Bread comes in many forms that one can compliment small or heavy meals. One such variety of bread is the pita bread which originated in Greece. But, now people enjoy it across the world. It is a circular, leavened double-layered flatbread. In addition, due to its nutritional profile, pita bread is full of health benefits. For example, it is rich in vitamins and minerals. It also has a high content of fibre which aids in digestion and weight loss.
Pita bread brings other health benefits to you as well. For instance, it is low in calories and great for reducing cholesterol and blood sugar. It is a daily staple for millions across the globe due to its expansive nutrient profile. Pita bread has a pocket to hold food. In addition, pita bread enhances dishes ranging from soups to pasta. Pair your pita bread with a healthy falafel and have a nutritious, filling meal for the day.
The HealthifyMe Note
Pita bread is also called Arabic bread, Sami and pocket bread. It is a staple of Greek, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines. People named it pocket bread because it has a pocket to hold food. You can fill a pita with your favourite salads and veggies. You can also stuff it with a dry, healthy curry of your choice.
How to Make Pita Bread?
- Dry yeast: 2 tsp
- Sugar: ½ tsp
- Whole-wheat flour: 250 g (1 cup)
- Multigrain flour: 250 g (1 cup)
- Kosher salt: 1 tsp
- Olive Oil: 2 tbsp
Method of Preparation
- Put 1 cup of lukewarm water in a large bowl. Then, add yeast and sugar, whole-wheat flour and ¼ cup multigrain flour. Whisk together all the ingredients. Cover it for about a quarter-hour.
- Add salt, vegetable oil and the remaining multigrain flour to the mix.
- Stir until the mixture forms a soft dough, then knead until smooth.
- Cover and let it rest for 10 minutes. Then knead again for two minutes.
- Do not add flour excessively. The dough should be soft and moist.
- Put the bowl in a warm place and leave it for about 1 hour.
- Heat the oven to 475 degrees. Poke holes with your finger into the leavened dough and divide it into eight pieces of equal-sized balls.
- Cover dough balls with a damp towel and leave for 10 minutes.
- Take one ball and press it into a flat disk with a rolling pin. Roll into a circle, dusting flour if necessary.
- Lift the flat dough disk and place it on the hot baking sheet. Bake it for 2 minutes.
- The pita should be pale in colour, with only a couple of brown speckles.
- Transfer warm pita and repeat with the remaining dough balls.
How to Make Keto Pita Bread?
- Flaxseeds Whole And Ground: 1 tbsp
- Lemon juice fresh: 1 tsp
- Raw egg whole: 1 medium
- Warm water- ¾ cup
- Food Cupboard Home Baking Almonds Ground by Sainsbury’s: 100 g
- Baking Soda: ½ tsp
- Olive oil: ½ tbsp
- Salt, Sea Salt: ¼ tsp
- Black Pepper: ⅛ tsp
Method of Preparation
- Preheat the oven to 360 degrees.
- Add the ground almonds, flaxseed, baking soda, salt and pepper to a blending bowl and stir well to mix.
- In a separate bowl, beat the egg and oil together.
- Pour the egg mixture into the dry mix and mix to combine.
- Add lemon juice and warm water to a bowl and slowly beat until it turns into a thick batter.
- Make five even oval shapes throughout the coated baking tray with the batter.
- Transfer to the oven to bake for 15 minutes, flip and bake for an additional 10 minutes until golden brown.
Nutritional Properties of Pita Bread
Pita bread contains vitamins and minerals like iron, calcium, potassium and many more. Calcium is suitable for forming strong bones, and iron is vital in creating red blood cells for transporting oxygen into the body. Vitamins help convert food into energy and keep the brain and nerves functioning properly. Additionally, pita bread contains high amounts of fibre.
As per USDA, around 100 grams of pita bread serving contains:
- Calories: 262 kcal
- Carbohydrates: 55.9 g
- Fat: 1.71 g
- Protein: 9.8 g
- Fibre: 6.1g
Vitamins and Minerals
Pita bread also contains a fair amount of vitamins and minerals.
- Potassium: 170 mg
- Calcium: 15 mg
- Iron: 3.06 mg
- Vitamin B6: 0.265 mg
- Sodium: 421 mg
- Phosphorus: 180 mg
- Magnesium: 69 mg
Health Benefits of Pita Bread
Improves Heart Health
High levels of bad cholesterol cause multiple cardiovascular diseases. These diseases include heart attack, stroke etc. Studies show that dietary fibre in pita bread helps in reducing cholesterol. It happens because fibre binds with cholesterol and carries it out of the body.
