If you are looking for one of the world’s most popular health foods, don’t go further. Quinoa is known for its exceptional health benefits and might even become a part of your diet after you read this blog post.
Quinoa is essentially a gluten-free plant food that is high in protein concentration and also has an adequate amount of all the nine amino acids as well! Not just that, it is high in fiber and nutrients like magnesium, Vitamin B, Iron, Potassium, Calcium, Phosphorus, and Vitamin E and is rich in antioxidants. In this post, we are going to discuss all the major health benefits of quinoa and then mention the side effects and uses of the same. So, stay around until the very end.
Health Benefits of Quinoa
1. Quinoa is full of nutrition
Quinoa is essentially a grain crop and is grown for the edible seeds it bears in its plants. We should not call is a cereal grain as many people consider it a pseudo-cereal. You should consider it a seed which is prepared and consumed similar to a grain.
Ever heard of the Inca Empire? The people in that time used to consider quinoa as the ‘mother of all grains’ and had a sacred place for it in their culture. There are three main types of quinoa available in the market – White, Red, and Black.
2 . Quinoa contains Quercetin and Kaempferol
These are the antioxidants that are abundantly found in Quinoa. Therefore, the health benefits of quinoa goes way beyond vitamins and minerals.
Quinoa has antioxidants called flavonoids which keep the free radicals in the body in check. Two of the most studied flavonoids, namely quercetin and kaempferol are present in high amounts in this food plant. These have anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-cancer properties.
3. Quinoa is high in Fiber
One of the most important health benefits of Quinoa is that it has a high amount of fiber in its grains. A study that took 4 different varieties of quinoa concluded that an average of 100 gm of quinoa can provide 10 to 16 gm of fiber to the body.
What does this mean? It simply means that in every cup, quinoa can provide you with 17 to 27 gm of fiber! This is higher than any other cereal out there. But since the fibers are insoluble, quinoa doesn’t seem to provide the same health benefits of soluble fiber.
4. Quinoa is Gluten-free
One of the major food trends in today’s world is people adopting a gluten-free diet. A survey conducted in 2013 concluded that almost one –third of the population in the US is trying to avoid gluten!
But that’s okay. A gluten-free diet is a healthy diet provided that all the food that is being used to prepare a meal is naturally gluten-free. There is no point in eating food that is made from refined starch. Quinoa is gluten-free and can help to increase the amount of nutrients and antioxidants of your diet.
5. Quinoa is High in Protein
As we mentioned earlier, quinoa is rich in protein and has all the nine essential amino acids as well. These amino acids are essential as your body is unable to produce them on its own.
Quinoa is a complete protein as it provides your body with all the essential amino acids. Quinoa has both more and better protein than most grains out there in the market, making it an excellent source of protein.
6. Quinoa is good for Blood Sugar Control
Ever heard about the Glycemic Index? It is a measure of how quickly any food can raise the sugar levels of your blood after you are done consuming the food.
If you are a diabetic person, you should be eating food that has a low glycemic index. Quinoa is that food. It has a glycemic index of 53 which is considered low. However, quinoa is high in carbohydrates. So, it might not be the right choice for you if you are looking for a low-carb diet.
7. Quinoa Improves Metabolism
Quinoa is known for improving the metabolic health of your body given the fact that it has a high beneficial nutrient content.
There have been two studies done on humans and rats where the effects of quinoa on metabolic health were tested.
When testing on humans, quinoa significantly reduce d the blood sugar levels and also decreased the insulin and triglyceride levels as well. When testing on rats, quinoa completely stopped the negative effects of fructose.
8. Quinoa helps in Weight Loss
What is the science behind weight loss? All you need to do is take in fewer calories than you burn, right? Well, there are certain foods that can effectively promote weight loss.
This is done either by boosting the metabolic rate of the body or by reducing the appetite of the person is the subject.
Quinoa can help you do both. It is high in high in protein which increases metabolism and has tons of fiber content which makes you feel full most of the time. Cool, huh?
Side Effects of Quinoa
Superfoods like Quinoa have side effects too. There have been reports of stomach pain after consuming quinoa. This is mostly because of indigestion.
It can also lead to diarrhea, bloating, and discomfort. We highly recommend you to consult your doctor or nutritionist before consuming quinoa or adopting it in your diet.
Uses of Quinoa
Quinoa can be used by sprinkling it into smoothies. It can be used instead of oatmeal or used to make your own energy bars.
If you are looking to make a breakfast, quinoa can be thrown inside a quiche. You can even add it to salads. Finally, you can replace rice all together with quinoa.
Quinoa is a superfood. It is rich in most nutrients that we need from food and it also is gluten-free. Does that mean you should adopt it in your diet straightaway? Well, no. If you care about your health, you should have a good discussion about this decision with your doctor, and only then should you use quinoa for consumption.