Pita bread has been around in various versions for centuries. In fact, it has been a popular bread in many cultures and countries around the world.
But what exactly is pita bread? It is a yeast-leavened, round flatbread baked with wheat flour. The bread separates into two layers when baked. This creates a pocket that has made this versatile bread great for stuffing with a variety of meats and veggies or even falafel and hummus.
The health benefits of pita bread include a low calorie, protein and carb content, vitamins, fiber, and minerals.
Pita bread is not only nutritious but it can also be used in a variety of recipes and meal ideas, making it a great option for weekday or weeknight meals alike.
What Is Pita Bread?
Before we tackle the many health benefits of pita bread, we must first tackle what it is. Pita bread is a dense, chewy flatbread that is popular in the Mediterranean and the Middle East, and around the world.
Its shape and texture can change based on the region, but generally, it has a mild and sweet taste that is similar to other wheat bread.
Credits: Kate Remmer
Pita bread is often used to enjoy dips and grilled meats and even falafel. It has also been used to enjoy veggies, tahini, and other traditional Mediterranean foods.
What Is Pita Bread Made Of?
The main ingredients in pita bread are wheat, flour, water, yeast, and salt. Depending on where you’re located or the recipe, pita bread can also contain olive oil and/or honey.
What Vitamins And Minerals Are In Pita Bread?
The following is a list of nutritional minerals and vitamins that are found in whole wheat pita bread:
- Calories (kcal) 145
- Fat 1.2 grams
- Saturated fat 0.2 grams
- Polyunsaturated fat 0.5 grams
- Monounsaturated fats 0.1 grams
- Cholesterol 0 mg
- Sodium 536 mg
- Potassium 120 mg
- Carbohydrate 56 grams
- Fiber food 2.2 grams
- Protein 9 grams
- Vitamin A 0 IU
- Vitamin C 0 mg
- Vitamin B6 0 mg
- Vitamin B12 0 μg
- Calcium 86 mg
- Iron 1.4 mg
- Magnesium 26 mg
6 Amazing Health Benefits Of Pita Bread
1. Pita Bread Can Be Low Calorie
One of the health benefits of pita bread is that it is low in calories, at least when compared to other bread types and regular wheat bread. It is a great option to lower your calories in sandwiches or other meals that require bread.
Typically, one pita is around 145 calories. This means that a pita typically will be fewer calories than using two slices of bread.
2. Proteins In Pita Bread
Another health benefit of pita bread is its protein content. In a 39-gram serving of pita bread, you will find 4 grams of protein.
3. Carbohydrates Of Pita Bread
Pita bread can be a lower carb option in terms of bread choices. Pita bread typically has 17 grams of carbs per serving. In comparison, non-Keto bread typically has roughly 20 grams of carbohydrates per serving.
4. Vitamin Content Of Pita Bread
Pita Bread also offers many vitamin and mineral benefits. In fact, it contains selenium, vitamin B, niacin, riboflavin, folate, and thiamin.
It is an especially good source of selenium, offering about 16.3 micrograms. That is more than 30% of the recommended daily dose of 45 micrograms.
Whole wheat pita bread also offers 14% of the recommended daily value of thiamine. Whole wheat pita bread also has the following daily percentage values of important vitamins: 24% daily value for thiamine, 12% daily value for riboflavin, 14% daily value for niacin, and 16% daily value for folate.
5. Fiber Benefits Of Pita Bread
Pita bread is also a great source of fiber, offering 6 grams, which can make you feel more full and promotes digestion. Fiber can help lower cholesterol and reduce the chance of type 2 diabetes.
6. Blood Sugar Benefits Of Pita Bread
Due to its fiber content, pita bread can also help bring blood sugar levels down and prevent levels from spiking.
What Are The Calories Of Pita Bread?
One large pita bread generally offers about 170 calories. Based on a recommended daily calorie intake of 2000, a whole wheat pita is a small percentage of your allotted daily calories.
What Is Healthier: Pita Or Traditional Bread?
|Pita Bread||Two Slices Of Whole Bread|
|140 Calories||120 Calories|
|130 Mg Sodium||250 Mg Sodium|
|3 G Of Fiber||4 G Dietary Fiber|
These numbers are very similar, meaning that two slices of wheat bread and a pita are similar in nutrition, with pitas being the lower sodium option.
The biggest nutritional difference is the quality of the ingredients. For example, white bread doesn’t contain the same nutrition consistency nor as much fiber as a whole-wheat pita.
