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Semolina is a coarse flour made from durum wheat, a hard type of wheat.
When ground into a flour, durum wheat is known as semolina and used all over the world in bread, pasta, and porridge. This flour is darker and more golden in color than all-purpose flour. It has a mild, earthy aroma.
Along with its culinary uses, semolina also benefits weight management, heart health, and your digestive system.
This article reviews the nutrition, benefits, uses, and downsides of semolina.
Semolina flour can be enriched, meaning that food manufacturers re-add nutrients that were lost during the processing of the durum wheat grain. Enriched semolina contains higher levels of vitamins and minerals than unenriched alternatives (
A 1/3-cup (56-gram) serving of uncooked, enriched semolina provides (
- Calories: 198 calories
- Carbs: 40 grams
- Protein: 7 grams
- Fat: less than 1 gram
- Fiber: 7% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
- Thiamine: 41% of the RDI
- Folate: 36% of the RDI
- Riboflavin: 29% of the RDI
- Iron: 13% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 8% of the RDI
Semolina is high in protein and fiber — both of which slow digestion and increase feelings of fullness between meals (
Enriched semolina flour is nutritious and provides high levels of various B vitamins, iron, protein, and fiber.
May promote weight loss
Semolina is high in several nutrients that may support weight loss.
For starters, a 1/3 cup (56 grams) of uncooked, enriched semolina provides 7% of the RDI for fiber — a nutrient that many diets lack. Studies associate a fiber-rich diet with weight loss and lower body weight (
It can reduce feelings of hunger and prevent future weight gain. For example, a study in 252 women found that every 1-gram increase in dietary fiber per day resulted in weight loss of 0.5 pounds (0.25 kg) over 20 months (
Semolina is also rich in protein, with 1/3 cup (56 grams) of uncooked semolina providing over 7 grams (
Increasing protein in your diet has been shown to promote weight loss. For example, a review of 24 studies noted that a high-protein diet — compared to a standard-protein diet — resulted in 1.7 pounds (0.79 kg) greater weight loss (
Foods rich in protein and fiber — like semolina — can increase feelings of fullness and reduce hunger. In turn, this may promote weight loss.
Supports heart health
A fiber-rich diet may reduce your risk of heart disease. A review of 31 studies found that people with the highest fiber intake may have up to a 24% reduced risk of heart disease, compared to those with the lowest fiber intake (
Fiber may support heart health by lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol, blood pressure, and overall inflammation. A small 3-week study observed that eating 23 grams of fiber per day from whole grains like semolina reduced LDL cholesterol by 5% (
Furthermore, semolina contains other heart-healthy nutrients like folate and magnesium. Diets rich in these nutrients help support heart health.
A study in over 58,000 people found that the highest intake of folate — compared to the lowest intake — was associated with a 38% reduced risk of heart disease (
What’s more, studies indicate that magnesium-rich diets support overall heart health. For example, a study in over one million people showed that a 100 mg per day increase in dietary magnesium reduced heart failure risk by 22% and stroke risk by 7% (
Semolina is rich in nutrients like fiber, folate, and magnesium — all of which protect your heart and may reduce your risk of heart disease.
May improve blood sugar control
Semolina may improve blood sugar control due to its high levels of magnesium and dietary fiber. Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels is an important factor in reducing your risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease (
Magnesium may improve blood sugar control by increasing your cells’ response to insulin, a hormone that regulates your blood sugar levels. In fact, magnesium-rich diets have been associated with up to a 14% reduced risk of diabetes in some studies (
Semolina is also rich in fiber, a nutrient essential for blood sugar control. Fiber slows the absorption of carbs into your bloodstream, helping control blood sugar spikes after a meal. It can also lower fasting blood sugar levels in people with diabetes (
Semolina is a great source of magnesium and fiber — two nutrients that may improve blood sugar levels and reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes.
Rich in iron
Iron is an essential mineral that plays many roles in your body.
- transporting oxygen through your blood
- DNA synthesis
- growth and development
- immune system support
Without enough dietary iron, your body cannot produce enough red blood cells. As a result, a condition called iron-deficiency anemia may develop (
However, semolina — like other plants — contains non-heme iron, which is not absorbed as well as the heme iron found in animal products like meat, poultry, and fish (
Semolina is a good source of non-heme iron. Iron is an essential mineral for transporting oxygen, preventing anemia, and supporting growth and development.
Supports digestive health
Improved digestion is one of the many health benefits of dietary fiber. A 1/3-cup (56-gram) serving of uncooked, enriched semolina flour packs over 2 grams of fiber — or 7% of the RDI for this nutrient (
Dietary fiber provides many benefits for your digestive system. For example, it stimulates the growth of friendly gut bacteria. A healthy balance of gut bacteria affects many areas of health like optimal digestion, immune health, and metabolism (
Additionally, fiber intake promotes regular bowel movements and may help treat constipation. For instance, a two-week study found that people who ate 5 grams of additional whole-grain fiber daily had improvements in constipation and less bloating (
The high fiber content of semolina supports digestion by stimulating the growth of beneficial gut bacteria and promoting regular bowel movements.
Uses of semolina
Semolina is rich in gluten — a protein that provides structure to many types of bread, pasta, and other baked goods. The tough and stretchy texture of semolina makes it one of the best types of flour to use for making pasta (
Here are a few other ways to use semolina:
- Add a few teaspoons to bread dough for a crusty texture.
- Mix it with boiling milk, honey, and vanilla extract for a tasty dessert pudding or hot cereal.
- Swap regular flour with semolina to add extra crispness to dough recipes.
- Use it to thicken a stew or sauce.
- Sprinkle it over potatoes before roasting for additional crunch.
You can find semolina in many grocery stores next to the all-purpose flour and specialty grains. It’s also available online.
Semolina flour may go rancid if left open, so it’s best to store semolina in your refrigerator in an air-tight container.
The coarse and stretchy texture of semolina makes it an excellent type of flour for bread, pasta, and more.
There are some factors to consider before adding semolina to your diet.
Additionally, since semolina is made by grinding durum wheat, it can be harmful to individuals with an allergy to wheat (
Semolina is a gluten-containing grain, which is unsuitable for people with certain gluten disorders or those with an allergy to wheat.
The bottom line
Semolina is a flour made from ground durum wheat. It’s rich in protein, fiber, and B vitamins and may support weight loss, heart health, and digestion.
Most people can enjoy semolina with no issue, but a small percentage of the population may not tolerate it due to its gluten or wheat content.
If you can tolerate it, try adding semolina to your diet. Its high protein content is great for improving the structure and texture in recipes like pasta and bread.