Tabouli is a traditional Middle Eastern salad prepared from minced parsley and mint leaves, bulgur, olive oil, chopped tomatoes and cucumbers and seasonings such as garlic, red or green onions and lemon juice. Best made at least 30 minutes to one day in advance and refrigerated to develop maximum flavor, tabouli can be served with pita bread and hummus, as an appetizer with crackers, wrapped in lettuce leaves or as a side dish for meat, poultry or seafood.
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Rich in Heart-Healthy Fats
Tabouli may seem too high in fat to be healthy: A 1-cup serving of a typical tabouli recipe contains approximately 190 to 200 calories, with about 70 percent coming from fat, or between 14 to 15 total grams of fat. Because the primary source of fat in the dish is olive oil, however, the majority -- nearly 11 grams -- is from monounsaturated fat, a type of fat linked to a decreased risk of stroke and heart disease. Tabouli also contains smaller amounts of polyunsaturated and saturated fat.
High in Dietary Fiber
A 1-cup serving of tabouli may contain between 15 to 16 grams of total carbohydrates. Approximately 3 to 4 grams of these carbohydrates are supplied by dietary fiber, an amount that is about 10 percent of the daily requirement of fiber for a healthy man and 12 percent of the recommendation for a woman. The rest of the carbohydrates in a serving of tabouli are primarily supplied by starch.
Contains Incomplete Protein
Tabouli is not a rich source of protein, with around 3 grams in each 1-cup serving. The protein in tabouli does not consist of all the amino acids your body needs and is therefore considered an incomplete source of the nutrient. Tabouli can still play a role in a balanced diet containing adequate protein as long as you include protein-rich animal products or a variety of whole grains, beans, legumes, fruits and vegetables into your diet daily.
Excellent Source of Vitamin C
Men should have 90 milligrams of vitamin C each day, while women need about 75 milligrams. Each cup of tabouli prepared from a basic recipe provides over 20 percent of this requirement for both men and women. A diet high in vitamin C may lower your risk of cancer, osteoarthritis, hypertension and heart disease. Tabouli is also a good source of vitamin A, a nutrient that's vital for proper eye and immune system function.
Variety of Minerals
Tabouli is a good way to include iron, magnesium, zinc, calcium, phosphorus and copper in your diet. Together, these minerals build and maintain strong bones, support the health of your immune system and aid in the synthesis of red blood cells. Tabouli can be high in sodium, with a 1-cup serving containing as much as 800 milligrams of sodium, or more than 35 percent of the sodium a healthy adult should limit himself to each day. When you're making tabouli at home, avoid adding salt to keep your sodium intake under control.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- The Kitchn: Recipe - D.I.Y. Tabbouleh
- Simply Recipes: Tabbouleh
- Sunnyland Mills: Sunnyland Mills Tabbouleh Booklet - About Tabbouleh
- Fit Day: Nutrition Info For - Tabbouleh (Bulgar With Tomatoes and Parsley)
- Calorie Lab: Murphy's Deli Tabouli
- American Heart Association: Monounsaturated Fats
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Carbohydrates
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Protein
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin A (Retinol)
- Australian Government Department of Health and Aging: Vitamins and Minerals
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Most American Should Consume Less Sodium