Generally, pita bread can offer the following health benefits:
- Reduce glucose levels
- Up your energy
- Aid in digestion
- Promote weight loss as part of a balanced diet
- Provide protein
Whole Wheat Pitas Can Reduce Colon Cancer
Due to its whole grain content, pitas can also decrease your risk of colon cancer as whole grains contain fiber and antioxidants that have been proven to reduce the risk of colon cancer.
In fact, recent studies have found that the daily consumption of whole grains can reduce colorectal cancer risk and the more you eat the lower your risk. It found that eating approximately three servings of whole grains, or 90 grams, reduces your risk of colorectal cancer by 17 percent.
Can Pita Bread Help You Lose Weight?
Yes, pita bread can help you lose weight due to its low-calorie content as well as its protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and carb count.
Pita bread’s fiber content will also make you feel fuller for longer periods of time and can stop you from overeating.
It can also be a great option for a low-carb diet, in moderation. A small pita can give you roughly 13.5 net carbs and can again make you feel more full than other options which can in turn assist you with your weight loss.
How To Eat Pita Bread
There are numerous ways that you can incorporate pita bread into your diet and meal prep/planning.
Sandwiches: Pita bread is a great sandwich option! Due to the pocket that naturally occurs in the middle of the pita, it’s a great option to stuff with your favorite sandwich ingredients such as meat, cheese, veggies, and spreads!
Pizzas: Due to their shape, pita bread also makes a great option as a crust for a pizza. Just spread some pizza sauce for the base, add some cheese and then finish it with a few of your favorite pizza options. Pop it in the oven for a few minutes and you got a great and quick pizza meal!
Toasted Bread For Dips And Spreads: You can also toast your pita bread and use it as a way to eat your favorite dips and spreads for everything from hummus and baba ganoush to apple butter and peanut butter and more.
Nachos: You can toast your pita bread a little more so they’re extra crisp and use them as a healthy version of nachos. The sky’s the limit as far as toppings. You can make traditional nachos with cheese, pico, meats, and guacamole or make a Mediterranean version with hummus, olives, feta cheese, and mint.
What Is The Healthiest Pita Bread
Although pita bread is healthy, not all types of pita bread are equal in their nutritional value.
Some healthier pita bread brands include:
- Joseph’s Flax Oat Bran & Whole Wheat Pita Bread
- 60 calories per pita, 300 mg sodium, 8 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, and 6 grams of protein
- Kontos Whole Wheat Pocket Pita
- 140 calories per pita, 130 mg sodium, 31 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, and 6 grams of protein
- Ezekiel 4:9® Whole Grain POCKET BREAD
- Vegan, 110 calories per pita, 100 mg of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, and 5 grams of protein
- Oroweat Healthy Multi-Grain Pocket Thins Flatbread
- 100 calories, 190 grams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, and 4 grams of protein
No matter what brand of pita bread you choose, don’t forget to check the label. Look for information such as calories, carbs, sodium, fiber, protein, and other clean ingredients to find the healthiest options.
What Is The History Of Pita Bread?
Pita bread has a long and rich history. Archaeologists found the first traces of the bread from west of the Mediterranean with the desert and farming societies, Bedouins or Amorites.
As these groups traveled and exchanged goods and services across the Arabian and Sahara deserts, they took the tradition of pita bread with them and increased its popularity.
There’s even evidence that this bread was eaten 14,500 years ago during the Stone Age.
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What Are Other Healthy Bread Options
Other healthy bread options include sprouted whole grain, 100% whole wheat, oat bread, flax bread, and sprouted rye bread.
Some brands to keep an eye out for include Nature’s Own, Dave’s Killer Bread, Canyon House, Food for Life, and Orowheat.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which Is Healthier Naan Or Pita?
When it comes to bread, pita is the healthier choice. This is because naan is made with butter and oil, which makes it high in fat and calories. Pita bread, on the other hand, is made with flour and water. It’s also easier to make, as it does not require a yeast starter.
Can You Freeze Pita Bread?
Pita bread can be frozen for up to three months in a bread box or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and stored in the freezer. It is best to place the bread on a tray in the freezer and remove the bread when it is frozen solid.
Which Is Better Pita Or Tortilla?
There is no clear answer to this question. Both types of bread have their advantages and disadvantages. Tortillas are more flexible and easier to use. Pita bread is usually dense and has a stronger flavor.
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