Bulgur: Health benefits and Side effect

Edited By Dr.Asha Jyoti Bharati

What is Bulgur?

Bulgur (bulgur or burghul) is a wheat product. It is available in various forms like cleaned, soaked, pre-cooked, coarse or fine dried cracked, nutty in flavor and processed.

Bulgur mostly produced from Triticum durum variety but also prepared from oats, corn, triticale, barley, rye and soybean (1).

It is mainly originated in Middle East countries as early as 1000 BC. Chinese consumed bulgur as early as 2800 BC. But nowadays it is a very famous industrially processed, delicious wheat product in many countries (2).

Bulgur has more benefits than whole or cracked wheat because of its very fast cooking time, rice-like product, low cost, long shelf life, taste, and high nutritional and economic values (3).

Nutritional value of Bulgur

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), bulgur is a processed wholesome food rich in protein, vitamins, dietary fibre, minerals, unsaturated fatty acids, and other components are as follows (4)

Compound                                                                    Amount /100 g.
Water 9 g
Energy                                                                    342 kcal
Protein 12.29 g
Total lipid (  Fat)s 1.33 g
Carbohydrates 75.87 g
Dietary Fiber 12.5 g
Sugar 0.41 g
Calcium 35 mg
Iron 2.46 mg
Magnesium 164 mg
Phosphorous 300 mg
Potassium 410 mg
Sodium 17 mg
Zinc 1.93 mg
Folates 27 µg
Niacin 5.11 mg
Riboflavin 0.11 mg
Thiamin 0.23 mg
Vitamin B-6 0.34 mg
Vitamin A 9 IU
Vitamin E 0.06 mg
Vitamin C 0 mg
Vitamin K 1.9 µg

Health benefits of Bulgur

1. Nutrient-rich

Bulgur wheat contains bioactive components like dietary fiber, resistant starch, phenols, and antioxidants. Therefore, bulgur is a healthy choice representing as a cereal-based product (5).

2. Improves digestion

The high fiber of Bulgur is good for the stomach. It helps in improving digestion and increase stool bulk and prevents constipation (6).

3. Healthy heart

Bulgur wheat is high in dietary fiber, nutrients, folate, and bound antioxidants thus consumption of bulgur is cholesterol free and reduce the risk for coronary heart disease (7).

4. Prevents diabetes

It is a food with the low glycemic index, prebiotic effect and control blood sugar level compare to complex carbohydrates further reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes (8).

5. Weight loss

Bulgur wheat protected against weight gain because of the high content of magnesium and dietary fiber which control appetite by delayed carbohydrate absorption, inducing satiety and reducing postprandial glucose concentrations (9).

6. Protects from cancer

Bulgur wheat contains a high amount of antioxidants, fiber, and folate which inhibit cancer cell proliferation and promotes apoptosis thus reduce the risk of various cancers, including the colorectal, gastric, digestive tract, pancreatic, endometrial, and oral cancers (10).

Side effect bulgur

Bulgur is processed wheat product. Therefore the person who is allergic to wheat or having gluten intolerance should avoid eating wheat bulgur (11).

However, this problem can be minimizing by soy or other kinds of bulgur used instead of wheat-based bulgur.

Healthy recipe of bulgur

1. Bulgur salad

Soak bulgur for 15 mins in order to make it soft and chewy. Then stem it for 30 min for the absorption of excess water. Then add finely chopped vegetables, onion, cucumber, tomato and salt, pepper and lemon as per taste and serve it.

2. Bulgur Pilaf

Sauté medium chopped onion, ginger and garlic paste in olive oil.  Add tomato and presoaked bulgur and mix well and add coriander leaves and cook for a few minutes. Drain excess water from the bulgur and cook for a few mins. and ready to serve it.

Is bulgur healthier than rice?

Bulgur is rich in protein and also low in calories. Despite its high nutritional quality it is found to be an unacceptable replacement for rice by the researcher because of its dark, ‘greasy’ color and distinctive flavor (12). Moreover, rice or brown rice widely available in conventional supermarkets while bulgur may be available only at ethnic, health food or other specialty stores, or through the Internet or mail order (13).


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4062680/
  2.    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780081005965000731
  3.    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780081007198000243
  4.    https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/20012
  5.    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22136100
  6.    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6124841
  7.    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10479204
  8.    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11976158
  9.    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15531671
  10.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17881383
  11.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4507091/
  12.  https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF01088485
  13.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11160579


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