All the Health Benefits of Morocco's Beloved Freekeh 'Supergrain'

Freekeh salad with chicken | © Basheer Tome / Flickr
Freekeh salad with chicken | © Basheer Tome / Flickr
Photo of Sarah Williams
27 July 2017

Freekeh is a type of cereal that is made from wheat, specifically green durum wheat. Also sometimes spelt as farik or frikeh, freekeh has been used for hundreds of years in North African nations and countries in the Levant and Gulf Peninsula. Indeed, references to the food can even be found in the Bible. Prepared by roasting or smoking the grain and then removing the shells, freekeh is popular in Morocco. It is becoming more and more popular elsewhere too, thanks to the different health benefits associated with the grain. Read on to learn why the supergrain is great for you.

Can Aid the Digestive System

Freekeh is high in fiber. It contains prebiotics, elements that help to nourish the beneficial bacteria that live in the gut. It also has a high calcium, zinc, and iron content. Taking into account all of these factors, freekeh can be great at helping the digestive system and making toilet trips a little more regular.

Freekeh with mixed vegetables | © Wikimedia Commons

Can Assist With Weight Loss

Freekeh is high in protein as well as fiber, and it has the added benefit of being low in fat. Eating freekeh helps people to feel fuller for longer, thus preventing nibbling and snacking in between meals. Those who switch to a diet that is higher in fiber often record weight loss.

Can Stabilise Blood Sugar

Freekeh has a relatively low value on the glycemic index. It is just 43, whereas, for example, long-grain rice is usually 75+, white bread is 70, and quinoa is 53. The lower the GI value, the less a person’s blood sugar rises after eating a particular item.

A colourful freekeh salad | © Meal Makeover Moms / Flickr

Can Build Muscle Strength

The large amount of naturally occurring glutamic acid can assist with building muscles and increasing strength. Indeed, many bodybuilders add glutamic acid to their diet to enable their bodies to produce glutamine.

Can Add Vital Nutrients to the Diet

Freekeh contains many elements that are beneficial to good health. As well as the already-mentioned iron, calcium, and zinc, freekeh also contains potassium, magnesium, manganese, copper, selenium and more.

Freekeh salad | © Meal Makeover Moms / Flickr

Can Help to Keep Eyes Healthy

Carotenoids can help to promote eye health and reduce the chances of the eyes degenerating as a person gets older. Freekeh is a good source of carotenoids.

Whilst freekeh contains gluten, and so is off the menu for people who have a gluten intolerance, all the other plus points make it a great ingredient to add to meals. While travelling around Morocco and sampling all the tasty cuisine, don’t forget to enjoy hearty portions of freekeh too.

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