Semolina flour is the flour made from semolina which is the coarse, purified middlings of the durum wheat. Semolina flour is mainly used for the preparation of couscous, pasta, upma, sweet puddings, and also for making bread and pasta. In comparison to all-purpose flour, it is tougher and less extendable and is also slightly yellow in color.
Semolina flour is very beneficial for us and provides numerous health benefits such as weight loss, managing diabetes, strengthening immunity, and so on. It doesn’t contain cholesterol, saturated fat, or trans fat, and is good for weight loss.
Nutrition In Semolina
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Semolina flour can be both enriched or unenriched. If you would like to add semolina flour to your diet, then go for the enriched variant. Enriched variants are the ones in which food manufacturers re-add the nutrients that get lost during the processing of durum wheat grain. In comparison to an unenriched variant, it has higher levels of vitamins, minerals, and other healthy compounds.
A one-third cup ( 56 grams) of uncooked enriched semolina flour provides 198 calories of energy, 40 grams of carbohydrates, 7 grams of protein, less than 1 gram of fat, 41% of the RDI value of thiamine, fulfills 36% of RDI value of Folate, 13 percent,8 percent and 29 percent of the RDI value of iron, magnesium, and riboflavin respectively. It also contains a high level of protein and dietary fibers to keep us healthy.
Health Benefits of Semolina Flour
Some of the major health benefits of semolina flour are as follows
(1) Good Source of Energy
Semolina flour is an ideal food for individuals with a high level of energy requirement.
This is due to the abundance of carbohydrates in it. Carbohydrates are the main source of energy in our body as it breaks down into glucose with the help of our digestive juices and enzymes, and thus provides us energy.
Semolina flour is high in carbohydrates and low in fat. In comparison to fat molecules, carbohydrates can be digested easily and glucose is utilized by our organs efficiently.
(2) Promotes Weight Loss
Semolina flour is very beneficial for individuals who are on a weight loss journey and would like to get rid of some extra pounds.
This advantage of semolina flour is mainly due to the presence of dietary fibers in it. One-third cup of uncooked enriched semolina provides 7 percent of the RDI for dietary fibers.
The dietary fibers in the semolina flour keep our stomach satisfied for a longer duration, decrease our urge to eat again and again, and thus helps in controlling overeating which is a leading cause of obesity.
A research study involving 252 women found that even a 1 gram increase in dietary fibers per day may contribute to a weight loss of half pounds over a course of 20 months.
Also, the protein present in the semolina flour also plays a significant role in weight loss as it improves our metabolism and thus helps in burning stored calories efficiently.
A study conducted on 24 individuals found that those who consumed a high level of protein diet showed greater weight loss results in comparison to individuals who consumed a standard protein diet.
Increasing protein in the diet also known for reducing hunger and for preserving muscle mass during weight loss.
(3) May Prevent Anemia
Anemia is a blood disorder mainly caused by the deficiency of iron in our body and gives rise to symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, pale skin, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, dizziness and chest pain, etc.
Semolina flour may help in reducing the risk of iron-induced anemia to some extent due to the presence of “Iron” in it.
Iron is a vital mineral that enhances the production of red blood cells in our body. Red blood cell contains hemoglobin protein that provides oxygenated blood to each and every cell and tissue of the body, keeps them healthy and improves their functionality.
One cup of semolina flour can provide around 8 percent of the recommended daily amount of iron to our body.
(4) Aids In Maintaining Balance of the Diet
To stay healthy it is important for us to ensure that we are enjoying a balanced diet full of all major and minor nutrients. Vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and dietary fibers, etc. all are equally beneficial for us. Both the excessive consumption and as well as deficiency of any of these essential compounds can be bad for our health.
Semolina flour can help provide balance to our diet due to the presence of various essential compounds like vitamin B complex, vitamin E, carbohydrates, protein, and dietary fibers in it. It is also rich in minerals such as potassium, zinc, iron, and magnesium, etc. that provide numerous benefits for our health.
(5) Regulates Cholesterol Level
Semolina flour is very beneficial for regulating cholesterol levels in our body due to the presence of dietary fibers in it.
The dietary fibers in the semolina flour reduce the level of bad LDL cholesterol and increase the level of good HDL cholesterol and thus helps with cholesterol management.
