quinoa health benefits

Quinoa health benefits and interesting facts

Where did quinoa originate from? 

Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) is a flowering plant, mostly grown and cropped for its edible seeds. It originated from Peru, Bolivia, and Chile which’s why it’s also called the Andean superfood“. Today the cultivation of quinoa has been widely spread across the world. So what is so special about this plant that made it a global superstar?

What kinds of quinoa exist?

We can differentiate sorts of quinoa by its texture,taste and colour. Here are the most commonly used ones. 

White Quinoa 

This type of quinoa is actually a bit more tan so it can also go by as yellow gold or blonde. If you are not a fan of stronger flavors this is perfect for you. Compared to all the other types of quinoa this one is the most neutral tasting one. If you’ve never prepared quinoa here is a great start.

Red Quinoa

Its color is closer to violet than it is to red. It has a nutty taste and a more sustainable texture, but also a more bitter taste so it’s not for everybody.

Black Quinoa

This dark coloured beauty has the same nutritional value as white quinoa does. But its flavour is mildly nutty, or as others would say an earthier flavour. But it does have a better consistency than white quinoa.

Nutritional facts of quinoa

Nutritional facts of 100 grams of cooked Quinoa:

CaloriesProteinCarbsFatFiberSugarWater
120 4.4 gr21.3 gr1.9 gr2.8 gr0.9 gr72%

Vitamins and Minerals

  • Manganese is considered a trace mineral, which your organism needs in small quantities. It’s essential for your nervous system and your body’s enzymes.
  • Phosphorus helps in building strong teeth, controls your body’s energy usage and storage. It is great after exercise because it can reduce muscle soreness.
  • Copper plays a great role in your heart health. It also helps with red blood cell production, provides health for your bones, nerves, and immune function.
  • Folate is one of the B vitamins (B9). Folate is fundamental for cellular division and amongst its many functions, it is very important for child-bearing women. 
  • Iron. This mineral is one of the most important minerals in human organisms because it provides oxygen to red blood cells. 
  • Magnesium. One of the vital functions of this mineral is regulating neurotransmitters to your brain and nervous system and transferring a message that way. It’s also good for muscle relaxation and calming the nerves down.
  • Zinc. This mineral is vital for your immune system and it’s great for wound healing. Also, it really helps with memory and your learning abilities because it can improve your cognitive abilities.

Quinoa also contains all of the nine amino acids, vitamin E, all of the groups of vitamin B and vitamin A, and various beneficial antioxidants.

Some of the best quinoa health benefits are:

  • It’s beneficial for diabetics or people who suffer from insulin resistance
  • It has a good impact on blood pressure 
  • It has high amounts of fiber 
  • It’s a complete protein
  • It’s naturally gluten-free 
  • It’s rich in vitamins and minerals

Complex carbohydrate 

Quinoa is in fact pretty high in carbohydrates, with 21.3 g  of carbohydrates per 100g serving of cooked quinoa. So it’s kind of impossible to say that quinoa is a low-carb food. But the carbs that quinoa contains can’t be better! Why? Because quinoa is a source of complex carbohydrates. This means that the glycemic index in these carbs allows them to decompose slower so instead of getting high bursts of energy you are getting a more steady sugar decomposition in your body. This will keep you full longer and provide your body with enough energy. 

Quinoa and diabetes

Many studies have shown that quinoa is a great choice for people that suffer from diabetes type 1 or 2. This plant is a whole grain. It is very rich in fiber and it’s a great source of protein. It is a great addition to your nutrition cause it can provide you with all of the necessary vitamins and nutrients without disrupting your blood sugar levels. 

Unlike other carbs, quinoa is blood sugar friendly, cause it keeps your blood sugar levels and insulin on a steady level. For that, we have to thank its low GI that’s only 53 which puts it in the diabetic-friendly category. If you are lacking a diabetic-friendly meal here is an idea.

You should always consult your healthcare professional before implementing any changes to your diet that can impact your overall health.

Can I consume quinoa everyday?

As shown by a lot of studies quinoa is a very healthy choice to be consumed regularly. Daily intake can improve your health in the long run and help maintain some chronic illnesses like diabetes, heart diseases, and many others.

One serving per day should be more than enough. Quinoa is best to be consumed at breakfast time because it is easier for digestion. Taking more amounts of quinoa could actually cause a digestive issue. Rich in fiber quinoa can make the digestion process very difficult and there have been cases that ended up in the ER after having higher amounts of quinoa.

If you haven’t consumed quinoa before, you should take a small amount and see how you react. If you are prone to food allergies or have any medical issues you should check in with your healthcare provider before you put quinoa on your diet. 

Is quinoa gluten-free?

Yes! Quinoa is naturally gluten-free. That makes it a great choice for anyone that is on a gluten-free diet. It’s a great substitute food for people with celiac disease or the ones with gluten intolerance cause it contains multiple groups of vitamins and minerals. They are crucial to the gluten-free diet since a major group of grains is prohibited to this health group.

Before making any changes to your gluten-free diet, you should contact your healthcare provider and see if you should include quinoa in your diet.

What is healthier rice or quinoa?

Both white and brown rice are gluten-free but brown rice would be a better choice cause it contains a higher amount of fiber.

When we compare three of these, white and brown rice with quinoa we find more similarities between quinoa and brown rice. Quinoa health benefits are almost the same as the benefits of brown rice. They are a great source of nutritional value, and they both promote a healthy gut.

Can quinoa impact weight loss?

After consuming quinoa you can feel fuller for a longer period of time. Which will automatically make you eat less than you usually do. Quinoa is a great source of protein and fiber which are essential for weight loss and your metabolism. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been enough evidence that supports the link between quinoa and direct weight loss.  

Is quinoa healthy to consume during pregnancy?

Yes, it’s a great source of fiber and minerals. Pregnant women can often become picky eaters at some point during their pregnancy. But a lot of them found quinoa as their lifesaver cause it provides them with necessary minerals and it can be prepared with most of the food you consume on daily basis.

Before taking any quinoa you should consult your healthcare provider to see if it’s a good fit for you and your baby.

Does quinoa have a good impact on hair growth and skin? 

There are many quinoa health benefits related to hair in general. A lot of cosmetic companies started using quinoa in their shampoo lines. It is supposed to encourage hair growth while stopping your ends from breakage. Also, many women have used quinoa water (water in which quinoa was soaked) for hair rinsing cause it encourages hair growth. 

When it comes to skin, quinoa has been connected to anti-aging a lot. Filled with a lot of essential vitamins quinoa is a great choice if you want younger-looking skin. Because it contains a lot of vitamin B and vitamin A which are very important for a healthy complexion. It can also help with acne breakouts, cause it is a huge antioxidant and it can prevent inflammatory processes in your organism which are usually the cause of acne in the first place.

All health content on foodscene.net is for general information only, and you should not take it as medical advice. If you have any concerns about your health, you should contact your local healthcare provider. See our website terms and conditions for more information.

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