Touted as the supergrain of the future, quinoa is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on earth. This pseudo-cereal contains no gluten and provides all nine essential amino acids. It’s related to spinach, beetroot, and amaranth, offering a lot of nutrition per serving. Compared to other grains, quinoa is easier to digest and lower in calories.
This superfood is a favorite choice for vegans and vegetarians due to its high protein content. There are over 14 grams of protein in 100 grams of cooked quinoa. NASA is currently using this grain for long-duration human occupied space flights. Whether you want to go gluten-free, get more nutrients in your diet, or boost your protein intake, quinoa should be on your list. Here are its key health benefits:
- Boasts a High Nutritional Value
In ancient times, quinoa was known as the “mother of all grains.” It’s one of the few crops that have remained unchanged for thousands of years. One cup delivers eight grams of protein, 39 grams of carbs, four grams of fat, 58 percent of the RDA of manganese, and 30 percent of the RDA of magnesium. This grain is chock-full of iron, copper, potassium, zinc, B-complex vitamins, and dietary fiber.
- Wards Off Chronic Diseases
Evidence shows that eating up to three servings of quinoa a day can help prevent obesity, colon cancer, hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic ailments. Quinoa also boasts higher antioxidant levels compared to other grains, which further enhances its nutritional value. Since it’s gluten-free, it can be safely consumed by those with celiac disease or wheat allergy’s.
- Lowers Cholesterol and Blood Sugar Levels
Packed with fiber, quinoa regulates blood sugar and lowers cholesterol levels. It also improves digestion and helps relieve constipation. Due to its cholesterol-lowering effects, it protects against heart disease. Be aware that boiled quinoa contains less fiber because it absorbs water.
- Helps with Weight Loss
The fiber in this grain reduces the risk of weight gain and obesity. Quinoa increases fullness and prevents insulin spikes, giving you more control over your diet. It’s also a fantastic source of protein, which suppresses your appetite and revs up your metabolism. The combination of fiber and protein aids in weight management and helps reduce food intake throughout the day.
- Prevents Osteoporosis
Magnesium deficiency is one of the primary factors responsible for the onset of osteoporosis. Quinoa provides this mineral in large amounts, which helps prevent osteoporosis and bone loss. Studies indicate that magnesium also stabilizes blood sugar, promotes healthy teeth, and boosts energy levels.
- Provides All Amino Acids
Quinoa is one of the few plant-based foods containing all of the essential amino acids. These compounds are the building blocks of protein, and play a key role in muscle growth, metabolism, and recovery. By including quinoa in your diet, you’ll build muscle faster, have greater energy, and reduce exercise-induced fatigue. For best results, eat quinoa for breakfast or before hitting the gym.
Due to its low glycemic index, quinoa is a great choice for diabetics, athletes, and overweight individuals. It also delivers potent antioxidants that cleanse your body and fight inflammation. Swap rice, pasta, and starches for quinoa to get more nutrients in your diet and enjoy better health. This grain has a subtle nutty taste and takes just 15 minutes to cook, turning your meals into a feast.