While not as well-known as cereal grains like quinoa, freekeh hits the mark when it comes to both flavor and nutrition.
Freekeh is not only an excellent source of protein, fiber and manganese, but is also incredibly versatile and can be added to many different recipes.
Plus, it’s easy to prepare and has a rich, nutty flavor that sets it apart from other whole grains.
This article discusses the nutrition, benefits, and potential harms of freekeh, and presents a few easy ways to add it to your diet.
Freekeh is a cereal. It is made by harvesting green durum wheat before the grains are fully ripe, while the seeds are still soft and green (1†
The grains are then roasted and rubbed, giving them a distinctly smoky, nutty flavor. They are usually cracked into smaller pieces, which improves the texture and makes them cook faster.
Freekeh is considered a culinary staple in North Africa. It is also common in the cuisines of Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan.
It is usually prepared with onions, tomatoes and herbs and served alongside meat, poultry or legumes in a variety of traditional dishes.
For example, Firik pilavi is a type of Turkish pilaf that combines freekeh with bulgur, onions, chickpeas and olive oil. Similarly, freeket lahma is a Jordanian dish that combines cooked freekeh with lamb shank.
Freekeh is a cereal grain made by roasting and rubbing green durum wheat. It occurs in many types of dishes and is often combined with meat, poultry or legumes.
Freekeh is a great source of several nutrients, including fiber, manganese and phosphorus.
With about 5 grams of protein per serving, it can also increase your protein intake to complete your diet (2†
A 40 gram serving of uncooked freekeh contains the following nutrients (2†
- Calories: 141
- Carbohydrates: 24 grams
- Egg white: 5 grams
- Fat: 2 grams
- Fiber: 4.5 grams
- Manganese: 52% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Phosphorus: 16% of the DV
- niacin: 18% of the DV
- Magnesium: 13% of the DV
- Buyer: 24% of the DV
- Zinc: 15% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 9% of the DV
Freekeh is especially high in manganese, a mineral involved in bone formation and immune system health (3†
It also contains phosphorus, an important component of bones and teeth. It is also necessary for the production of energy (4†
In addition, it is a good source of magnesium. This essential micronutrient plays a central role in regulating blood sugar and blood pressure. It also helps maintain the function of the nerves and muscles (5†
Freekeh is high in fiber and contains a good amount of protein in each serving. It also contains many other nutrients, including manganese, phosphorus, niacin and magnesium.
Freekeh is rich in a variety of nutrients and can provide several benefits.
Can improve digestion
Freekeh is a great source of fiber, packing 4.5 grams into a single 40-gram (40-gram) serving.2†
Fiber is an important nutrient involved in many aspects of health, including digestion.
In addition, eating more fiber-rich foods like freekeh may help protect against other conditions like hemorrhoids, diverticulitis, and colorectal cancer (8†
May Promote Heart Health
Freekeh contains several micronutrients that may benefit heart health.
It is also a good source of fiber. This nutrient may help lower cholesterol levels and prevent the formation of plaque in the arteries (13†
Not only that, but eating whole grains regularly, including freekeh, may be associated with a lower risk of heart disease and certain risk factors for this condition, such as high blood pressure and inflammation (14† 15† 16†
May Support Weight Management
Freekeh delivers a hearty dose of protein and fiber in every serving. Both nutrients can help you achieve and maintain an average weight.
Research suggests that protein may support weight loss by temporarily boosting metabolism and altering levels of specific hormones that affect your hunger (17†
In addition, fiber moves slowly through the digestive tract. As a result, it can help you feel full between meals (8†
In addition, a study of nearly 45,000 children and adults found that eating more whole grains was associated with greater reductions in body mass index (BMI) and belly fat (20†
Freekeh is rich in several nutrients that can improve digestion, improve heart health, and support weight loss and management.
While freekeh can be associated with several potential benefits, there are also a few drawbacks to keep in mind.
For starters, it contains gluten, a type of protein found in wheat products and other grains like barley and rye. For this reason, people with celiac disease or a sensitivity to gluten should avoid it (21† 22†
Freekeh may not fit with certain diets, including the paleo diet, which excludes most types of grains. It is also unlikely to fit into very low-carb diets like the ketogenic diet, as it contains more carbs than these diets typically allow (25† 26†
Finally, it’s worth noting that if you’re not used to eating a lot of fiber, you may experience bloating, cramping, or diarrhea after eating freekeh. Therefore, it may be best to gradually increase your fiber intake (27†
Because freekeh is derived from wheat and contains gluten, it should be avoided by people following a gluten-free or wheat-free diet. In addition, it may not be suitable for certain dietary patterns, including paleo and ketogenic diets.
Freekeh is versatile and easy to prepare.
To make freekeh, simply add 3 cups (710 ml) of water to a saucepan with a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Then add 160 grams of cracked freekeh, cover and reduce heat to medium-high.
Simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed. Let it stand covered for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Keep in mind that whole grain freekeh takes longer to cook and may require more water.
Cooked freekeh has a rich, nutty flavor that works well in soups, salads, and pilafs.
You can easily use it in place of other grains in your favorite recipes, combined with whole or ground spices, or served alongside vegetables or chicken.
Here are a few tasty recipes you can try at home to add this healthy grain to your diet:
Freekeh is easy to prepare and can be used in a variety of recipes. It is an excellent addition to soups, salads and pilaf and can be used in place of other grains in your diet.
Freekeh is a type of whole grain made from green durum wheat.
Not only is it a staple in many types of cuisines, but it is also highly nutritious and can benefit digestion, heart health, and weight management.
Plus, it’s easy to prepare, can be used in place of other grains in your diet, and makes a great addition to a variety of recipes.
Keep in mind, though, that freekeh is made from wheat and contains gluten, so it may not be right for everyone. It is also unlikely to fit into certain dietary patterns, such as paleo or ketogenic diets.