By reducing the level of bad LDL cholesterol in the body, dietary fibers also minimize the risk of atherosclerosis, a condition that leads to hardening and narrowing of the arteries due to the accumulation of plaque and fat deposits in them and is also a leading cause of various cardiovascular problems such as heart attack, heart stroke and coronary artery disease.
Semolina flour doesn’t contain any trans-fat or saturated fat and is thus beneficial for managing our cholesterol level.
Antioxidants in the semolina flour also play an important role in managing cholesterol as it minimizes the factors responsible for converting cholesterol molecules to the plaque that sticks to the walls of the arteries and cause damage to them.
(6) Provides Antioxidantal Benefits
Semolina flour is an excellent source of antioxidants such as vitamin E and other antioxidantal compounds like phytonutrients and polyphenols that provides numerous antioxidantal benefits to us.
The antioxidants present in the semolina flour protects our cells and tissues from the oxidative damage caused by the free radicals, and thus minimizes the risk of various types of cancers.
Free radicals are nothing but the unstabilized ions that form in our body during the oxidation process and also due to external factors such as pollution and harmful UV rays of the sun.
By protecting our cells and tissues from oxidative damage, antioxidants not only reduce the risk of various cancers but also protects our immune system, cardiovascular system, digestive system, and respiratory system from the oxidative damage of the free radicals.
The selenium in the semolina flour is also a powerful antioxidant that protects our immune system from oxidative damage. Consuming one serving ( about 56 grams) of semolina flour can provide about 37 micrograms of selenium, which translates to two-third of the recommended daily intake of selenium.
(7) Keeps our digestive system healthy
Semolina flour is good for our stomach and improves our digestive health. This is due to the presence of various essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and dietary fibers in them.
The antioxidants and other associated compounds present in the semolina flour protect our digestive system from the oxidative damage caused by the free radicals and thus minimizes the risk of colon cancer, pancreas cancer, intestinal cancer, and abdominal cancer, etc.
Semolina flour is also rich in dietary fibers that possess laxative properties which means they are very effective for stimulating bowel movement and thus helps in the proper elimination of stool from the body. This provides relief from constipation and also minimizes the risk of various gastrointestinal issues such as abdominal pain, bloating, flatulence, gas, and indigestion, etc.
Dietary fibers in semolina flour are also known for stimulating the growth of gut bacteria that not only helps with proper digestion of food but also helps in maintaining immune health and stabilizing our metabolism.
(8) Regulates Blood Sugar Level
Semolina flour is very beneficial for people with diabetes and for those who are at risk of developing diabetes.
This advantage of semolina flour is mainly because of its low glycemic index. The glycemic index of a food item is a scale from 0 to 100 that determines the rate at which a particular food item will release sugar into the bloodstream.
Semolina flour has a low glycemic index so it releases sugar into the bloodstream at a slow pace, prevents a sudden spike in the blood sugar level, and thus helps in managing diabetes.
The dietary fibers in the semolina flour also play a significant role in getting blood sugar under control as it reduces the rate at which sugar gets absorbed by the bloodstream.
Magnesium present in the semolina flour also helps in keeping diabetes under control as it increases our cells’ response to insulin, a hormone known for regulating blood sugar levels.
Studies have found that a diet rich in magnesium may reduce the risk of diabetes by as much as 14%.
(9) Reduces the risk of hypertension
Consumption of semolina flour may also help in reducing the risk of hypertension or high blood pressure.
Hypertension or high blood pressure is a common health problem that affects millions of people around the world and is a leading cause of various cardiovascular problems such as heart attack, heart stroke, and coronary artery diseases.
This advantage of semolina flour is mainly due to the presence of potassium in it.
Potassium is a natural vasodilator that relaxes our blood vessels, improves blood circulation, and thus provides relief from hypertension or high blood pressure.
In addition to this semolina flour is also low in sodium and thus contributes to blood pressure regulation as it minimizes the risk of water retention in the body, minimizes stress on the blood vessels, and keeps blood pressure in control.
(10) Strengthens our immune system
Another advantage of semolina flour is its ability to make our immune system stronger.
