Couscous is so healthy: all the facts at a glance

So gesund ist Couscous: Alle Fakten auf einen Blick

Couscous is a food that is not used too much in Germany. In countries such as North Africa, couscous is one of the staple foods and is on the menu almost every day. But how healthy is couscous and what nutritional values ​​does it actually have?

In this article we explain what couscous is and what nutrients it contains. We will also show you how you can prepare couscous in a healthy way and explain why it should be on your menu more often.

the essentials in brief

  • Couscous is mostly made from durum wheat semolina and is available in most German grocery stores.
  • Couscous contains the trace element selenium, which both strengthens the immune system and can prevent cancer.
  • There are many ways to make couscous healthy. You will find some delicious and healthy recipes in this article.

Healthy couscous: what you should know

Many know the food couscous by name. But many are not aware of how healthy couscous can actually be and what exactly it is made of. In the following you will learn what couscous actually is and what ingredients it contains and what makes it so healthy for you and above all for your body.

What exactly is couscous?

Unlike rice, for example, couscous is not a grain of its own and is therefore usually made from wheat. Couscous is made from coarse durum wheat semolina mixed with salted water. It gets its typical structure by rubbing the mixture until balls of about 1mm are formed. The couscous is then sold in dried form.

Millet can also be made from other foods such as barley or millet. In Germany, however, you can usually buy instant couscous made from durum wheat semolina.

What are the nutritional values ​​of couscous and are they healthy?

Since couscous is a grain product, it is a high-calorie filler. On average, couscous contains 353 calories per 100g, which is less than comparable pasta or rice, but still not exactly little. However, couscous contains little fat but lots of fiber . Couscous also has a high protein content, around 5 times as much as potatoes.

When prepared and served healthily, couscous is by no means fattening. On the contrary. Couscous even contains many minerals such as potassium, B vitamins and especially vitamin B3.

Nutritional values ​​per 100g
Calories (kcal) 353g
protein 11g
Fat 1.8g
carbohydrates 69g
fiber 7.6g

Which healthy couscous should you buy?

The couscous that we can find in German supermarkets usually comes from conventional wheat cultivation. It is therefore quite possible that the couscous is contaminated with chemical pesticides.

So that the couscous is as nice and light as we know it, it is usually bleached with sodium hydroxide. Caustic soda is also commonly used to make soap or drain cleaners and can be particularly harmful to fish and plankton in higher concentrations.

bulgur, couscous and quinoa

Depending on the country of the consumer, the raw materials used to make couscous may vary. (Image Source: Tina Kirk / pixabay)

It is therefore best to buy couscous from controlled, organic farming in organic quality. You can buy this in organic stores or health food stores. You can usually buy couscous there from other types of grain, such as barley, spelled or buckwheat. In most cases, these are also not bleached.

Which ingredients make couscous particularly healthy?

Couscous contains a particularly large amount of selenium. 100 grams of couscous cover about 40 percent of a person's daily requirement.

Selenium is a trace element that is required for many physical processes and is therefore essential for the human body. It plays an important role in the production and function of thyroid hormones. Studies have shown that an adequate selenium intake can prevent or even alleviate autoimmune diseases of the thyroid gland. (1)

In addition, selenium can help reduce coronary heart disease. Important here is the role of selenium as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory in the body. (2)

Can couscous boost the immune system?

Thanks to its valuable ingredients, couscous can definitely strengthen the immune system. Above all, the selenium contained in couscous strengthens our immune system in a positive way.

The trace element selenium contained in couscous is an important part of the human immune system.

Because it is an antioxidant, it can fight inflammation in our body and thereby support our immune system. Free radicals are intercepted and therefore have no chance of damaging the cell. (3)

Furthermore, studies have shown that a high concentration of scene in the blood accelerates the immune system response. (4)

What are the pros and cons of eating couscous?

Couscous has many advantages and is therefore recommended for a healthy diet. For the body, couscous offers many valuable ingredients such as selenium and some vitamins that are beneficial to the body. However, couscous can also offer some disadvantages for the human body. The following table gives you an overview.

  • Contains little fat
  • The contained selenium helps to strengthen the immune system
  • May reduce the risk of cancer
  • Poor workmanship can cause allergies
  • Couscous may have been bleached with caustic soda
  • What can you take in addition to healthy couscous?

    Couscous already covers a lot of important nutritional supplements. Nevertheless, a balanced diet is important to maintain your own health.

    In the following section we will show you how you can process couscous into a healthy meal and how to use the couscous in delicious recipes. In addition to natural vitamin and food sources, one can also take supplements with each meal.

    Can you lose weight with couscous?

    A diet with couscous, with its high proportion of carbohydrates, is certainly not a classic companion for a low-carb diet. Nevertheless, couscous can be well suited for a diet due to its valuable ingredients.

    Couscous is particularly suitable for a healthy diet due to its high proportion of magnesium, iron and zinc. The whole grain variant of couscous in particular contributes to a good supply of minerals.

