Quinoa(Pronounciation:keen-wa) and other grains like amaranth, barley, and farro are rapidly growing in popularity for a wider range of health benefits they provide.There are hundreds of cultivated types of quinoa,but the most common versions that are available in stores are white, red, and black quinoa. Quinoa is a “superfood,” with an array of benefits, which have been recognized in just the past few years.
1.Contains Quercetin and Kaempferol
Quinoa contains large amounts of flavonoids,quercetin and kaempferol,which are plant antioxidants and are said to have all sorts of beneficial effect on your health. These are powerful plant antioxidants with numerous health benefits.It has been proved that these important molecules have anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-cancer and anti-depressant effects.Quinoa consumption can significantly increase your total intake of important nutrients vital for your body.
2.High Fiber Content,much higher than most grains.
Quinoa contains a large amount of fiber as compared to most grains, almost 17-27 grams of fiber per cup(according to a source finding).Numerous studies proved that soluble fiber in quinoa can help reduce blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol level, increase fullness and also help in weight loss.
3.Gluten-free,hence a perfect food for people with gluten intolerance
Quinoa is naturally free of gluten and using it instead of typical gluten-free ingredients can increase the antioxidant and nutrient value of a gluten-free diet.Many researchers are looking at quinoa as a major ingredient in gluten-free diets, specially for people who don’t want to give up on breads and pasta.Studies have shown that using quinoa instead of refined tapioca, potato, corn and rice flour, can considerably increase the nutritional value of the diet.
4.Very high in protein, containing all the essential amino acids
Quinoa is rich in proteins compared to other plant foods. It contains all the essential amino acids our body need.Many plant foods are deficient in certain essential amino acids, like lysine.Quinoa being an exception, contains all the essential amino acids and hence is an excellent source of protein.
Nutritional Value of Quinoa
One-fourth cup of dry quinoa contains 160 calories, 2.5 grams of fat,0 grams of cholesterol and sodium, 27 grams of carbohydrate and 6 grams of protein.
Quinoa is a wonderful plant-based protein source for vegetarians and vegans, with 8 grams of quality protein per cup.Consuming 2-3 servings of quinoa a day can reduce risks of:
-Type 2 diabetes
-High blood pressure
How to incorporate more quinoa into your diet
Quinoa has a bitter coating of saponin which can be easily removed by rinsing quinoa with water before consuming.Although most packaged quinoa are available with saponin already removed, you can always give it an extra rinse.
It is really easy and quick to incorporate quinoa into your diet – simply use it in place of rice in any recipe.The quinoa grains are quiet small.hence can be cooked to tender in just 15 minutes.It can also be used for baking or as a breakfast cereal, in hot side dishes, cold salads, and even in burgers.