As a minute superfood, quinoa provides plant-based protein, fiber, and essential nutrients, such as folate, magnesium, zinc, and iron, to name a few.
Tracing its roots in South America, quinoa, originally hailed as “the mother grain,” provides a major boost to improve overall health. Although treated and eaten as a grain, quinoa is a seed that comes in several colors.
- White quinoa has a fluffier and rice-like texture when cooked although it tastes slightly bitter than the red and black variants.
- Red quinoa retains its original shape and color even when cooked and has a chewier texture than white quinoa.
- Black quinoa has a sweeter taste and crunchier texture and does well in salads because it holds its shape well even when cooked.
Beyond the vitamins and minerals quinoa gives, each humble seed contains quercetin and kaempferol, flavonoids high in anti-inflammatory properties, which deliver antioxidant effects to the body helping it to maintain blood sugar levels, providing satiety, managing weight, and lowering cholesterol levels.
To top it off, quinoa is a gluten-free food. So individuals with celiac disease would benefit well from eating quinoa.
Regardless of color preference, a cup of quinoa generally gives:
- Protein: 8 (grams)
- Fiber (5 grams)
- Folate (19% of DV)
- Vitamin B6 (13% of DV)
- Vitamin E (8% of DV)
- Copper (30% of DV)
- Iron (15% of DV)
- Zinc (18% of DV)
- Manganese (51% of DV)
- Magnesium (28% of DV)
- Potassium (7% of DV)
- Phosphorus (22% of DV)
Helps Manage Weight and Promote Bowel Regularity
Eating a cup of quinoa per day gives 5.18 grams of fiber, which is about 18% of the daily value requirement. Quinoa has a much higher fiber content than any of the rice colors.
A high fiber diet supports the body’s overall digestives health and promotes regular bowel movements while providing the gut with beneficial bacteria. With good fiber like quinoa, the body feels more satiated for longer periods thus, lesser cravings for better weight management.
Provides the Needed Nutrients and Minerals
Certain nutrients and minerals are often neglected even when we eat the most nutritious kinds of food.
Quinoa has iron which provides around 30% of the daily recommended intake. Rich in lysine, an essential amino acid, helps regulate fat deposits and regulate energy to help one be more active and alert.
Athletes would benefit from eating quinoa because it’s high in magnesium. Magnesium helps muscles recover and stimulates muscle growth.
Lastly, quinoa is rich in folate, a much-needed nutrient for babies’ brain development during a woman’s pregnancy.
Supports the Immune System
Because quinoa is high in flavonoids and antioxidants, it helps strengthen the body’s immune system.
The flavonoids quercetin and kaempferols are known for their anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-depressant properties which help fight off certain diseases and conditions. Quinoa’s antioxidant properties provide the same effects.
Prevents Spikes in Blood Sugar Levels
Foods with a high glycemic index spike blood sugar levels easily. With quinoa’s low-glycemic index, the body’s energy is sustained for longer periods.
Manages Cholesterol Levels
A study discovered that eating 50 grams of quinoa for 12 weeks can help lower blood triglyceride levels, especially in overweight individuals.
- High in antioxidant properties
- High in fiber, plant-based protein, vitamins, and minerals
- A better alternative to rice
- Promotes digestion
- Manages weight
- Wash. Cook in a rice cooker one cup of quinoa in two cups of water for ten minutes. Fluff with a fork when cooked. Add salt to taste. Drizzle with lemon and olive oil for a fuller flavor.
- Add in salads and soups.