Our immune system is a sophisticated defense mechanism of our body that prevents the invasion of disease-causing microbes like bacterias, viruses, fungi, and parasites, etc in our body and thus reduces the risk of various infections and diseases.
Even when we get sick or sustain an injury, our immune system does its best to make us healthy again. To enjoy a healthy life it is important for us to ensure that our immune system is stronger and semolina flour can help in achieving the same.
This advantage of semolina flour is because of the presence of antioxidants and other relevant compounds like phytonutrients and polyphenols in them.
These antioxidantal compounds fight with the free radicals in our body stabilizes them and prevents them from causing oxidative damage to our cells including the white blood cells that act as the first line of defense and are considered as the backbone of the immune system.
By protecting the white blood cells from oxidative damage antioxidants strengthen our immunity and when our immune system is stronger we are less likely to fall sick and get a cough, cold, fever, and flu, etc.
The dietary fibers in the semolina flour also play a significant role in making our immune system stronger as it enhances the production of white blood cells in our body.
Other nutrients like iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc, etc in the semolina flour also help in improving our immune health.
(11) provides detoxifying benefits
Detoxification is the process of removal of toxins and other impurities from our bloodstream and is mainly carried out by our vital organs such as the Liver and Kidneys, and also happens at the cellular level.
It plays an important role in keeping us healthy as the elimination of toxins from our body is as important as the buildup of new cells.
Semolina flour is very beneficial for removing toxins and other impurities from our system and thus helps with detoxification. By helping with the detoxification, dietary fibers reduce some burden from our vital organs like the liver and Kidneys and improve their functionality.
(12) Improves cardiovascular health
Semolina flour is a good source of many nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, polyphenols, and dietary fibers, etc and the presence of all these compounds plays an important role in keeping our heart healthy and improving our cardiovascular health.
The antioxidants in the semolina flour protect our cardiovascular system from the oxidative damage caused by the free radicals and improve its functionality.
The dietary fibers in the semolina flour help in reducing the level of bad cholesterol in our body and thus reduces the risk of atherosclerosis which is a leading cause of various cardiovascular issues.
The low sodium level and the adequate level of potassium in the semolina flour aids in regulating high blood pressure and thus minimizes the risk of various cardiovascular problems.
It is also low in trans fat and saturated fat which is an added advantage.
How to add semolina flour to your diet
Semolina flour is a nutritious food loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and dietary fibers, etc, and provides amazing benefits. It is a wonderful alternative to white flour and can be used for the preparation of various dishes.
- Wheat flour or all-purpose flour can be replaced with semolina flour for making bakery products such as cakes, cookies, biscuits, and bread. In comparison to all-purpose flour semolina flour has more nutrients that can benefit our health.
- Semolina flour can also be used for the preparation of Pizza crust and pasta. If you love making pizzas and pasta at home, then you should give it a try.
- Semolina flour can also be added to soups and stews to give them a unique flavor and for improving their consistency. It can also be added to gravies
Side-Effects of Semolina Flour (Suji)
Although semolina flour is loaded with essential nutrients and provides many benefits, it is not suitable for all of us and there are some side effects associated with it such as:
- Wheat allergy-Semolina flour is not suitable for individuals with a wheat allergy. So, if you are allergic to wheat then don’t consume anything that is made from semolina or that contains semolina in it.
- Anaphylaxis – In some individuals, semolina flour may be the cause of anaphylaxis, a life threatening breathing difficulty in which our body can go in a state of shock.
- Gluten allergy-Semolina contains gluten and is not suitable for individuals with a gluten allergy and should be avoided by them.
- Excessive consumption of semolina flour or consuming it over a long time may cause damage to our small intestine and thereby increases the risk of malnutrition and poor absorption of nutrients.
- Allergic reactions-wheat allergy and gluten allergy are not the only allergies associated with semolina. Some individuals might not be allergic to wheat and gluten but they may still experience allergic reactions to consuming semolina flour. Some of these allergic reactions are hives, runny nose, sneezing, nausea, vomiting, and asthma, etc.
- Celiac Disease- Food made from semolina flour is not suitable for people with celiac disease as it may cause symptoms such as abdominal pain, chronic diarrhea, bloating, or constipation.