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Suji (Semolina): Uses, Benefits, Side Effects By Dr. Rajeev Singh

By Dr Rajeev Singh +2 more

Introduction: 

Suji is also known as semolina which is called rava in Indian households and it is a by-product of durum wheat. Suji is coarse middling made from durum wheat. The scientific name of durum wheat is Triticum Durum and is a widely used cereal crop in the Mediterranean region.1 Suji is an ingredient that can be used for breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks.  Suji can be a time saver on busy days since it can be cooked into numerous dishes in very little time. It is extensively used to prepare a variety of Indian dishes like rava dosa, upma, dhokla and many more. Let us look at some of the semolina benefits. 

suji benefits

Nutritional Value of Suji: 

Suji contains various nutritional components given as follows: 

Nutritional Component Amount 
Water 12.7 g 
Protein 12.7 g 
Fat 1.05 g 
Fibre 3.9 g 
Calcium 17 mg 
Iron 1.23 mg 
Magnesium 47 mg 
Phosphorus 136 mg 
Potassium 186 mg 
Sodium 1 mg 
Zinc 1.05 mg 
Copper 0.189 mg 

Table 1: Nutritional Value of Suji2 

Also Read: Besan: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects By Dr. Rajeev Singh

Properties of Suji: 

Did you know that Durum wheat, also known as Triticum durum, is the second most cultivated species of wheat after the commonly used variety of wheat? It is interesting to note that Durum wheat is rich in gluten and is considered the toughest of all wheat types.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

Suji may possess the following properties: 

  • It may have properties to improve the heart function 
  • It may possess anti-diabetic properties 
  • It may protect against cancer 
  • It may improve the digestive health 
  • It may have properties to lower the cholesterol 
  • It may be an antioxidant3 

Also Read: Dried Dates: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects By Dr. Rajeev Singh

Potential Uses of Suji for Overall Health: 

Based on my experience, I have observed that durum wheat, including the whole grains and whole-grain flour, may have antimicrobial properties. This is because it contains Azelaic Acid (AzA), which is known for its ability to fight against bacteria and reduce inflammation. I have seen AzA being used in the treatment of acne vulgaris and rosacea, and the presence of this compound in durum wheat suggests that it may contribute to its antimicrobial effects.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Some of the potential uses of suji are described as follows: 

1. Potential use of suji to improve immunity 

Suji may have immunoregulatory properties (balancing the immune cell functions) that may help to build immunity. A constituent arabinoxylans, present in suji may also help in stimulating the immune system to fight against diseases. Further studies are required to assess the true effect of suji on the immune system in the human body.3 

2. Potential use of suji for diabetes 

Suji may have anti-diabetic properties due to the presence of a plant constituent arabinoxylans. Consumption of suji may lower the blood sugar level rise after that meal. However, you must check your blood sugar level regularly and consult your doctor in case of high blood sugar levels instead of self-medicating.3 

3. Potential use of suji for heart health 

Suji may be used in the case of cardiovascular diseases to improve heart health. Tocopherol and phenols which are the plant constituents present in suji may reduce the risk of heart diseases. However, further studies are required to study the effect of suji on the human heart. You must immediately seek medical help if you experience any symptoms related to heart disease.3 

4. Potential use of suji for colon cancer 

Suji is an important source of dietary fibre and consumption of dietary fibre is associated with a reduced risk of colon cancer. However, further studies on animals and humans are required to check the effect of suji on reducing the risk of colon cancer. Cancer is a serious disease; therefore, you must get proper treatment for it instead of self-medicating. 3 

5. Potential use of suji for digestive health 

Suji is a good source of dietary fibre and plays an important role in gastrointestinal function (function related to the stomach and intestine). Suji may increase accelerate the digestion and increase the faecal bulk. Further studies are required to check the effect of suji on the digestive health of humans. However, you must consult your doctor if you feel discomfort in your stomach. 3 

6. Potential use of suji for cholesterol control 

Suji may be used to control the cholesterol levels in the body. A constituent, arabinoxylans in suji may be responsible for controlling cholesterol levels due to its antioxidant activity. However, further studies are required to check the activity of suji for controlling cholesterol. However, you must get your cholesterol checked regularly and consult your doctor in case of high cholesterol levels. 3 

