Semolina is a coarse flour made from durum wheat, a type of durum wheat. When ground into flour, durum wheat is known as semolina and is used around the world in bread, pasta and porridge, most notably to make kebab durums. This flour is darker and more golden in color than all-purpose flour. It has a mild, earthy scent, plus many health benefits.
It may be fun for us to consume it, but if the body rebels against semolina, it will be better to choose another type of food. Find out if it is a suitable flour for coeliacs.
Properties and nutrients
Semolina flour can be enriched, which means that manufacturers add back the nutrients that were lost during the processing of the durum wheat grain. Enriched grits contain higher levels of vitamins and minerals than non-enriched alternatives. A 1/3-cup (56-gram) serving of uncooked enriched grits provides:
- Energy: 198 calories
- Carbohydrates: 40 grams
- Protein: 7 grams
- Fat: less than 1 gram
- Fiber: 7% of the recommended daily amount
- Thiamine: 41% of the recommended daily amount
- Folate: 36% of the recommended daily amount
- Riboflavin: 29% of the recommended daily amount
- Iron: 13% of the recommended daily amount
- Magnesium: 8% of the recommended daily amount
Semolina is high in protein and fiber, which slow down digestion and increase the feeling of fullness between meals. It’s also high in B vitamins like thiamin and folate, which have many important jobs in the body, including helping to convert food into energy.
Also, semolina is a good source of iron and magnesium. These minerals support red blood cell production, heart health, and blood sugar control.
There are several advantages of consuming semolina flour or semolina compared to other types of flour.
Semolina is high in several nutrients that can contribute to weight loss. For starters, 56 grams of uncooked enriched grits provides 7% of the daily amount of fiber.
It can reduce feelings of hunger and prevent future weight gain. For example, one study found that each increase of 1 gram of dietary fiber per day resulted in a weight loss of 0.25 kg over 20 months. Grits are also high in protein, with 56 grams of raw grits providing more than 7 grams.
Increasing protein in the diet has been shown to promote weight loss. For example, a review of 24 studies found that a high-protein diet, compared to a standard protein diet, resulted in an additional 0.79 kg of weight loss.
Increasing protein in the diet can also help reduce hunger, preserve muscle mass during weight loss, increase fat loss, and improve body composition.
Supports heart health
A diet rich in fiber can reduce the risk of heart disease. People with the highest fiber intake may have up to a 24% lower risk of heart disease, compared to those with the lowest fiber intake.
Fiber can support heart health by lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol, blood pressure, and overall inflammation. Plus, semolina contains other heart-healthy nutrients like folate and magnesium. Diets rich in these nutrients help maintain heart health.
Additionally, studies indicate that diets rich in magnesium support overall heart health. For example, a study in more than a million people showed that a 100 mg daily increase in dietary magnesium reduced the risk of heart failure by 22% and the risk of stroke by 7%.
Blood sugar control
Semolina flour may improve blood sugar control due to its high levels of magnesium and dietary fiber. Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels is an important factor in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Magnesium may improve blood sugar control by increasing the cells’ response to insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. In fact, diets rich in magnesium have been associated with up to a 14% lower risk of diabetes in some studies.
Semolina is also rich in fiber, an essential nutrient for blood sugar control. Fiber slows the absorption of carbohydrates into the bloodstream, which helps control spikes in blood sugar after a meal. It can also lower fasting blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.
rich in iron
Iron is an essential mineral that performs many functions in the body. Grits are an excellent source of iron with 1/3 cup (56 grams) of uncooked enriched grits providing 13% of the RDA.
Without enough iron in the diet, the body cannot make enough red blood cells. As a result, a condition called iron deficiency anemia can develop. Iron deficiency is the most common micronutrient deficiency worldwide. Increasing your intake of iron-rich foods can reduce the risk of deficiency and subsequent anemia.
However, grits, like other plants, contain nonheme iron , which is not as well absorbed as the heme iron found in animal products such as meat, poultry, and fish.
Supports digestive health
Improved digestion is one of the many health benefits of dietary fiber. A 1/3-cup (56-gram) serving of uncooked enriched semolina flour contains more than 2 grams of fiber, or 7% of the daily amount for this nutrient.
Dietary fiber provides many benefits for the digestive system. For example, it stimulates the growth of friendly intestinal bacteria. A healthy balance of gut bacteria affects many areas of health, including optimal digestion, immune health, and metabolism.
Additionally, fiber intake promotes regular bowel movements and can help treat constipation.
How is it used?
Semolina flour is rich in gluten , a protein that provides structure to many types of bread, pasta, and other baked goods. The tough, elastic texture of semolina makes it one of the best types of flour for making pasta. Some other ways to use semolina flour are:
- Add a few teaspoons to the bread dough for a crispy texture.
- Mix it with boiling milk, honey and vanilla extract for a delicious dessert pudding or hot cereal.
- Swap out regular flour for semolina to add an extra crunchy texture to dough recipes.
- Use it to thicken a stew or sauce.
- Sprinkle it over the potatoes before roasting to make them crispy.
Keep in mind that semolina can go rancid if left open, so it’s best to store semolina in the fridge in an airtight container.
There are a few factors to consider before adding grits to your diet. For starters, grits are high in gluten, a protein that can be harmful for people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. Celiac disease affects approximately 1.4% of the world’s population.
It is believed that between 0.5 and 13% of people may have non-celiac gluten sensitivity. People with celiac disease or NCGS should avoid eating gluten-containing foods such as grits.
Also, since semolina is made by grinding durum wheat, it can be harmful to people with wheat allergies .