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Freekeh is Probably The New Quinoa! See why!

Freekeh is Probably The New Quinoa! See why!

Freekeh is the “new” supergrain that has actually been around since the ancient times. We have just begun to tackle its numerous nutrition benefits, and it might just take quinoas place on the throne. Why? Well, it has more proteins and twice as much fiber than quinoa, thus you will feel full longer. In addition to being rich in proteins and fiber, it has many other health benefits.

So, what it is? Freekeh is actually a wheat that is harvested before it’s ripe, while the seeds are still green and soft thus retaining many of its nutrients. After it’s been harvested, it is dried in the sun and then carefully burned to remove the straw and chaff, leaving only the grain that has a slightly smoky and nutty taste.

Freekeh has been popular in Mediterranean and Middle East for a long time now, and its popularity has begun spreading due to its numerous benefits. This wheat improves your digestive health and due to its low glycaemic index, it can help manage and prevent type 2 diabetes.

Freekeh is full of healthy nutrients

    Freekeh is full of proteins, fibers, vitamins and minerals such as calcium, iron and zinc. 100 grams of freekeh contains [1]:

    • 14.9 g of protein
    • 12.9 g of fiber
    • 31 mg of zinc
    • 32 mg of iron
    • 370 mg of calcium

    It also contains magnesium and potassium, it has low fat content and it’s considered a low-carb food. If we take a look at the nutrition profile of quinoa [2], we can see why freekeh is the new superfood – in 100 grams of quinoa, there are 8 grams of protein and 5.2 grams of fiber, compared to 14.9 grams of protein and 12.9 grams of fiber in 100 grams of freekeh.

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    100 grams of quinoa contains:

    • 8 g of protein
    • 5.2 g of fiber
    • 2 mg of zinc
    • 2.8 mg of iron
    • 31.5 mg of calcium

    Freekeh improves your digestive health

    Freekeh contains prebiotics that help the growth of healthy bacteria in your bowl system that can be beneficial for people suffering from various digestive problems such as diarrhea, leaky gut syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease and candida virus.

    According to a study conducted by CSIRO [3], the consumption of freekeh was beneficial in improving bowel health and in improving conditions such as constipation. It may also result in diminishing the risk for developing diseases such as colorectal cancer.

    Freekeh may help prevent and control type 2 diabetes

    Freekeh has low glycemic index, which means it causes low rise in blood sugar levels. Another study conducted by CSIRO [4]indicated that the consumption of freekeh resulted in a low insulin response, which further suggests its benefits for patients suffering from type 2 diabetes.

    Freekeh is good for your muscles

    One serving of freekeh has around 2.27 grams of glutamic acid. So, why is glutamic acid important for our muscles? When we are physically active, the demand for glutamic acid increases as it is necessary for building and maintaining muscles. Thus, freekeh is the type of food that can help you increase the intake of glutamic acid and build endurance.

    Freekeh is beneficial for your eyes

    Freekeh contains the antioxidant lutein, which is especially beneficial for eyes in terms of preventing age-related eye degeneration, as suggested by the research at the University of Adelaide [5].

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    Freekeh helps with weight controls

    As mentioned earlier, freekeh is quite high in proteins – 12.9 grams in 100 grams of freekeh. Having that much fiber, freekeh will make you feel full for a longer period of time, thus helping you avoid eating snacks in between meals.

    Are there any side effects to taking freekeh?

    There are no known side effects of freekeh, except that is not recommended for people who are sensitive to gluten, as this wheat contains it.

    Wholegrain or cracked freekeh?

    You can find freekeh in two different varieties: wholegrain and cracked. The only difference between these two varieties is that the cracked version has been broken down into smaller pieces, which makes the cooking process faster. The cracked freekeh has a slightly different texture, similar to quinoa or bulgur. You can choose the wholegrain or cracked variety based on your preferences or the texture you want to achieve when preparing a meal.

    Delicious freekeh recipes

    If you are not sure how to cook freekeh, we give you some healthy and delicious recipes to try and make at home.

    Butternut and cranberry freekeh salad

      Image source: Taste Love and Nourish

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      Even though this is a salad, as freekeh is so packed with proteins, this salad can actually be a complete meal. Butternut and cranberry are a great combination of flavors and add a true splash of color into this salad. It is rather easy to make, and you can bring the leftovers as a healthy lunch at work.

      Easy Mexican freekeh pilaf

        Image source: Vegan Family Recipes

        Full of healthy colorful vegetables and easy to make, the whole family will enjoy eating this pilaf. It is ideal to prepare when you are busy as it will take only 10 minutes to prepare, and then you leave it to cook.

        Freekeh, zucchini and pistachio salad

          Image source: Oh My Veggies

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          This is another great and healthy recipe for all salad lovers. The preparation process is rather simple and not time consuming, with a simple, yet tasteful fresh lemon juice and olive oil dressing. You can also add other vegetables according to your preferences.

          Freekehlicious Pumpkin and Chocolate Scones

            If you love sweets that are both healthy and delicious, this is the perfect recipe for you. This is a healthy treat full of fiber, protein and calcium.

            Lemon coconut freekeh cookies

              Image source: A Whisk and Two Wands

              Healthy and mouthful bites that you can eat as a snack. They are crunchy and will really make you feel full.

              Featured photo credit: https://pixabay.com/ via pixabay.com

              Reference

              More by this author

              Ana Erkic

              Social Media Consultant, Online Marketing Strategist, Copywriter, CEO and Co-Founder of Growato

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              Last Updated on March 13, 2019

              How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

              How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

              Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

              You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

              Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

              1. Work on the small tasks.

              When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

              Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

              2. Take a break from your work desk.

              Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

              Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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              3. Upgrade yourself

              Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

              The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

              4. Talk to a friend.

              Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

              Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

              5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

              If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

              Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

              Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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              6. Paint a vision to work towards.

              If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

              Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

              Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

              7. Read a book (or blog).

              The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

              Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

              Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

              8. Have a quick nap.

              If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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              9. Remember why you are doing this.

              Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

              What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

              10. Find some competition.

              Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

              Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

              11. Go exercise.

              Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

              Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

              As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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              Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

              12. Take a good break.

              Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

              Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

              Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

              Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

              More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

              Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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