Bulgur vs Wheat germ: How To Choose?

This article explains the key similarities and differences between bulgur and wheat germ, foods from the grains food group. Read on to learn more about the bulgur vs wheat germ comparison.
Michael Whaley, Health Writer

Written by Michael Whaley, Health Writer. Updated on February 3, 2023.

Bulgur and wheat germ belong to the grains food group, one of the staple food groups for people on a plant-based diet.

Grains and grain products are an affordable source of carbohydrates, as well as essential vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins (such as thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin), iron, and zinc, minerals that are usually harder to get on a plant-based diet.

They also provide a small amount of protein and healthy fats.

However, it is important to note that whole grains are generally a better source of these nutrients than refined grains.

This article will thoroughly compare bulgur and wheat germ and help you learn more about their similarities and differences.


Bulgur (Triticum aestivum) is a type of whole wheat that is made by steaming, drying, and then coarsely grinding wheat berries.

It is a good source of carbohydrates, dietary fibers, and small amounts of vitamins and minerals like iron, zinc, and B-vitamins. It is also rich in antioxidants and protein, making it a valuable food for vegetarians and vegans.

Bulgur is a staple ingredient in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines, often used in dishes such as tabbouleh and kibbeh. It can also be used in soups, stews, and as a stuffing. It is also gluten-free and easy to digest, making it a great option for people with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.

Bulgur is considered a functional food, as it has been shown to positively impact health when consumed regularly as part of a balanced diet. It is also a sustainable crop, as it can be grown in poor soil conditions and is resistant to pests and diseases.

Bulgur is an excellent source of Vitamin B3 (Niacin).

It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine) and some Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), and Vitamin B9 (Folate).

Wheat germ

Wheat germ (Triticum aestivum) is a by-product of wheat milling and is derived from the inner part of the wheat kernel.

It is a good source of essential nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy fats. It is particularly high in vitamin E, folate, and minerals like zinc, magnesium, and phosphorus.

Wheat germ is also a good source of plant-based protein, making it a valuable food for vegetarians and vegans.

It is often used as an ingredient in breakfast cereals, granolas, and baked goods or as a topping for yogurt, oatmeal, and salads. It can also be added to smoothies and other drinks for an extra boost of nutrition.

Wheat germ is an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and Vitamin B9 (Folate).

It also contains Vitamin E, and Vitamin K in a small amount.

Bulgur vs Wheat germ Nutrition

Now that we’ve described the origin, taste, and usage of these foods, we can move to the most interesting part – comparing bulgur vs wheat germ.

This comparison will start by comparing the caloric value of bulgur and wheat germ and their macronutrients and then go more in-depth by analyzing their vitamin and mineral content.

BulgurWheat germ
Energy342 kcal360 kcal
Carbs75.9 g51.8 g
Sugar0.41 g0.98 g
Fiber12.5 g13.2 g
Protein12.3 g23.2 g
Fat1.33 g9.72 g
Saturated Fat0.232 g1.66 g

Bulgur vs Wheat germ Calories

Most calories in grains come from carbs.

Comparing bulgur vs wheat germ for weight loss, bulgur is slightly lower in calories, with 342 calories per 100 grams, compared to 360 calories per 100 grams of wheat germ.

However, both bulgur and wheat germ can and should be a part of a healthy diet, and neither one shouldn’t be avoided if you’re looking to lose weight.

Bulgur vs Wheat germ Protein

Grains and most grain products, including bulgur and wheat germ, are important sources of plant-based protein.

However, it should be noted that most grains, with the exception of quinoa and buckwheat, for example, are low in lysine and methionine.

That said, you can combine grains with legumes to get a complete protein.

Wheat germ offers around 47% more protein than bulgur.

Wheat germ has 23.2 grams of protein per 100 grams, while bulgur has 12.3 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Bulgur vs Wheat germ Carbs

Counting carbs can be important for some people for different reasons, including blood sugar control, weight management, or athletic performance.

It’s also important for people on a keto diet, so let’s compare the carbs content in bulgur and wheat germ.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 32% higher in bulgur than in wheat germ. It has 75.9 grams per 100 grams, compared to 51.8 grams in wheat germ.

There’s less sugar in bulgur than in wheat germ, 60% precisely.

That said, 100 grams of bulgur contains 0.4 grams of sugar, while the same amount of wheat germ contains 1 grams.

Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in bulgur and wheat germ.

Dietary fiber keeps the digestive system healthy and helps with weight management by promoting a sense of fullness.

With 13.2 grams of fiber per 100 grams, wheat germ is a better source of fiber than bulgur which offers 12.5 grams per 100 gram portion.

Bulgur vs Wheat germ Fats

Like most other grains, bulgur and wheat germ are low in fat.

Fats in bulgur and wheat germ are mostly healthy unsaturated fats. They are naturally cholesterol-free and trans-fat-free.

Total fat in bulgur and wheat germ:

  • Bulgur: 1.3 grams per 100 grams
  • Wheat germ: 9.7 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, bulgur is 88% lower in saturated fats.

Bulgur and wheat germ contain 0.2 grams and 1.7 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Bulgur vs Wheat germ Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of bulgur and wheat germ.

Vitamins are micronutrients, meaning we need only a small amount. However, they are very important for many processes in our bodies.

Bulgur has a higher amount of vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), vitamin B9 (Folate), vitamin E, and vitamin K.

However, wheat germ has a higher amount of vitamin A.

Bulgur and wheat germ contain the same amount of vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).

The following table shows the exact amount of vitamins bulgur and wheat germ contain side by side, so you can easily compare them.

BulgurWheat germ
Vitamin A9 IU0
Vitamin C00
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.232 mg1.88 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.115 mg0.499 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)5.11 mg6.81 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)1.04 mg2.26 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.342 mg1.3 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)27 µg281 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E0.06 mg0.85 mg
Vitamin K1.9 µg5.9 µg

Bulgur vs Wheat germ Minerals Content

Minerals are important for our body to function properly. We need only a small amount of minerals, so they are called micronutrients.

Some minerals, like iron, calcium, zinc, or iodine, are relatively hard to get on a plant-based diet, so it’s important to choose your foods thoughtfully. This part of the bulgur and wheat germ comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Bulgur is a better source of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, and zinc than wheat germ.

On the other hand, wheat germ is a higher amount of sodium.

Bulgur and wheat germ contain the same amount of fluoride.

Check out the table below to learn how bulgur and wheat germ compare when it comes to mineral content.

BulgurWheat germ
Calcium35 mg39 mg
Copper0.335 mg0.796 mg
Iron2.46 mg6.26 mg
Magnesium164 mg239 mg
Manganese3.05 mg13.3 mg
Phosphorus300 mg842 mg
Potassium410 mg892 mg
Selenium2.3 µg79.2 µg
Sodium17 mg12 mg
Zinc1.93 mg12.3 mg

The Final Word

This article highlighted the similarities and differences between bulgur and wheat germ.

Grains, also known as cereal grains, are an important source of nutrition for many people around the world. They are a rich source of carbohydrates, which provide energy for the body.

Whole grains contain important vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins and iron. Whole grains, in particular, are high in dietary fiber and can help with digestion and weight management.

They may also have other health benefits, such as reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

Grains are also a staple food and an important source of food security in many parts of the world.


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