Couscous – An Upcoming Food In India


Couscous – an upcoming food in India

Diabetes Specialist- Preeti Jain

couscous- an upcoming food in india
couscous- an upcoming food in india

COUSCOUS- AN UPCOMING FOOD IN INDIA- DIABETES SPECIALIST PREETI. Couscous is more than just “the food so nice they named it twice”, it also has a wide variety of health benefits. Couscous also referred as coarse rava or dalia in India is a traditional food from Northern African cultures, and consists of small balls of durum wheat or semolina flour. It first appeared in historical records in the 13th century in North African countries, and was later reported to be a growing food staple in Middle Eastern countries and Turkey. Couscous is mainly available in natural form only in the Mediterranean region and North African countries.

It is commonly used in cuisines in the same way that rice or pasta is used, beneath meat, vegetables, and sauce. It can also be added to salads for daring culinary artisans, but traditionally, it is associated with stew-like dishes.

Most of the health benefits associated with couscous is due to its impressive mineral and vitamin content, including selenium, thiamine, Niacin, Folic acid, and manganese.

  • Nutrition content of Waitrose couscous

Typical values

per 100g

per cooked 80 g serving


367  kcal

87  kcal


12.76  g

3.00  g


77.43  g

18.60  g


3.4  g

0.01 g


0.64  g

0.10  g


0.117  g

0.01 g


5.0  g

1.10  g


0.10  g

0.04 g


Health Benefits of Couscous

Cardiovascular Health : A single serving of couscous has more than 60% of the daily suggested intake of selenium, making it one of the richest sources of selenium in any food. In terms of heart health, selenium functions as a powerful antioxidant that functions mainly in the blood vessels to reduce the build-up of plaque and dangerous LDL cholesterol on artery and vein walls. Thereby, selenium protects the body from developing dangerous and life-threatening conditions like atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes.

Potassium is integral in reducing the contraction of blood vessels, thereby reducing blood pressure and benefiting patients that are at high risk for various cardiovascular diseases. Potassium also helps in the normal beating of the heart, and prevents heart arrhythmias and other dangerous irregularities in the constantly cycle of the heart.

Cancer Prevention: Recent studies have linked a deficiency in selenium in the body to increased risk of prostate cancer appearance. Selenium is also connected to preventing lung cancer and carcinogenesis for smokers, when combined with vitamin-E and vitamin-C.

Immune System: The natural antioxidant qualities of selenium help fight against the proliferation of free radicals and other toxins in the bloodstream and the body’s systems, but selenium has a second unique way of boosting the immune system. Selenium actually stimulates the regeneration of vitamin-C and vitamin-E, both of which play integral parts in the body’s defense mechanisms. All in all, couscous can be a very powerful addition to your body’s natural defenses.

Muscle Building: Selenium is one of the important parts of developing muscle mass as an essential part of protein metabolism and muscle development.

Therefore, since selenium is such a difficult nutrient to acquire naturally, couscous can be one of the best sources of improving your muscle mass!

Wound Healing: Healing from wounds and recovering from illness and surgery can be some of the most difficult times for your body, since it must work on overdrive to continue normal function, and dedicate energy and nutrients to massive repair. Couscous can be a big help during this time, since it provides large amounts of protein

Protein is an integral part of wound healing, as well as in the metabolism of enzymes that aid in wound repair, both internally and externally. Couscous is a powerful part of any protein diet, and since more than 15% of the human body is composed of protein, any food source this rich in protein is a good thing!

Weight Loss: People on diets are often looking for low-calorie sources of beneficial food, and grains are often turned to because they are filling, relatively easy to cook, and not high in calories. In terms of grains like rice or quinoa, couscous is actually superior, having less than 200 calories in each cup, which is less than 10% of the daily calorie intake suggested for adults. This makes couscous very beneficial for those trying to lose weight mainly through dieting, although the extra protein that couscous provides also makes it a powerful boost for muscle development, in case you want to reduce obesity from a different direction.  Couscous is also very low in sodium, cholesterol, and saturated fat, all of which work against weight loss attempts!

The rich fiber content of couscous also acts as a deterrent to the secretion of ghrelin, the hormone which generates feelings of hunger. A reduction in that hormone reduces the chances of overeating, a major danger to people on diets or attempting to lose weight.

Digestion: A single cup of couscous contains almost 10% of the body’s suggested fiber intake for the day. Couscous is a fiber-rich food that helps in the proper digestion of food, and health of the gastrointestinal system. Fiber helps to add bulk to bowel movements, and it stimulates peristaltic movement, the smooth-muscle contractions that move food along the digestive tract.

Fluid Levels in the Body

Potassium is found in good amounts in couscous, and potassium is essential in the regulation of fluid and cellular pathways

Also, this maintains a balance of nutrient uptake and toxin elimination by helping to regulate the excretory activities of the body.

Body Metabolism: The high protein content of couscous makes it ideal for regulating the entire body’s metabolism. Protein is one of the most essential parts of our body, and can be found in our hair, skin, nails, teeth, organs, muscles, bones, natural chemicals and enzymes.

It is particularly a favourite for vegetarians and vegans, since they lose some major sources of protein, meat and dairy products.

Antibacterial Activity: Somewhat related to couscous’ ability to boost the immune system is its proven quality as an antibacterial and antiviral agent

By, Preeti Jain

About Preeti Jain

Academically Preeti is a graduate in food science and nutrition with specialization in dietetics. She is currently pursuing her post graduation in clinical nutrition and dietetics with a specialization in cardiac and diabetes nutrition. Along with this, Preeti is also a certified diabetes educator. She has worked as health manager, diabetes educator and weight loss counselor at cheenykum (project by exemplar healthcare pvt limited). Currently Preeti is working on the biggest Zumba Fitness Research Work - To Study The Effects Of Zumba Fitness and Dietary Modifications on Weight Loss and Other Health and Fitness Parameters. Apart from this, Preeti is also working as a Diabetic Educator at Shreya Diabetes Centre. Preeti’s vision is to help people stay healthy by following a healthy diet and active lifestyle along with educating people about lifestyle disease and ways to overcome it.