Health and Nutrition Benefits of Couscous

Couscous is one of the most versatile, easiest, and quickest dishes to prepare. Derived from the North African region it comprises semolina or crushed durum wheat. 

What is Couscous?

Couscous is crushed durum wheat semolina formed into tiny granules.

Is Couscous a Grain or Pasta?

It may look like grain to you as per its size. However, it is actually pasta rolled into tiny granules.

A bowl of couscous kept on a tray with coriander garnish on top

There are Three Types of Couscous:-

Moroccan (tiniest in size and is readily available)

Israeli or pearl couscous (size of a peppercorn. They are chewy and have a slightly nutty flavor)

Lebanese (They are pea-sized and take a slightly longer time to cook)

Nutritional Benefits of Couscous.

1. High in Selenium

Selenium is a trace mineral found in soil and water. Even though our bodies need a small amount of it, it plays a significant role in maintaining their immune system in fighting off infections.

Studies have found that food rich in Selenium may help to improve our immune function by lowering the oxidative stress in our bodies.

Just a cup of couscous includes more than 60% of our daily recommended value.

Selenium-rich foods are also known to help with proper thyroid function and promote healthy growth and development during pregnancy.

2. Lowers Risk of Cancer

Since couscous is high in Selenium, it boosts the body’s immune system and reduces the risk of contracting different types of cancer.

Many studies have shown that Selenium may reverse the signs of cancer in the human body.

3. Immunity Booster 

Two brown bowls of couscous garnished with lemon and coriander.

A regular intake of Selenium-rich food has shown an increase in the production of white blood cells.

Moreover, they play a significant role in protecting the body from infections, viruses, and parasites.

A lower white blood count may lead to a weakened immune system and impairs the body’s defense system.

4. Source of Protein 

Protein is an essential macronutrient in the human body as it helps repair our body cells and make new ones. It consists of several amino acids needed for maintaining the body tissues and muscles.

Knowing that the body cannot make all the essential amino acids required to make protein, including various protein sources in our daily diet, is essential.

A reasonably good amount of animal-based protein can be consumed by eating eggs, dairy products, or meat as they contain essential amino acids.

 Couscous can be an excellent source of plant-based protein for vegetarians and vegans.

One cup of couscous contains 6 grams of protein. However, it’s good to combine it with other plant-based proteins like lentils, chickpeas, quinoa, etc to meet the optimal requirement.


  • Couscous is a versatile and nutritious dish; however, gluten Intolerant people may want to keep it off their plates.
  • People with high diabetes and blood sugar issues may also want to keep track of their couscous intake, as it is high in carbs.
  • Food high in carbs may spike up the blood sugar level and negatively impact health.
  • If you do not have any of these issues, you may consider adding this super quick and easy food to your diet.

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