7. Potential use of suji as a prebiotic 

The dietary component that encourages the development of healthy intestinal bacteria is known as prebiotics. Suji may have a prebiotic effect and may help in the protection of the gut. A constituent of arabinoxylans may be responsible for the prebiotic effect and may reduce the risk of several chronic diseases. This prebiotic nature of suji may help in easy bowel movement, reduce the risk of intestinal function, and improve immune function. However, further studies are required to evaluate the probiotic effect of suji on the human body.3 

8. Potential use of suji as an antioxidant 

Suji may have antioxidant properties due to the presence of ferulic acid in it. Suji may deactivate and eliminate harmful free radicals which may lead to some chronic diseases. This may lead to, enhancing the activity of enzymes responsible for the antioxidant effect. However, further studies are required to check the antioxidant effect of suji on humans.3 

Though studies show the benefits of suji in various conditions, these are insufficient. There is a need for further studies to establish the true extent of the benefits of suji on human health. 

Also Read: Pine Nuts: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects By Dr. Rajeev Singh

How to Use Suji? 

Suji can be used as a part of meals of various cuisines like idli, dosa, dhokla, upma, pasta, cakes and many more food items can be made from suji. 

You must consult a qualified doctor before taking suji regularly. Do not discontinue or replace an ongoing treatment of modern medicine with an ayurvedic/herbal preparation without consulting a qualified doctor. 

Side Effects of Suji: 

Since suji is made of durum wheat, it may cause wheat allergy with the following symptoms: 

  • May cause nausea and vomiting 
  • May cause indigestion 
  • May cause diarrhoea 
  • May cause sneezing 
  • May cause headaches4 

Precautions to Take with Suji: 

Consumption of suji may be a risk for those who are allergic and intolerant.4 

General precautions should be taken while having suji, as in any other general medicine. Pregnant women and lactating mothers should take special care. You must consult your doctor before having suji. Precaution should be taken before giving suji to the elderly or children4. In such cases, you must have suji only if your doctor prescribes it. 

Interactions with Other Drugs: 

There is not enough evidence on the interaction of suji with other drugs. Further studies on the interaction of suji are required. Therefore, it is essential to consult your doctor if you are on any other medication before consuming suji. 

Also Read: Wheat: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects By Dr. Rajeev Singh

Frequently Asked Questions: 

1) What are suji’s benefits? 

Suji may be used to improve immunity, in case of diabetes, lower cholesterol, improve heart health, reduce the risk of colon cancer, improve digestive function and as a prebiotic.3 

2) What are the disadvantages of eating suji? 

 Suji’s side effects may include nausea and vomiting, indigestion, diarrhoea, sneezing, and headaches. Consumption of suji may be detrimental for those who are allergic and intolerant to gluten.4 

3) What are semolina benefits for heart health? 

Plant constituents like tocopherols and phenols may protect the heart and reduce the risk of heart diseases.3 

4) Is semolina used for cancer? 

Yes, semolina may reduce the risk of colon cancer. Cancer is a serious disease; therefore, you must get proper treatment for it instead of self-medicating. 3 

5) Semolina is good for weight loss? 

Yes, semolina may help in weight management due to the presence of fibres in it.3 

References: 

1) Abecassis, Joel & Autran, J.C. & Feillet, P. (2001). Durum wheat, semolina and pasta quality. Recent achievements and new trends. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/342029017_Durum_wheat_semolina_and_pasta_quality_Recent_achievements_and_new_trends 

2) Food Data Central [Internet]. [cited 2022 Aug 9] Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168933/nutrients 

3) María Ciudad-Mulero, Lillian Barros,  ngela Fernandes, Isabel C.F.R. Ferreira, M Jesús Callejo, M Cruz Matallana-González, Virginia Fernández-Ruiz, Patricia Morales, José M. Carrillo. 2020;12(2): 504. Available from: 10.3390/nu12020504 

4) Wheat Allergy. [Internet] Cleveland Clinic [cited 2022 Aug 9]. Available from: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/17717-wheat-allergy  

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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