Quinoa is considered a super grain and is related more to vegetables such as spinach and swiss chard than to wheat.
It is gluten-free and has a low glycemic index.
Super grains like quinoa have gained increased popularity for healthy diets in addition to being the subject of a number of research studies showing the health benefits.
The emerging consensus among nutritional experts, doctors, and dieticians is that our diet should have a balance of whole grains and vegetables for maximum nutrition and health benefits.
Many are recommending quinoa, and it’s almost becoming the next “Soy” in terms of popularity due to the balanced nutritional benefits that exceed soybeans.
What is Quinoa
Quinoa is pronounced (KEEN-WAH) and is one of the most potent nutritional foods on the planet.
It has a full range of amino acids that form a complete protein.
It’s also packed with fiber and a generous amount of minerals and vitamins.
Quinoa is easy to prepare and cooks in fifteen minutes. It is light and combines well with most other types of foods and recipes.
It has been used for over 5000 years in the diets of people who live in the mountain regions of Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Ecuador.
Today, these areas produce much of the quinoa being imported into the United States and other countries.
Quinoa Nutrition Profile
The World Health Organisation has classified Quinoa as a superfood and NASA is even promoting it as a core element in the diets of their astronauts in outer space!
Quinoa is one of the most nutrient-rich foods on planet earth.
It’s free of gluten and ideal for many healthy diets. It has a low glycemic index and is packed with nine essential amino acids making it a perfect protein source.
It wasn’t until recently that the benefits of this superfood became public information and now, people who want a healthier food source can add quinoa to their diets.
In an age when information is so readily available, it’s astounding that many many people have not heard about this fantastic superfood.
Used for centuries by INCA tribesmen, the benefits of Quinoa far outweigh the benefits of other natural products in its class.
“Superfoods” are those foods that are whole and organic, not processed, and provide compelling health benefits.
A reliable source of manganese, magnesium, and potassium, as well as phytochemicals, quinoa will naturally add more nutrition per gram than any other type of grains.
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Below is the nutritional value of one cup of quinoa:
- Folate: 19% of the RDA
- Fiber: 5gr
- Protein: 8gr
- Potassium: 9% of the RDA.
- Iron: 15% of the RDA.
- Copper: 18% of the RDA.
- Phosphorus: 28% of the RDA.
- Magnesium: 30% of the RDA.
- Manganese: 58% of the RDA.
- Zinc: 13% of the RDA.
- Vitamins B1, B2, and B6 over 10% RDA
- And small amounts of calcium, vitamin E and B3 (niacin).
The quinoa seed is high in protein, calcium and iron, an exceptional source of vitamin E, in addition to containing several of the B vitamins.
It is made up of an almost perfect balance of all nine vital amino acids necessary for tissue development in humans.
It is 12% to 18% protein and has 6% to 7% fat.
This food is a flavorful and nutritious alternate grain for those with gluten sensitivity such as diabetics due to the fact it is gluten-free.
Benefits of Quinoa
Not all foods deemed high in protein contain all the crucial amino acids in correct proportions for optimum effectiveness in the body, but quinoa does.
It is a complete protein, that means it consists of all vital amino acids in exact proportions.
In fact, quinoa has the same protein quality as milk.
Folate is the most important concentrated vitamin in quinoa.
Folate is a B vitamin that is crucial for healthy red blood cell development as well as healthy organ and tissue growth, most notably during a child’s early years.
Folate is also considered to battle the adverse cell developments of cancer.
It is also essential in the functioning, growth, and repair of crucial blood, tissue, and organs.
The highest concentrated quantities of minerals in quinoa are magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese.
With just one serving, you get more than half the RDA of manganese alone, neutralizing those harmful free radicals that are consistently attacking our organs.
As well as manganese, quinoa includes high concentrations of phosphorus and magnesium which are both necessary minerals aiding in bone health, heart and cardiovascular health, as well as nerve and brain health.
Quinoa completes the mineral wheel with ample supplies of iron, copper, calcium, potassium, and selenium, all essential to our health and well-being.
You almost certainly hear a lot about dietary fiber in ads aimed at curing constipation.
But, dietary fiber is essential for all of our body functions. With a whopping 21% RDA in one serving of quinoa, eating a healthy diet including this super-food makes sense.
Why? Not only does fiber assist the digestive system, but it also is acknowledged to lower blood cholesterol levels.
Studies also show that increasing fiber in your diet will help decrease blood pressure which encourages heart health. A perfect diet rich in fiber helps control blood sugar levels by absorbing sugars slowly.
Quinoa is jam-packed with many essential nutrients and punches well above its weight in the natural health food division.
