5 Health Benefits Of Couscous That You Shouldn’t Miss Out On

Health benefits of couscous.
Uncooked couscous in a wooden bowl

A North African staple that works well when added to stews, steamed with vegetables, or served along with a side of meat–couscous is both delicious and nutritious. And its popularity makes it a common sight in most grocery stores. We’ve got a list of benefits couscous listed below that might inspire you to experiment with it for your next meal.

1. Is A Good Source Of Protein

Whether you’re on a diet, working out hard at the gym, or keeping up with your nutritional needs, considering the fact that approximately 16–20% of our body is made up of protein (which is made of amino acids), it’s important to keep up with your protein intake.1 And couscous is a good source of plant-based protein, providing 6 grams per one-cup serving. If you’re vegan or vegetarian, adding it to your diet will give you a good dose of protein.2 3


2. Boosts Immune System Function

If you tend to fall sick very often, pack in some couscous in your diet. A cup of its serving contains 43.2 mcg of selenium, which makes up for 60% of the recommended daily intake.4 This antioxidant has been found to lower inflammation and oxidative stress in the body, in turn boosting immunity. In fact, studies have found that while the increased blood levels of selenium enhance immune response, a deficiency may harm immune cells and their function.  Besides this, selenium also plays a role in the regeneration of vitamins C and E. Both these vitamins have been found to increase immune system function.5 6

3. May Promote Cardiac Health

Consuming couscous regularly may keep heart diseases at bay. The selenium in it which, as discussed earlier, reduces inflammation and oxidative stress, can help reduce the buildup of plaque and “bad” LDL cholesterol on artery veins and walls. In addition to this, studies have found that plant-based protein can lower the risk of stroke and death from heart disease.7 8 9 10 11


4. May Manage Thyroid Function

The selenium in couscous may also play a role in thyroid health. Studies have found that it is essential for proper thyroid gland function and contributes to hormone production. In doing so, selenium protects the thyroid gland from damage.12 13 14

5. May Prevent Cancer

Consuming selenium regularly may lower your risk of certain cancers.15 This benefit can be attributed to its selenium content. A review of 69 studies, that included over 350,000 people, found that high selenium blood levels may protect against certain cancers.16 Some studies have found selenium deficiency to increase the risk of prostate cancer. Consuming adequate amounts of the nutrient, in combination with vitamins C and E, has shown to decrease the risk of lung cancer in smokers. Adding selenium to dishes that contain these nutrients can help you keep cancer at bay.17 18 19