Benefits of Quinoa
In this article we’ll unpack a few things about quinoa – like what is quinoa, is quinoa good for you and what are the benefits of quinoa?
Did you know that there are so many health benefits of quinoa? For instance – it’s a rich source of protein, iron, fiber, antioxidants and it contains a plethora of other beneficial phytonutrients? It’s actually one of the most protein rich foods we can eat.
What is Quinoa
Quinoa (quinoa pronunciation – KEEN-wah) is a gluten-free seed that’s high in plant protein and rich with all nine essential amino acids, and it’s considered an “ancient grain”. Ancient grains include a variety of wheat (spelt, Kamut, freekeh, bulgur, farro, and grains such as millet, barley, oats, teff and soghum, as well as pseudocereals (which are seeds that are consumed like grains) such as quinoa, armaranth, buckwheat and chia. They tend to be more nutritious and provide more vitamins, minerals and fiber than the more common grains like corn, rice and wheat. (1)
What Does Quinoa Taste Like
Is Quinoa Good For You
This little seed is gluten-free and it’s a good source of plant protein and it’s rich with all nine essential amino acids.
- Anti-inflammatory. Rich with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds, which are called flavonoids (quercetin and kaempfero).
- Gluten-free. It’s a seed not a grain …so it’s gluten-free.
- Protein. It’s a complete source of protein, providing 8-9 grams of protein per cooked cup (it’s one of the most protein rich foods we can eat), making it an excellent source of protein for vegetarians and vegans, weight loss diets or anyone wanting to add more plant protein to their diet. It’s also a good source of complex carbohydrates, fiber, iron, manganese and magnesium (2)
- Carbs. It contains about 39.4 grams of carbs per cup (cooked). Carbs make up 21% (cooked), and about 83% of these carbs are starches with the rest consisting mostly of fiber. (3)
- Weight Loss. It’s relatively low in calories with one cup of cooked quinoa containing only approximately 222 calories.(4) It’s a smart choice to add it to your wellness and weight loss program, as it’s high in protein which can increase metabolism and reduce appetite. (5) Also, being a good source of fiber, consuming it may also increase feelings of fullness, so we may eat fewer calories (6)
How to Add More Quinoa Into Your Diet
- Salads. Keep a bowl or jar of cooked quinoa in your refrigerator so you can easily toss it by the spoonfuls into green salads.
- Breakfast Cereal. You can cook it with oatmeal for a warm breakfast cereal.
- Vegan Burgers. It’s great mixed with legumes (black beans, lentils or chickpeas) to make vegan burgers.
- Soups. Add it to soup instead of using rice or noodles for a more nutritious add-in.
- Healthy Snacks and Baking. Use cooked quinoa, quinoa flakes and quinoa flour for baking and to make healthy power bites and peanut butter cups.