Quinoa is growing to be the next big grain in the world of healthy grains, even beating oats by a long margin in this race! But why is everyone all of a sudden crazy over this new healthy food in town? Aren't healthy foods supposed to be gross and not delicious at all? Well, that's not the case with quinoa!
Quinoa is extremely versatile when it comes to making different recipes with it. From quinoa fried rice to quinoa salads to even quinoa shakes, you know that this new grain is here to rule over all our kitchens! And once we finish telling all the benefits and the long list of nutrients that come with eating quinoa regularly, you'll become a quinoa fan as well!
What is Quinoa exactly?
Although quinoa is still new to many of us, it's actually a very ancient food grain that our ancestors ate!
It was historically grown in South America thousands of years ago, and was even dubbed as the 'mother grain' by the ancient Inca people! But this is the history part, what about the actual grain?
For starters, quinoa is a gluten-free whole grain that contains both carbohydrates and complete proteins. What the latter means for your health, you'll soon know!
There's also another thing to note that many don't consider quinoa as a whole grain, since it is actually the seed from a plant.
And whole grains like oats and wheat are supposed to come from grass, not plants as the quinoa does. Still, this little technicality matters little as people basically eat quinoa seeds like it's whole grain.
So in that way, we can consider quinoa as a 'pseudo-cereal. But whatever the case may be, there's no denying that quinoa seeds are not delicious but extremely good for your health!
The many health benefits of Quinoa
Quinoa comes in a variety of three colors: white, red, and black. But all have the same nutrition profile, which is extremely potent at the first glance. Just take a look yourself!
- Proteins (All nine amino acids by the way!)
- Vitamin B
- A small amount of Calcium and Vitamin E
Besides the many proteins and minerals and vitamins Quinoa is already filled with, it is also packed with healthy plant antioxidants.
These plant antioxidants are called flavonoids, and Quinoa has two of them in high quantity: quercetin and kaempferol. These rare nutrients are proven to have many health benefits, such as: (1)being anti-inflammatory; (2) preventing the chance of cancer; (3) decreasing the risk of depression.
Anyone who has an iota of knowledge in health will know how important fiber is in our diet. Quinoa happens to be extremely high in it, with a bowl of quinoa containing up to 16 grams of fiber! And to let you know just how good that, is, let us tell you all the healthy perks fiber gives you!
- Fiber increases fullness making you feel less hungry.
- It also lowers blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
- It helps with weight loss as high fibre food leaves you feeling full and less hungry.
- Fibre is also good for healthy digestive system.
If you look at the recent surveys, around one-third of the population is trying to cut their gluten intake from their diet.
Quinoa happens to be completely gluten-free, making it an ideal replacement for gluten-containing grains like wheat. And if you are wondering whether gluten is that bad, then let us count some of its bad health effects for you.
Gluten comes from highly refined starch, and is single-handedly responsible for things like fatigue, bloatedness, constipation, and even malnutrition! So it would be wise if you check your gluten intake too and switch to quinoa instead!
Protein consists of nine amino acids, and all of them are essential to our body's functioning. These amino acids cannot be produced by our bodies either, making it imperative that you get them through your diet instead.
Unfortunately, not all plants and even animal products do not contain all nine of these amino acids. But wait, there's a savior and it's quinoa! This wonder food despite being a whole grain is exceptionally high in proteins, and yes, it has all the nine amino acids which our human bodies require!
Quinoa is high in many minerals like iron and manganese. This is extremely important as most of us don't get adequate minerals from our average diets. Some minerals are rare to be found in nutrients and quinoa is lucky to have most of them! But just one thing in mind.
Quinoa is also rich in phytic acid, which can reduce the absorption of these minerals by the human body. But don't worry, this can be easily solved by merely soaking them before cooking, as this will reduce the amount of phytic acid, making minerals available for your benefit!
Metabolism means how fast your body processes its basic functions. For instance, if you have a slow metabolism, you are more likely to gain weight and have high blood sugar.
So yes, having healthy and robust metabolic health is important. Thanks to quinoa's long and rich nutritional profile, having quinoa daily will ensure you get everything your metabolic system may require to function smoothly. Quinoa will also reduce your blood sugar levels and make you feel energetic in life!
If you are planning to go on a diet to reduce weight, and have not considered quinoa as a food option, then we are afraid to say you're doing it all wrong!
To reduce your weight your body requires less calory intake, and guess how many calories quinoa has?
Next to nothing! One cup of quinoa has just 222 calories! Compare that to any other diet food out there!
And this is not just where the advantages of quinoa end! Quinoa is extremely rich in fiber, which means eating quinoa will leave you feeling full, without feeling any hunger! And guess what this means? Fewer calories!
Quinoa also has a low glycemic index, which is a pretty important factor when it comes to reducing weight.
And last, but not least, quinoa can easily become a part of your daily diet. Yes, it's not exactly a health benefit, but it is an overall benefit over all the healthy things you get from quinoa.
Because if you want to eat healthily, that food also has to be accessible to everyone! And not only is quinoa easily available at any food market with extremely cheap rates, but it is also easy to make!
You don't need to be a chef extraordinaire with Micheline stars to make a bowl of quinoa! Just soak them in water and you can do whatever you want with it!
Quinoa is hailed as a super food by many health experts, and with a very good reason as you must know by now. Quinoa comes with such a balanced nutrition chart that no other food can compare to it.
And even the United Nations knows that since it declared 2013 as the year of quinoa! That's right!
Quinoa is probably the only whole grain that got a whole year dedicated to it! And if that's not all, even NASA sings praises about quinoa and is researching to find a way to grow it in space!
Try these Quinoa Recipes
- Instant Pot Black Bean Quinoa Burrito Bowl with Tofu
- Roasted Mushrooms with Herby Quinoa
- Healthy Quinoa Fried "Rice" with Crispy Tofu - Vegan | Low Carb Dinner Recipe
- Vegan Black Bean Quinoa Burgers in Air-Fryer
- Cinnamon Apple Quinoa Breakfast Bowls
- Keto Quinoa Zucchini Muffins - (No Flour, No Sugar, No Oats)
- Cilantro Lime Quinoa
- Low Carb Mediterranean Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas
- Southwestern Quinoa Black Bean Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette dressing
- Traditional Moroccan Chickpea Quinoa Salad with Carrots, Raisins, Feta and Pistachios
We should really be thankful that quinoa is easily available to us on earth as even people in space want it! So what are you waiting for? Try these quinoa recipes and start your journey towards both healthy and delicious eating!