7 Proven Benefits of Quinoa
Quinoa is a crop grain that is grown for its edible seeds. It is known as “the mother of seeds,” and it is a high-quality food grown primarily in Bolivia and Peru. These days, there is a big buzz about its nutritional content, and everybody wants to give it a try. For info, you can easily find Quinoa in stores and restaurants that focus on high-nutritional-value foods.
This post is all about this beneficial food.
Here are 11 health benefits of Quinoa:
1. Quinoa is highly nutritious
Here are the nutrients in 1 cup (185 grams) of cooked Quinoa:
– Protein: 8 grams.
– Fiber: 5 grams.
– Manganese: 58% of RDA.
– Magnesium: 30% of RDA.
– Phosphorus: 28% of RDA.
– Folate: 19% of RDA.
– Copper: 18% of RDA.
– Iron: 15% of RDA.
– Zinc: 13% of RDA.
– Potassium: 9% of RDA.
– More than 10% of RDA for vitamins B1, B2, and B6.
– Small amounts of calcium, B3 (niacin), and vitamin E.
– This comes with 222 calories, 39 grams of carbohydrates, and 4 grams of fat. Although it is not technically a grain, it counts as a whole grain food.
NASA Scientists have studied it as a crop suitable for growing in space, primarily based on its ease of growth and high nutrient content.
2. Quinoa contains the plant compounds, Quercetin and Kaempferol
The health effects of natural food go far beyond the vitamins and minerals we are all familiar with.
Quinoa contains 2 flavonoids that have been particularly well studied, quercetin and kaempferol. These are essential molecules that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-cancer, and anti-depressant effects in animal studies.
Including Quinoa in your diet will significantly increase your total intake of these essential nutrients.
3. Quinoa is very high in fiber, much higher than most grains
Another essential benefit of Quinoa is that it is high in fiber.
A study of 4 varieties of Quinoa found a fiber content of between 10 and 16 grams per 100 grams of Quinoa.
This equates to 17-27 grams per cup, which is very high, more than twice as high as most grains, but note that cooked Quinoa contains much less fiber because it absorbs so much water.
Many studies show that soluble fiber can help reduce blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol, increase the fullness threshold, and aid in weight loss.
4. It’s gluten-free, so it’s perfect for people with gluten intolerance
A gluten-free diet can be good for your health as long as it is based on naturally gluten-free foods.
Many researchers have looked at Quinoa as a suitable ingredient in a gluten-free diet for people who don’t want to give up foods like bread and pasta.
Studies have shown that using Quinoa instead of typical gluten-free ingredients like refined tapioca, potatoes, corn, and rice flour can significantly increase the nutritional and antioxidant value of the diet.
5. Quinoa is rich in essential minerals like iron and magnesium
Many nutrients tend to be lacking in our modern diet.
This is especially true for certain minerals, especially magnesium, potassium, zinc, and iron (for women).
Interestingly, Quinoa is very rich in these 4 minerals. It is exceptionally high in magnesium, with about 30% of the RDA in a cup.
The problem is that it also contains phytic acid, which is known to reduce the absorption of these minerals.
However, you can reduce the phytic acid content and make these minerals more bioavailable by soaking and sprouting the Quinoa before cooking.
Quinoa is also relatively high in oxalates, which reduces calcium absorption and can cause some individuals with recurring kidney stones.
6. Quinoa can help you lose weight
Quinoa can facilitate the process of intaking fewer calories when you are on a diet — either by increasing metabolism (by increasing calories burned) or reducing appetite (by decreasing caloric intake).
The rich protein content can both reduce appetite significantly and increase metabolism.
Its fiber content also increases the feeling of fullness, which makes you eat fewer calories overall.
7. Quinoa is easy to incorporate into the diet
The last point is not a health benefit but still crucial.
Although Quinoa is straightforward to incorporate into your diet, and depending on the type of Quinoa, it may be necessary to rinse it with water to get rid of saponins on the outer layer that give Quinoa a bitter taste.
You can buy Quinoa in most local stores. It can be ready to eat in about 15 to 20 minutes:
– Put 2 cups of water in a pot, and turn on the heat.
– Add 1 cup of raw Quinoa with a pinch of salt.
– Boil for 15-20 minutes.
By now, it should have absorbed most of the water and get you a smooth look. If done right, it should have a sweet, nutty, crunchy flavor.
Plus, there are dozens of other delicious ways to use Quinoa.
Why should you try Quinoa?
The bottom line is that Quinoa is one of the healthiest and most nutritious foods on the planet. Try it, and remember to share your experience in the comment section below.