It is cholesterol free and a complex carbohydrate; these two benefits of quinoa make it a dominant component of any healthy eating plan, lowering your risk of heart disease and at the same time regulating your blood sugar levels so that you don’t experience those energy highs and lows.
The nutritional protein in quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids making it an ideal substitute for meat.
So by eating quinoa, you’re not only radically cutting down on your cholesterol, but you’re also getting all the nutrition protein that you’d typically find in meat products.
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There is much more to quinoa than just its top status as a nutrition protein which sets it apart from other food products in its class.
To start with, quinoa contains five times more calcium than an animal protein and nine times more iron than that found in a single serving of meat.
It’s a good source of lysine which is vital for tissue growth and repair and contains copper, phosphorus, and iron.
Quinoa benefits include:
Helps prevent constipation because it has a high fiber content
Detoxifies the digestive system which can help prevent colon cancer
Excellent source of dietary protein for adequate muscle building
Reduces the risk of high blood pressure
Reduces the risk of heart diseases
The high amounts of magnesium in quinoa helps to loosen up blood vessels.
It is cholesterol free and is an excellent option for people with specific food allergies.
Anyone looking to increase intake of high-quality protein should see to quinoa.
Stave off hunger pangs
The best part is that because of its status as a low glycaemic index food; it will keep you feeling fuller for a longer time so you can fight off those cravings often experienced with dieting.
Everyone knows that to lose weight you have to take in fewer calories than you burn off.
So, keeping those craving at bay is crucial for any weight loss program.
When you consider the high amount of beneficial nutrients in quinoa, it’s easy to see why it could lead improve metabolic health.
Although more studies are needed to support this, I discovered two studies (one in humans, the other in rats) that showed how quinoa could boost metabolic health.
Anti Inflammatory and Antiviral
Flavonoids are antioxidants that are very beneficial to the human body.
Quinoa contains quercetin and kaempferol, two flavonoids that research has shown to have anti-depressant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and antiviral effects.
By including quinoa in your diet, you can significantly improve your health by leaps and bounds.
Adapts to food taste
Whether you use quinoa for salads or other complicated dishes, it’ll produce a lot of different flavors depending on the seasonings and foods it is cooked with.
Quinoa recipes are tasty because the seeds tend to acquire the flavors of the fluids that are added to it, pretty much like a stir fry only better.
People today like to use chicken or vegetable stock in cooking which gives dishes a rich flavor, so to get all the best of a quinoa nutrition plan, try several recipes to discover the right one for you.
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Improves a healthy heart
Obesity-related diseases plague Today’s society. In fact in the US, heart disease is the NUMBER 1 killer, now that’s a scary statistic.
Heart disease is directly linked to the clogging up of your arteries from the cholesterol, saturated and lethal trans fats your body absorbs when eating high fat and high cholesterol diets.
Studies have found that by reducing cholesterol, you can radically reduce the risk of heart disease.
One of the significant benefits of quinoa is that it contains all nine essential amino acids that your body needs both for muscle development and also to sustain healthy living.
So the nutrition protein in quinoa is a phenomenal substitute for the nutrition protein commonly found in meat products.
The significant advantage that quinoa has over meat is that it is cholesterol free.
This means that you get precisely the nutrients you would look for in meat without clogging your arteries.
So by eating a quinoa diet, you get to cut down on your meat consumption (saving you a few dollars off the food bill), radically reducing your risk of developing heart disease and still getting the essential nutrients and nutrition protein that your body needs.
Quinoa is great for weight loss
Quinoa is a fantastically nutritious seed that is often thought of as being a grain.
In addition to its nutrient-rich formula, it is also an ideal food for weight loss because it has a low Glycemic Index as well as being cholesterol free.
The Glycemic Index (GI) is a scale that ranks different foods according to the effect they have on the sugar levels in our body.
Foods are ranked from 0 to 100 and use glucose as their reference.
The GI compares different foods according to the effect they have on our blood sugar levels.
Foods that have a high GI will cause an increase in blood sugar level rapidly, whereas foods with low GI will increase blood sugar level comparatively slowly.
A good understanding of the Glycemic Index can enhance your weight loss efforts
Nutritionists the world over will advocate following a low GI diet if you’re looking for a natural weight loss plan and a quinoa nutritional diet is an ideal diet plan to help you lose those pounds and crucially keep them off.
It is also important to note that Glycemic Index can be a little complicated and cannot be generalized to all people.
Different people have different body types so their bodies will react differently to specific food items.
For example, your age and the time of day you eat will influence GI.
The number of nutrients, fiber, and fats present in your diet in addition to your insulin levels are also factors.
How much refined or processed foods you consume, along with food combinations and even how you prepare your food are factors that influence how your body’s sugar levels will react after eating.
