A soft, freshly baked piece of bread is a perfect addition to your small or heavy meal. Pair it with your favorite veggies or meat variety, and it certainly tastes well with all your favorites. But, have you ever mulled over the health benefits of pita bread?
Pita bread has its historical roots in Greece, and it is now being enjoyed worldwide because of its nutritional profile. Understanding the benefits of this pocket bread and including it in your balanced diet is going to work well for your health goals!
A moderate quantity of your favorite dish or meal is going to benefit you in many ways. Let’s take a look.
Ingredients Used in Pita Bread
Like any other food, the ingredients in pita bread may vary by variety and brand you choose. Traditionally, it can be made out of,
Flour: The base of pita bread is made with whole wheat flour, or sometimes the bakers use whole-purpose flour also. It may vary by the quality.
Water: Water is added to the flour
Yeast: It helps to make the dough puff up, and keeps the pita bread soft and fluffy.
Olive Oil: This can be an additive to get the texture and flavor. It helps in making the bread smoother.
Salt: Salt is added to enhance the flavor of the dough.
Sugar or Honey: Some people add sugar to complement the yeast, and others just to get the sweet taste.
Now, these common ingredients are there in every brand and type you choose, but there will be slight variations in the quality of these ingredients as the brand changes. Also, it is essential to consider the allergens while choosing your favorite type of pita.
The Potential Allergens Are
Wheat: Since the base of pita bread is flour, the wheat content in it may cause allergies in gluten-sensitive individuals because of the gluten content. Consuming without considering this fact can cause digestive discomfort, skin irritations, and other allergic reactions.
Sesame seeds: If you have an allergy to sesame seeds, it must be causing serious allergic reactions to you including, itching, wheezing, nausea, nasal congestion, etc.
Gluten: The wheat content may be responsible for the presence of gluten in pita bread, which makes it not suitable for individuals having celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
While purchasing your favorite brand of pita bread, always make sure about your particular allergies and the allergens included in the bread. If you consider whole wheat pita bread unsuitable for your health, gluten-free alternatives are available in the market nowadays.
Nutritional Value of Pita Bread
The nutritional properties can vary depending on the brand and variety you are choosing. For a 15 cm pita bread, the nutritional values can be:
|Calories||Approximately 170 calories|
|Carbohydrates||Around 35 grams|
|Protein||About 6 grams|
|Fiber Content||1–2 grams|
|Sodium||Around 300 milligrams|
|Vitamins and Minerals||B Vitamins, Iron, Magnesium|
When compared to whole wheat pita bread, white pit bread is less in nutrient content because of the change in ingredients.
The Nutritional Content in Whole Wheat Pita Bread
- It is made from whole wheat, and it contains more fiber content and nutrients.
- The fiber content helps in digestive health and maintains sugar level
- Magnesium, Iron, and B Vitamins are the main components provided by whole wheat pita bread.
Nutritional Content in White Pita Bread
- It may lose some nutrients and fiber in content as it is made of refined wheat.
- As the endosperm of the wheat kernel is only taken in the flour, it may lack fiber, leading to digestive discomfort in individuals having digestive issues.
- Due to the refining process, it may contain only a few vitamins and minerals
It is visible that, whole wheat pita bread is a healthy choice when compared to white pita bread because of the high amount of nutrients and dietary fiber. If you have specific dietary preferences, you may include whole-wheat pita bread in your diet to improve your fiber intake.
Effects on Pregnant Women
Pita bread contains carbohydrates, that help provide energy, hence it can be a part of a healthy diet. The increased fiber content in whole wheat pita bread makes it a healthy choice for pregnant women, as it helps in digestive health.
The lower glycemic index in whole wheat pita bread helps balance your blood sugar levels. Also, the folic acid content helps prevent birth defects of the baby.
Effects on Lactating Women
For energy production and gaining nutrients, lactating women can include whole wheat pita bread in their balanced diet. Since other vitamins and minerals are also essential for a lactating mother, pita bread should only be a part of their nutritious diet including vegetables, fruits, etc.
Effects on Diabetics
In the case of diabetics, the quantity of carbohydrate intake should be reduced while having pita bread. A lower glycemic index and higher fiber content make whole wheat pita bread a good choice for them. A lower glycemic index helps balance your blood sugar levels.
Pita Bread’s Impact on
Gut Health: The high fiber content helps support digestive health, preventing constipation and other digestion issues promoting better gut health.
Kidney Health: In general, sodium amount is less in pita bread, but people who are having kidney problems should be watchful of their sodium intake. The high potassium content harms such people if they do not take care of their total pita bread intake.
Heart Health: The overall fat content is low in whole wheat pita bread. It will help maintain the heart health. In addition, the fiber content helps in reducing the LDL cholesterol, which in turn reduces the risk of heart disease.
Liver Health: Excess fat intake can cause fatty liver disease, therefore opting for whole wheat pita bread is good as it contains low saturated fat.
Which One is Better?
Let’s see what is in a single loaf of bread and a whole pita bread.
One Whole Pita Bread
Calories – 140 cal
Fiber – 132 mg
Sodium – 3 gm
One loaf of Bread
Calories – 122 cal
Sodium – 250 mg
Fiber – 4 gm
The dietary fiber in a normal loaf of bread is comparatively higher than that in pita bread. But those who are into a low-salt diet can always choose pita due to its low sodium content.
No matter what variety or brand you go for, always choose the best quality with all the goodness of the grains. Because it goes well with your healthy and satisfying meal. The nutritional factors are making pita a healthy choice, and a lot more than just a piece of bread.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Pita bread can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days, or you can freeze it to extend its shelf life.
Yes. Pita bread is a good source of digestive fiber, which is essential for weight management. It makes you feel satisfied after a meal.
No. The carbohydrates in pita bread are high, also they may vary by the ingredients in different varieties and brands. You can always choose pita bread as part of your diet if consumed in moderation.