An In-Depth Guide To The Amazing Health Benefits of QUINOA

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Quinoa is high in fiber and high-quality protein. In fact, it carries more protein than any other grain while also containing potassium and iron. It has become very trendy these days amongst health conscious people due to its significant nutritional and health benefits. But it is not “new”. Although quinoa is often referred to as the new super grain of the future, it is really a seed from a vegetable related to chard, spinach, and beets. It has been around for more than five thousand years. Quinoa was sacred to the Incas and even today, is often referred to as, “the mother of all grains” because it increased the energy or stamina of their warriors.

Although the leaves of the plant can be consumed as a leaf vegetable, quinoa is primarily grown for its seeds. These seeds, which are cooked in a similar way to rice, come in three colors (red, white and black) and are much-loved for their significant health benefits.

In fact, 2013 was crowned “The International Year of Quinoa” by the United Nations due to quinoa’s high nutritional value and potential to contribute to global food security. This superfood is classified as a whole grain and is naturally gluten-free. When cooked, quinoa is light, fluffy, slightly crunchy and subtly flavored. It actually cooks and tastes like a grain, making it an excellent replacement for grains that are difficult to digest or feed Candida.

Perhaps you’ve heard about Quinoa and are curious as to all of the benefits that can be had by eating it. It’s a truly fascinating food, and worth taking a closer look at its different features and what it can provide for you. It’s been known in health circles for quite some time now but has just caught the attention of mainstream lately. Once you see the amazing health benefits of quinoa, you’ll apparently be adding it to your snacks and meals frequently.

1. Incredible Quinoa Nutrition Facts

Quinoa Nutrition Facts

The UN believes that quinoa may help eradicate hunger and malnutrition worldwide

 

2. Quinoa is Rich in Quercetin and Kaempferol

The enormous health benefits of real foods go way beyond the minerals and vitamins we all know. There are uncountable trace nutrients within real foods, and most of them are immensely healthy. This encompasses fascinating molecules called flavonoids, which are the plant antioxidants that have been shown to have all kinds of beneficial effects on overall health. Quinoa is a first-rate source of certain flavonoids called quercetin and kaempferol, which are shown to hold anti-cancer, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory effects.

A study published in Neuropharmacology in 2010 even discovered that flavonoids contain anti-depressant properties, proposing that flavonoid-rich foods like quinoa could provide natural treatment for anxiety, depression and other low mood disorders.

By adding quinoa to your diet, you are going to substantially boost your total intake of these (and other) crucial nutrients.

 3. Quinoa is High in Protein

Quinoa is one of the very few grains that encompasses all 9 of the essential amino acids that your body requires to function properly, making it a scarce example of a plant-based complete protein source.  Most grains lack lysine, consequently they are designated as incomplete proteins. Lysine is crucial for repair and tissue growth, strengthening the immune system, and raising serotonin levels (feel good hormones). Quinoa enjoys both more and better protein than most grains.

Quinoa is considered to be one of the world’s best plant-based protein sources. 1 cup of it  provides about 220 calories and 8 grams of protein which is 16 percent of our recommended daily allowance (RDA).

This is the protein identical to one egg or roughly one ounce of fish, chicken, or any other animal protein. Quinoa is an outstanding super-food, nevertheless, We don’t recommend consuming quinoa as your main protein source. Despite the fact it provides 8 grams of protein, it is way higher in carbohydrates than animal protein sources. You would have to eat a large amount of quinoa to meet your daily protein requirements through quinoa on its own, which would end in eating a considerable quantity of carbohydrates at the same time. So savor quinoa as a nutritional boost to your healthy diet, but always try to consume different sources of protein. Variety is crucial to balance your diet and get the most profit out of what you consume.

4. It is Very High in Fiber… Much Higher Than Most Grains

What gets many people interested in eating Quinoa is its amazing fiber content, if you have difficulty thinking of plans to increment your fiber consumption and have devoted to buying and eating fiber fortified cereals or fiber bars to carry the ball, you’d be better off looking for Quinoa. It encompasses roughly 5 grams of fiber per cooked cup, a whopping great 21 percent of our RDA of fiber. Most of the fiber in quinoa is insoluble fiber, the sort of fiber required to maintain a vigorous digestive system through its well-known laxative effect. Another benefit of eating insoluble fiber is that it offers great volume to your diet in the absence of any extra calories. Humans are incapable to digest insoluble fiber, thus we can’t harvest any calories from it. Food rich in insoluble fiber makes you feel full without having any additional calories. It also includes smaller amounts of insoluble fiber that becomes a gel in the stomach through slowing digestion, promoting a feeling of fullness, balancing blood pressure and glucose levels and bringing down LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream.

health benefits of quinoa

5. Gluten-Free

Quinoa is a seed, but it is cooked and used in the same way as grains. It has no wheat or gluten whatsoever, making it the ideal substitute if you are suffering from celiac disease, gluten-sensitive or just trying to reduce or avoid gluten.

A 2009 study examined diet records of subjects with celiac disease who went on a gluten-free diet. The study discovered most patients relied to a great extent on rice as their main grain source, which made their diet incomplete nutritionally. If the principal grain choice was altered to quinoa, the patients were capable to better meet their calcium, fiber, protein, and iron needs. The B-vitamin content of their diets was also enhanced by including grains like quinoa into the diet. Utilizing quinoa as a main grain instead of other options may encourage a more balanced diet.

According to a survey published by The NPD Group in 2013, nearly one-third of the United States population are trying to reduce or avoid gluten due to health concerns.

gluten-free-stamp

Luckily for this growing minority, quinoa is naturally gluten-free and is a safe option for those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. The problems occur when people consume “gluten free” foods made excessively with refined starches instead. These foods are no better than their gluten-containing equivalents because gluten free junk food is nevertheless junk food. Studies have found that by utilizing quinoa in lieu of typical gluten-free ingredients like refined potato, rice, corn, and tapioca flour, it can seriously augment the antioxidant and nutrient value of the diet.

