunika Manchanda


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