Quinoa is a whole grain that has become highly common as a result of its various health benefits.
Quinoa seeds can be cooked and eaten in the same way as other grains, but the quinoa plant itself is more similar to beets and spinach. This versatile, nutrient-dense plant’s seeds and leaves can also be consumed.
Farmers cultivate over 120 different types of quinoa. White, red, and black quinoa are the most popular varieties found in stores.
The evidence-based health benefits of quinoa are explored in this article. We also look at quinoa’s nutritional value and how to integrate it into your diet.
The following are some of the health benefits of eating quinoa on a daily basis.
A plant-based source of protein
People who eat a plant-based diet must find nonanimal protein sources to ensure they get enough.
8.14 grams of protein are contained in one cup of cooked quinoa, which weighs 185 grams.
Quinoa is an excellent vegetarian or vegan food choice because of this.
Quinoa is an excellent source of lysine, unlike many other grains. This is an amino acid that is needed for life. Protein synthesis requires the amino acid lysine. While lysine deficiency is uncommon, it can result in a variety of medical problems because it is involved in processes like growth and development.
High fiber content
In comparison to other grains, quinoa has a high fiber content, with 5.18 g in a single 185 g cup. Depending on a person’s age and sex, this equates to at least 15.42 percent of their regular requirements.
Eating enough fiber, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, will help minimize the risk of a variety of health problems, like constipation, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diverticulosis.
Fiber-rich diets can also help you maintain a healthy weight. This is because high-fiber foods make people feel fuller for longer, potentially decreasing their total food consumption.
A source of antioxidants
Quinoa is a strong source of antioxidants in a gluten-free diet as compared to other popular grains. Grain, rice, or potato flour make up the bulk of gluten-free products. These contain less nutrients than quinoa-based products, such as quinoa flour.
New studies are published on a regular basis that affirm the health benefits of whole grain and their antioxidant ability.
Assists in meeting manganese requirements.
Manganese is required for growth and metabolism. In addition, this factor supports the role of many enzymes in the body.
Good source of iron
Folate is a water-soluble B vitamin that aids in the formation of DNA. According to the Office of Dietary Supplements, it is particularly important for women to get enough folate during pregnancy to reduce the risk of neural tube defects in their babies (ODS).
Getting enough folate in your diet can also lower your risk of cancer and depression.
Folic acid supplements could be the only way for pregnant women to get enough folate. Consuming more folate in the diet, on the other hand, will help to reduce the risk of deficiency. Quinoa supplies a significant portion of a person’s daily folate requirement.
118 mg of magnesium are contained in one cup of cooked quinoa. Quinoa is a good source of the mineral, even though the daily recommended amount rises with age.
Magnesium is present in every cell of the body and is needed for the operation of over 300 enzymatic reactions.
Low magnesium levels, according to the ODS, may be linked to the following health issues:
More research is required, however, to confirm the benefits of dietary magnesium in these conditions.
It has quercetin and kaempferol in it.
The plant compounds quercetin and kaempferol are found in quinoa.
These antioxidants can help to protect you from a variety of chronic illnesses. According to some studies, kaempferol can help protect against infection, heart disease, diabetes, and a variety of cancers, including skin and liver cancers.
Quinoa is classified as a pseudocereal, not a grain, by plant experts. This means it’s a non-grassy plant that can be used in the same way that cereals and grains are. It also has a nutritional profile that is identical.
Pseudograin seeds can be milled or ground into flour, much like other grains and cereals.
Quinoa is a whole grain in terms of nutrition. Whole grains are made up of the whole grain seed, with none of its parts removed.
Whole grains contain vital vitamins, nutrients, and fiber that would otherwise be lost if parts of the grain were removed.
Quinoa is naturally gluten-free.
One cup of cooked quinoa provides:
- 222 calories
- 8.14 g of protein
- 5.18 g of fiber
- 3.55 g of fat, of which 0.42 g is saturated
- 39.4 g of carbohydrate
Quinoa is a highly nutritious grain that can meet a large portion of a person’s daily nutritional needs or provide sufficient amounts of several key nutrients, including:
|Nutrient||Percentage of daily requirement for adults|
|Magnesium||At least 28.10%, depending on sex and age|
|Manganese||27.43% for males, and 25.05% for females|
|Iron||34.5% for males, and 15.33% for females|
|Zinc||18.36% for males, and 25.25% for females|
|Riboflavin||18.55% for males, and 10% for females|
|Vitamin B-6||Around 17.54%, depending on age|
Vitamin E, vitamin B-3, and calcium are all present in trace amounts in quinoa.
Quinoa contains saponins, which are bitter tasting compounds that drive insects away without the use of pesticides. They are particularly concentrated in the quinoa’s outer coating.
Saponins can be easily removed from quinoa by rinsing it with water before eating it.
While most packaged quinoa has had most of the saponins removed, people might want to give it another rinse before eating it.
Quinoa is simple to integrate into one’s diet. It can be substituted for rice in any recipe. Its small grains cook in as little as 15 minutes to become tender.
Quinoa has a mild nutty flavor, making it a versatile ingredient. It can be used as a baking ingredient or as a breakfast grain. Quinoa is also delicious in spicy side dishes, salads, and burgers.
Here are some delicious quinoa recipes to try:
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