Those foods that are low GI will release sugar into your blood slowly, and this will help maintain a stable supply of energy and making you feel satiated for more extended periods.
But those foods that are high GI will release sugars rapidly and in massive quantities into your blood making you feel hungry faster and increase the temptation to snack.
That’s why adding quinoa to your diet can radically simplify your natural weight loss program, because it is the ultimate GI food.
Quinoa is the ideal choice for special diets
If you’re on a special diet, the chances are that quinoa will help you achieve your goals easy.
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Here are two specialty diet plans that benefit from quinoa.
Quinoa and gluten-free diets
Gluten-free diets can yield many benefits, and people choose to follow this lifestyle for a variety of reasons.
Some have a minimal choice as they are unable to eat anything containing gluten while others just want a healthy way to lose weight.
Either way, a gluten-free diet can significantly improve one’s health in addition to promoting natural weight loss.
Gluten can be found in many common foods which we eat every day.
It is a composite protein that is available in rye, barley, and wheat.
Normally, gluten produces no side effects; it is merely ingested harmlessly, providing a source of dietary protein.
Whatever the reason, going gluten-free is becoming increasingly popular due to its many health benefits, and there is one natural food product that makes this choice easy.
Quinoa is free of gluten and very easy to digest.
Planning a life free of gluten can be comfortable with this wonderful super-food.
Introducing Quinoa as part of a gluten-free diet can help without the need for vitamins or supplements.
Quinoa and vegetarian diets
Following a vegan and vegetarian diet is an excellent way to lead a healthy and wholesome lifestyle.
But this type of diet is loaded with many problems.
One of the challenges is that your diet could be low in calcium, vitamin B, and Iron.
Not only that, but it can also be challenging to get all the nutrition proteins and amino acids that your body would usually get from the consumption of meat.
Quinoa stands head and shoulders above other natural products in this category.
When it comes to its nutritional properties, it’s packed full of essential nutrients and is an ideal choice for those following a vegetarian and vegan diet.
It is an incredibly versatile natural food that makes delicious, wholesome snacks alongside a wide variety of mealtime options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Quinoa in your diet could make all the difference.
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Quinoa can be used in many recipes and can often serve to replace other grains which are more commonly used in cooking today.
It can be prepared in recipes such as salad, cookies, and puddings.
Though people with Celiac disease stand to gain most from quinoa, this superfood can still form part of a healthy diet for almost anybody.
Being gluten free is not the only allure of quinoa, it can also help prevent many diseases as well.
So why not explore some quinoa recipes merely to discover what suits your tastes. Here are two simple quinoa recipes:
This is an excellent alternative to oatmeal with a more nutritional punch from the quinoa.
Toss a handful of almonds into a bowl filled with a heated cup of quinoa.
Sprinkle cinnamon over the almonds and then lace the almonds with the agave syrup.
This low glycemic, gluten-free breakfast will keep you going all morning. Soymilk is optional.
- 1-2 cups cooked quinoa
- a handful of almonds (up to 23)
- 1-2 tbs organic agave nectar
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
Quinoa Veggie Stew
This is a variable and adaptable “freestyle” recipe that I use when I want to “throw something together”.
- 1 cup of quinoa
- 6 cups of boiling water
- 1 clove of garlic
- 3 small zucchinis
- 1/2lg mushrooms
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1/2 cup organic fresh cilantro
- 1 onion
- 1 can of organic beans
- Salt to taste
- Rinse and add the organic quinoa into boiling water.
Cook for 10 minutes, then add the garlic, zucchinis chopped into bite sizes, mushrooms, cumin, and fresh cilantro.
Then add some seasoning and a dash of sea salt to taste.
Chop the onions and add the organic black beans. Cook for 10-15 on medium-low heat, and serve when ready. For a variation add a small can of organic tomato paste.
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In today’s fast-paced modern society finding the time to keep fit and stay healthy is increasingly challenging.
The fast-food fad is now part of everyday living, and according to the American Obesity Association, over 30% of adults in the U.S are now clinically obese.
As a result, finding natural weight loss alternatives has now become a top priority.
Not only are quick weight loss programs and pills considered by some experts as dangerous, but they also invariably lead to weight gain once the diet is over.
The secret to maintaining your target weight is simple – follow a natural weight loss program.
Experts consider quinoa as the closest to a complete food that nature provides.
There are many reasons why a natural weight loss program should be designed around quinoa; arguably, however, the most critical reason is that quinoa stops you from feeling hungry between meals.
Not only does Quinoa keep you healthy due to the high fiber content, but it also contains high levels of lysine, which is excellent for your heart.
This superfood does have a lot of benefits and should be included as part of every diet.