The dietary fibre helps in improving bowel movements. Also, our stool becomes softened as dietary fibre absorbs water in the intestines. As a result, the stool passes out smoothly due to water absorption. Thus, fibre-rich foods like pita bread prevent constipation.
Pita bread also improves gut health by fostering good bacteria in the body. In addition, studies have suggested that dietary fibre prevents infections and inflammation by improving immunity.
Improves Brain Function
Pita bread is a rich source of iron, magnesium and many other nutrients. Iron is essential since the body uses it to make haemoglobin and myoglobin. Haemoglobin plays a significant role in transporting oxygen to organs. Low iron levels in the body can result in anaemia. Due to the lack of iron, the oxygen supply to the brain reduces.
Manganese and selenium are antioxidant nutrients found in a pita. Studies have demonstrated that antioxidant nutrients reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by reducing the oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Moreover, antioxidants protect the brain cells and tissues and slow down the development of the disease.
Pita Bread Helps in Weight Management
Pita bread fits effectively in a weight loss diet plan and is full of dietary fibre, essential to weight management. Moreover, fibre keeps one satiated for extended periods. It reduces the urge to snack on unhealthy and fast foods. Therefore, it helps prevent unhealthy weight gain.
Pita bread is a fair source of protein, with 5.5g of protein in 1 medium whole-wheat pita bread. It contains essential amino acids. They are vital in building up muscle. According to studies, proteins help boost your metabolism. Thus, consuming pita bread can help with losing weight.
Improves Bone Health
Pita bread has very high mineral content. It also includes phosphorus, manganese, and magnesium. Research suggests that phosphorus is one of the essential nutrients for healthy bones. They improve bone density and prevent fractures. In addition, it reduces the risk of diseases like osteoporosis.
Pita Bread Strengthens Immunity
Antioxidants are beneficial to our immune function. Fibre also plays a role in immunity. Studies show that fibre acts as food for the bacteria within the gut. Therefore, it promotes the growth of good gut bacteria. Simultaneously, it also destroys harmful bacteria.
Pita bread reduces inflammation within the body. As a result, it improves the immune reaction to pathogens and destroys them. It also helps in regulating bowel movements.
The HealthifyMe Note
Pita bread has a rich nutrient profile. Therefore, the health benefits are innumerable. It is rich in fibre, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals. Pita bread can help reduce cholesterol levels and lower the risk of heart diseases and type 2 diabetes. The fibre content in whole grain pita bread is very high and aids digestion. Pita bread is a fulfilling food that increases satiety, which is good for weight loss.
Delicious and Healthy Recipes
1. Jalapeno Popper Pita Pizza
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
- Whole-wheat pita bread: 1
- Nonfat Greek Yogurt: 1 tbsp
- Farm dust seasoning: 1 pinch
- Fresh jalapeno, sliced (seeds removed if you prefer): 2 tbsp
- Garlic powder: A pinch
- Shredded cheddar cheese: 20 g
- Shredded Chicken: 2 tsp
Method of Preparation
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Combine cheese and yoghurt, and spread it onto the pita.
- Top with shredded chicken, and sliced jalapeno, then top with the cheddar cheese.
- Bake for 7-10 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly and turns golden brown.
2. Hummus Stuffed Pita
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cook time:15 minutes
Total serving: Serves 4
- Grated lemon rind: 1 tsp
- Plain hummus: 250 g
- Whole wheat pitas: 4 (6-inch)
- Green leaf lettuce leaves halved: 4
- English cucumber: 1¼ cups
- Sliced radishes: ¾ cup
- Sliced red onion: ⅓ cup
- Crumbled feta cheese: ½ cup
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Steamed sugar snap peas
Method of Preparation
- Open up your pita and spread a layer of hummus.
- Stuff with spring mix, carrots, and radishes, and evenly sprinkle in feta cheese.
Storing Homemade Pita Bread
Homemade pita bread is both delicious and inexpensive to form. Once you’ve made your homemade pita, store it at room temperature in a bread box for a maximum of two days. After that, try keeping it within the freezer for longevity. It would help if you wrapped your pita bread individually in wrapping before placing them in freezer bags for freezing. You can store it for up to a month in the freezer. Like store-bought pita bread, Homemade pita shouldn’t be refrigerated because it will dry out.
Storing Homemade Pita Chips
Homemade pita chips are easy to store, but before storing, confirm that the pita chips are completely cooled. Then store them in an airtight container or ziplock bag at room temperature for three days and a maximum of up to 1 week.