    If you prepare couscous with vegetables (especially those that contain a lot of vitamin C), then the trace elements zinc and iron can be absorbed particularly well. With its low fat content, couscous is particularly suitable for high-carb diets.

    But couscous can also be used optimally for diets related to muscle building. To build muscle, you need a lot of carbohydrates, which couscous has to offer in abundance. Carbohydrates are primarily sources of energy and therefore serve as an energy source, especially in a diet for muscle building.

    How can you prepare couscous healthily?

    Couscous already provides many healthy nutrients for the human body. But couscous can be used to prepare many great, healthy recipes. In the following, we will show you which recipe variations are particularly tasty and healthy. Maybe there are some delicious recipes for you.

    Healthy basic couscous recipe

    Preparing couscous in a healthy way is not difficult at all. Below is everything you need for the basic recipe. You can then incorporate the couscous into various dishes and serve as you wish.

    Ingredients for 4 servings
    250ml water or vegetable broth
    0.5 tsp Salt
    250 g couscous
    2 shots olive oil

    The basic couscous recipe is simple and suitable for many dishes that contain couscous. In the following we will show you some possible recipe variations on how you can incorporate your couscous into your diet in a healthy way.

    Colorful couscous vegetable stir-fry

    The couscous can be served in different recipe variations. Whether warm or cold, couscous is suitable for many different recipes. For example, you can prepare your couscous with vegetables. You can use any vegetable that you and your guests like and serve it together with the previously prepared couscous.

    Vegetables such as peppers, carrots, zucchini, tomatoes are ideal for a delicious and healthy couscous vegetable pan. Serve particularly well with feta or goat cheese. Then you can conjure up a delicious sauce and your healthy couscous recipe is ready.

    Due to the sophisticated variation, numerous non-vegetarians are also enthusiastic about this recipe variation and enjoy the deliciously prepared dish. So be creative and let off steam with the ingredients as you please.

    Healthy couscous salad

    However, couscous cannot only be enjoyed warm. The couscous also comes into its own in a clever salad variation. You can simply pour boiling water over the couscous and then let it swell. Then you simply put the finished couscous in the fridge for a few hours.

    Meanwhile, you can prepare a salad of your choice. there are no limits to your creativity and you can use anything you like. The whole thing is particularly delicious with green cucumber, peppers, tomatoes, corn and feta cheese. A delicious and healthy salad dressing made from pure olive oil and other herbs and spices also goes well with the salad.

    Couscous Salad

    Couscous salads come in many different flavors - including sweet. (Image source: pixabay / Invitation_to_Essen)

    Then you can simply add the couscous and the other ingredients together and you have a delicious and healthy salad. Here, too, there are no limits to your creativity and you can freely choose the food and try out what you like best.

    Tomatoes stuffed with couscous

    Couscous can also be prepared healthily in the oven. It can taste particularly delicious in combination with tomatoes or peppers. You can simply find a recipe for stuffed tomatoes or peppers and add your couscous as a filling.

    This recipe is also great for those looking to change their diet to reduce meat consumption. Due to its high proportion of carbohydrates, couscous fills you up very well and is therefore a great alternative to meat products. So you don't just consume the very healthy couscous, you can also replace other less healthy foods with it.


    You have learned that couscous has many valuable ingredients that can support your body in its daily activities.

    Above all, the selenium contained in couscous offers your body many advantages. It can support your immune system and even prevent diseases like cancer. If you pay attention to your diet and maybe even want to lose weight, couscous is a great food to create a balanced nutrition plan.

    Couscous can be combined with many foods and served healthily. Couscous can be arranged and served as a salad or as a side dish and offers the right combination for every taste.

    Individual proofs(7)

    1. M. Ventura; M.Melo; F Carrilho (2017): Selenium and Thyroid Disease: From Pathophysiology to Treatment; Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Centro Hospitalar e Universitário de Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal; Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal Source
    2. G. Flores-Mateo; A. Navas-Acien; R. Pastor-Barriuso; E Guallar (2006) Selenium and coronary heart disease: a meta-analysis; Departments of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Source
    3. LA Pham-Huy; H.He; C Pham-Huy (2008) Free Radicals, Antioxidants in Disease and Health; Department of Pharmacy, Lucile Salter Packard Children's Hospital, Stanford University Medical Center, Palo Alto, CA, USA; Department of Analytical Chemistry, China Pharmaceutical University, Nanjing, China; Laboratory of Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Paris 5, Paris, France Source
    4. PR Hoffmann; MJ Berry (2013): The influence of selenium on immune responses; Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii, HI, USA Correspondence: Dr. Peter R. Hoffmann, Cell and Molecular Biology, Department, University of Hawaii, 651 Ilalo Street, Honolulu, HI, 96813, USA, Source
    5. PR Hoffmann; MJ Berry (2013): The influence of selenium on immune responses; Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii, HI, USA Correspondence: Dr. Peter R. Hoffmann, Cell and Molecular Biology, Department, University of Hawaii, 651 Ilalo Street, Honolulu, HI, 96813, USA, Source
    6. Source
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