Most of us don’t really know the exact pronunciation of Quinoa. It is actually pronounced as KEEN-wah or ke-NO-ah. For thousands of years, it has been grown in South America. Now it is popular almost everywhere. So, let’s see the health benefits of quinoa.
So, What is Quinoa?
It is a nutrient-rich food, ‘super-grain’. Some people call it a superfood also, as it is one of the world’s most popular healthy foods.
It is a seed plant and there are three different types of Quinoa, Red Quinoa, White creamy Quinoa, and Black Quinoa. It is full of fiber and minerals.
So, here are the health benefits of Quinoa:
1. High in fiber, higher than any other grain:
In a study, it has been shown that 10–16 grams of fiber is present per every 100 grams. But unfortunately, this fiber is not soluble, so, it is not that effective as soluble fibers. Boiled quinoa contains fewer fibers than original, as it absorbs so much water.
a) Helps in constipation:
We all know that fibers are very good for constipation patients.
b) Helps in Weight loss:
It helps in weight loss as it is fewer in calories for the same volume of other foods. In many types of research, it is proved that as it is high in fiber, it takes more time to chew, and thus helps in weight loss.
c) Improve digestion:
According to World’s Healthiest Foods, quinoa is easily digestible than many other grains. Its digestive fibers help you to digest your food fast and easily, thus acidity or problems like gas are reduced to some extent.
2. Highly Nutritious:
It is the only grain crop that contains all minerals
This is the nutrient content in 1 cup almost 190 grams of Quinoa:
- Protein: 8 grams.
- Fiber: 5-6 grams.
- Zinc: 14% of the RDA.
- Potassium: 8% of the RDA.
- Over 11% of the RDA for vitamins B1, B2, and B6.
- Small amounts of calcium, B3 (niacin) and vitamin E.
- Manganese: 55% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA).
- Magnesium: 33% of the RDA.
- Phosphorus: 27% of the RDA.
- Folate: 18% of the RDA.
- Copper: 19% of the RDA.
- Iron: 17% of the RDA.
It is very essential for tissue growth and repair.
It helps to relax blood vessels and thereby to reduce migraines. Magnesium helps the transmission of nerve impulses, body temperature regulation.
It is an antioxidant, which helps to prevent damage to mitochondria during energy production. It also protects red blood cells and other cells from injury by free radicals.
It improves energy metabolism within brain and muscle cells.
It helps keep our red blood cells healthy and is the basis of hemoglobin formation.
These are the topmost benefits of quinoa.
3. High in proteins and all amino acids:
It is one of the most protein-rich grain we can eat. With 8 grams of protein per cup, it is a powerhouse of energy. Proteins are basically made of amino acids.
9 Essential amino acids (our body cannot produce these amino acids, we have to take it from outside of our body) are present in quinoa. It is said that food, which contains all essential amino acids are a complete protein. So, its a complete protein grain.
There are many seed plants that are lack of some amino acids, like lysine. Quinoa contains the elusive lysine and isoleucine acids, which most other grains lack. It is everything when your body needs a complete protein food.
a) Protects the heart: Its digestive fibers make this food extraordinary, which is good for the heart.
b) Lower Cholesterol: Quinoa lowers the bad cholesterol and maintains cholesterol levels in the blood.
c) Promotes weight loss: As it contains low calories and high fibers, proteins it definitely good for the weight loss process. It also has a low glycemic index, which reduces calorie intake.
4. It is Gluten-free (helpful for gluten-free diet):
Nowadays most people, especially in the USA, follow a gluten-free diet. In case, if you are thinking to follow a gluten-free diet, quinoa will be the best choice for you.
It is naturally Gluten-free. Or, those, who are intolerant to gluten, they can easily have quinoa in their diet. It is totally gluten-free. It will increase the anti-oxidant value to your diet too. Instead of refined flour, wheat you can have quinoa.
5. Full of anti-oxidants and anti-aging properties:
Quinoa is rich in antioxidants, that can neutralize free radicals and are believed to fight aging and many diseases. Unlike other seeds, quinoa contains the highest amount of antioxidants. If you let them sprouts, the antioxidant content will increase even further.
Improves skin health:
Quinoa is rich in B vitamins, that help to treat age spots and other conditions related to skin pigmentation by reducing the deposits of dark melanin in the skin.
Vitamin B12 maintains skin complexion. Vitamin B2 improves skin elasticity. Its antioxidant property prevents early aging.
White quinoa: It is the most common type of quinoa. It is also called ivory quinoa.
Red quinoa: It is slightly better than white quinoa. This type is more suitable for cold salads or any recipe where grain is desirable.
Black quinoa: This is a little sweeter and earthier than white quinoa. This variety keeps its black color intact even when cooked.