Storing Pita Dough
If you’ve made pita dough and aren’t getting to cook it, the dough must be kept in the refrigerator. To refrigerate pita dough, prepare the dough and punch the dough down after the first rise. Next, wrap the dough in a wrapping sheet and refrigerate for up to a week. You can keep pita dough for six months to at least one year in the freezer if you wrap it properly.
The HealthifyMe Note
If you have cut the dough into smaller portions, wrap each section tightly with wrapping before freezing. The dough will last the longest if you set your freezer to -10. When you want to use your dough, defrost and let it rise a second time before baking as you usually would.
Precautions and Certain Things to Keep in Mind
Pita bread can cause allergic reactions, albeit infrequently. As it contains gluten, it can cause irritation, stomach ache, and rashes for people with gluten sensitivity or gluten allergy.
If you are on a keto diet, you must be aware of the amount of pita bread you have. If you have pita bread while on keto, you must ensure that the recipes you follow are low in carbs.
Pita bread contains high amounts of potassium which is harmful to people with kidney problems. It works harder to excrete potassium when the kidney’s function drops down. Therefore, this can worsen the condition, so it is advisable to avoid pita bread in such cases.
Pita bread comprises wheat-containing fructans and FODMAPs, which cause bloating in the stomach, stomach pain, and diarrhoea for some people.
Mostly store-bought pita bread is made with more refined flour or maida. So whether opting for ready-made or homemade, try to pick the healthier option, check labels and choose pita bread made up of whole wheat flour or multigrain flour with refined flour-free options. That will help you get all mentioned benefits.
Pita bread is nutritional and helps you meet your dietary requirements. Also, it is rich in many vital nutrients. In addition, it has reasonable amounts of protein and fibre. High protein and fibre content make pita bread a go-to option for diabetes.
Pita bread also has many other health benefits. For instance, they aid in weight loss, heart health, immunity, etc. You can also use them for healthy, innovative dishes. However, if you have a history of food allergies, be cautious while eating pita bread.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. Is eating pita bread healthy?
A. It’s a healthy choice in the bread category. It is a rich supply of protein and carbohydrates. Moreover, it contains reasonable quantities of vitamin B, selenium and manganese that work together as antioxidants. Plus, Pita bread is low in calories and a top-notch source of iron.
Q. Is pita bread the healthiest bread?
A. It depends on what amount of pita bread you are having. Pita bread has more fibre than brown bread, making it a healthier option than brown bread. However, pita bread made with sprouted wheat flour has more than three times the amount of folate and vitamins essential for turning food into energy as pita bread made without sprouted wheat flour.
Q. Is pita good for weight loss?
A. Pita bread is perfect for a weight loss journey. Pita bread is full of nutritional fibre, which is critical to weight management. Furthermore, fibre keeps one satiated for extended intervals. As a result, you do not snack on unhealthy options as often. Plus, pita bread is a good source of protein. It contains essential amino acids. These amino acids are critical in building up muscle. Also, proteins are beneficial in boosting our metabolism. Hence, pita bread can help in losing weight.
Q. Is pita bread low in carbs?
A. No, pita bread isn’t low in carbs. It depends on which recipe you follow or how you consume your pita bread. However, pita bread can be a staple to your low-carb weight-reduction plan, as long as you select what your bread is made of correctly. For example, a small four-inch whole wheat pita contains 15.7 grams of carbs. However, it has 2 g of fibre, making it nutritious.
Q. Can I eat pita on keto?
A. Yes, you may eat pita bread on the keto diet. However, you must ensure that the recipes you follow are low in carbs, as regular pita bread recipes with whole-wheat flour include 30 grams of carbs. You could use almond flour or coconut flour to reduce the number of carbs. There are many recipes about how to make keto-friendly pita bread available online.
Q. Is pita bread made of maida?
A. Traditionally, pita bread is made from maida to make it more smooth, with a bit of wheat flour to add flavour and colour. However, we can make pita bread with whole wheat flour. Also, made with 100% wheat flour, whole wheat pita is much healthier than the one made of refined flour. Moreover, whole wheat flour provides a nutty, rustic flavour to the bread. You can make it in an oven or on the stovetop. Pita bread made of whole wheat flour is always fluffy.
Q. Is pita bread gluten-free?
A. No, pita bread isn’t always gluten-free. Pita bread’s pillow-like texture is so because of the gluten in the wheat. However, you can make gluten-free pita bread by substituting wheat flour with gluten-free flour.