6. Quinoa is Loaded With Antioxidants

The amazing health benefits of quinoa are numerous and this is one of the most important of them all. It contains a huge amount of a specific type of antioxidants called flavonoids. This type of antioxidants started to be investigated in the mid-90s for their disease-reducing benefits. Antioxidant-rich foods are acknowledged for their anti-aging properties and capacity to avert degenerative diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, macular degeneration and Alzheimer’s disease.

A study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food in August 2009 showed that of the 10 Andean grains analyzed by the researchers (five cereals, three pseudocereals and two legumes), quinoa contained the most antioxidants out of all of them.

Another 2009 study published in Food Chemistry showed that allowing quinoa seeds to sprout could increase their antioxidant content further.

7.Weight Loss Aid

weight loss

Quinoa can help you lose weight

Due to the high protein content and insoluble fiber, quinoa is able to help increase the sensation of fullness after a meal inducing a total decreased calorie intake.

Whole grains have been consistently shown to increase feelings of fullness after meals when compared to refined grains.

It is also accepted that whole grains, like quinoa, may affect the action of hormones that play a role in appetite such as insulin, gherkin, and peptide YY. The satiating potential of whole grains like quinoa may aid to or the purpose of losing weight, we need to consume fewer calories than we burn. It is acknowledged that specific features of certain foods can promote this process… either by reducing appetite (decreasing calories in) or boosting metabolism (raising calories out). Amazingly, quinoa has numerous such before-mentioned properties. It is high in protein… which can both boost metabolism and decrease appetite notably

Read more:  5 Reasons why you are not Losing Weight 

 

8. Quinoa Has a Low Glycemic Index

It is acknowledged that consuming foods that are high on the glycemic index can arouse hunger and advance obesity. This excellent fiber profile gives quinoa a low glycemic load of 53, making it a proper food for diabetics and pre-diabetics. An increased consumption of whole grains, particularly those with high fiber content may be associated with a diminution in the risk of type 2 diabetes.

One study found that increasing whole grain consumption by two servings per day decreased type 2 diabetes risk by 21%. Although these results are for whole grains in general, there are some encouraging results from laboratory studies utilizing quinoa particularly to decrease enzymes linked to the development of type 2 diabetes.

The high quercetin content in quinoa was observed to have an enhanced antioxidant response in lab studies, when opposed to other similar grains. Researchers assume that the antioxidant content of whole grains, like quinoa, by their capacity to lessen inflammation through their antioxidant activity, may help better the global insulin response and diminish the risk of type 2 diabetes in the long term. nevertheless… it’s vital to consider that quinoa is still notably high in carbs, so it is not an excellent option for a low-carb diet, at least not in high amounts.

9. Rich In Essential Minerals

The astonishing health benefits of quinoa seem to be unending.There are several nutrients in our modern diet that many of us tend to be lacking in. This is especially true for some minerals… particularly Zinc, Potassium, Magnesium and (for women) Iron. Amazingly, quinoa is quite high in all four minerals. It is remarkably high in magnesium, with one cup having about 30% of the RDA. The dilemma is that quinoa carries a substance called phytic acid, which can connect these minerals and lessen their absorption. nevertheless, by sprouting and/or soaking the quinoa before cooking it, you can decrease the phytic acid content and make these minerals more bioavailable.

Safety

While boiling quinoa, the compound that coats the seeds (saponins) forms a foam. These saponins give quinoa a slightly bitter taste. It is best to eliminate any leftover saponins on the quinoa coat; fully washing the seeds before cooking through putting them into a sieve and running them under cold water. Once you have cleaned it well, it can be prepared like rice. It will expand to many times the initial size while cooking.

Individual Concerns

Quinoa is not a generally allergenic food and is not recognized to include measurable amounts of purines. Because quinoa doesn’t belong to the plant family including wheat, oats, rye, and barley, it is also a gluten-free food. Certain studies also reveal a higher-than-expected digestibility for quinoa, making it a food less probable to produce adverse reactions. nevertheless, like any member of the Amaranthaceae-Chenopodiaceae plant family (combining chard, spinach, and beets), quinoa does carry oxalates, and sometimes in abundant amounts. The oxalate content of quinoa ranges broadly, but even the lower end of the oxalate range puts quinoa on the warning or avoidance list for an oxalate-restricted diet.

Ethical considerations

Quinoa has produced much dispute in current years. Since undergoing a fast development in demand, the domestic cost of production has also escalated sharply, with the local Andean community incapable to manage it and introduced junk food being more budget-friendly. Land that once grew a plenitude of various crops is presently restricted to quinoa fields. Our well-intentioned health aims may unconsciously be driving ill conditions for local growers.

Recipe suggestions

Sprinkle it on salads:

Quinoa, lentil & feta salad Spicy tuna quinoa salad

Toasted quinoa, lentil & poached salmon salad

Try it in place of couscous or rice:

Spicy Cajun chicken quinoa

Spicy vegetable & quinoa laksa

Quinoa rice pilau with dill & roasted tomatoes

Vegetarian casserole

3 Delicious Quinoa Recipes from The Domestic Geek

So as you can see, quinoa has multiple health benefits and can be introduced as a worthy source of protein and nutrients, as a part of a well-balanced and healthy diet. Quinoa can be your superfood: regulating your blood sugar and keeping your heart well. It is a magnificent gluten-free replacement for other grains and tastes great and pairs well with most foods.

Have you tried quinoa before? What did you like about it?

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