Quinoa is one of the world's most popular health foods.
Rich in fiber, minerals, antioxidants and all nine essential amino acids, quinoa is one of the healthiest and most nutritious foods on the planet.
It may improve your blood sugar and cholesterol levels and even aid weight loss.
What’s more, it’s naturally gluten-free, delicious, versatile and incredibly easy to prepare.
Quinoa is gluten-free, high in protein and one of the few plant foods that contain sufficient amounts of all nine essential amino acids..
It is also high in fiber, magnesium, B vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E and various beneficial antioxidants.
Here are some health benefits of quinoa.
Quinoa is a grain crop that is grown for its edible seeds.
It technically isn't a cereal grain, but a pseudo-cereal.
In other words, it is basically a seed, which is prepared and eaten similarly to a grain.
Quinoa was an important crop for the Inca Empire. They referred to it as the "mother of all grains" and believed it to be sacred.
It has been eaten for thousands of years in South America and only recently became a trend food, even reaching superfood status.
This is the nutrient content in 1 cup (185 grams) of cooked quinoa (2):
- Protein: 8 grams.
- Fiber: 5 grams.
- Manganese: 58% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA).
- Magnesium: 30% of the RDA.
- Phosphorus: 28% of the RDA.
- Folate: 19% of the RDA.
- Copper: 18% of the RDA.
- Iron: 15% of the RDA.
- Zinc: 13% of the RDA.
- Potassium 9% of the RDA.
- Over 10% of the RDA for vitamins B1, B2 and B6.
- Small amounts of calcium, B3 (niacin) and vitamin E.
Quinoa contains large amounts of flavonoids, including quercetin and kaempferol. These are potent plant antioxidants with numerous health benefits.
Another important benefit of quinoa is its high fiber content.
One study that looked at 4 varieties of quinoa found a range of 10–16 grams of fiber per every 100 grams (11).
3. Quinoa is naturally gluten-free. Using it instead of typical gluten-free ingredients can increase the antioxidant and nutrient value of your diet when you’re avoiding gluten.
4. Quinoa is high in protein compared to most plant foods. It also contains all the essential amino acids that you need, making it an excellent protein source for vegetarians and vegans.
5.The glycemic index of quinoa is around 53, which is considered low. However, it’s still relatively high in carbs.
6. Quinoa appears to be very high in antioxidants.
7. Quinoa is high in fiber, protein and has a low glycemic index. These properties have all been linked to weight loss and improved health.