13 Health Benefits of Quinoa
Have you noticed that more and more people are taking quinoa? Its rise in popularity can be attributed to the growing body of scientific evidence that it’s good for your health. The nice thing about quinoa is it’s widely available, and you can purchase it in health food stores online. If you’re still on the fence about quinoa and its benefits, the following demonstrates their many benefits.
1. Provides Plenty of Nutrition
There are three types of quinoa, black, red and white, all of which are rich in nutrients. One 185 g cup contains:
• Potassium: 9% of RDA.
• Zinc: 13% of RDA.
• Iron: 15% of the RDA
• Copper: 18% RDA.
• Folate: 19% RDA.
• Phosphorus: 28% RDA.
• Magnesium: 30% RDA.
• Manganese: 58% RDA.
• 5 grams of fiber
• 8 grams of protein
Quinoa also contains 10% of the daily recommended dose of B6, B1 and B2. Quinoa also has vitamin E, vitamin B3 and calcium. Each cup also has 4 g of fat, 39 g of carbohydrates and 222 calories. Quinoa also has omega 3 fatty acids which is good for your health.
Quinoa is free from gluten and provides many of the same benefits as whole grain foods. While not whole grain – it’s an edible seed – the nutritional value is high. With a high amount of vitamins, minerals and nutrients, it should come as no surprise that quinoa is able to nourish your body with a lot of essential benefits.
2. Contains Kaempferol and Quercetin
Quinoa contains more than just vitamins and minerals, as it is also rich in two types of flavonoids, kaempferol and quercetin, a class of antioxidants that provide a lot of health benefits for men and women.
Both flavonoids have anti carcinogenic properties, anti inflammatory, anti viral and anti depressant. These two flavonoids are available in copious amounts. In fact the amount of quercetin in quinoa is greater compared to those in cranberries. Quercetin and kaempferol are essential to building up your strength and immune system.
There are a lot of flavonoids found in plant extracts, but only quinoa has this much amount. Each of these vitamins and minerals come with their own set of benefits, but what makes them more effective is the way they’ve been put together.
3. Rich in Fiber
Quinoa contains anywhere from 10 to 16 grams of fiber for every 100 grams, depending on the type. This translates to around 17 to 27 grams a cup. This amount is double that found in other whole grains.
Fiber provides a lot of benefits including better bowel movement. Fiber makes you feel full so you’ll eat less and not gain weight. Fiber also removes toxins in your body, lowers bad cholesterol and regulates blood sugar levels. The high fiber content in quinoa also covers most of your daily fiber intake.
You don’t need to go far in terms of research to see that fiber is good for the body. With quinoa you get an ample amount so your body reaps the full benefits. Fiber alone provides plenty of nourishment, but when mixed with the other elements here fiber is further optimized for best results.
4. Gluten Free
Quinoa is gluten free, something a lot of people will appreciate. A lot of so-called gluten free foods aren’t really devoid of gluten. Most of those are refined starches which contain the same amount of junk as other processed foods.
Quinoa can be used as a substitute ingredient for pasta, breads and other foods. It is also more nutritious than refined rice flour, corn, potato tapioca and other foods. Substituting quinoa also boosts their antioxidant and nutritional value.
You have probably read more than a few complaints from customers who say the gluten free food they bought as not really gluten free. But quinoa is 100% certified free from gluten so it won’t cause any upset stomach.
5. Rich in Amino Acids and Proteins
Quinoa is rich in amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Many of these are considered essential because the human body is unable to produce them and yet is required. Many foods contain amino acids but aren’t complete. Quinoa however, contains all the essential amino acids.
Quinoa has all the essential amino acids so it’s a great source of amino acids. Because it is complete you get higher quality proteins. A cup of quinoa contains 8 grams of protein to go along with its other health benefits.
6. Quinoa is Good for Your Blood Sugar
The quinoa glycemic index is low, and that is good for your blood sugar. The glycemic index is used to determine how fast foods bring up your blood sugar level. Foods with a high glycemic index make you crave for more food so you put on more pounds and weight. Foods with a low glycemic index keep you full so you eat less.
Low glycemic index foods also reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Because quinoa has a low score you’ll be less prone to obesity and the health problems that come with it.
Quinoa has a 53 glycemic index, which is low compared to others. But quinoa still has a good amount of carbs so it’s ideal for mass gain. If you are into muscle building or strength training, it is good practice to take quinoa as it helps with the buildup.
7. Rich in Magnesium and Iron
Quinoa is rich in iron and magnesium, and it actually provides 30% of the recommended RDA for magnesium. Due to poor diet and the proliferation of processed foods, our bodies lack the essential vitamins and minerals.
Not only is quinoa rich in magnesium and iron, but it also comes with zinc and potassium. One drawback is the phytic acid in quinoa makes these minerals somewhat difficult to absorb. But you can get past this by sprouting or soaking the quinoa before cooking it. Doing so reduces the amount of phytic acid and increases bioavailability.
The bottom line is quinoa provides your body with minerals and vitamins that improve your health. Yes you may get these nutrients from multivitamin supplements, but the amount is limited and won’t supply the same sustenance. Quinoa is more comprehensive and provides more positive effects.
8. Good for Your Metabolism
With all the numerous health benefits quinoa provides, it’s not surprising that it is good for your metabolic health. A lot of study is being done, but the general consensus is substituting quinoa in gluten meals and breads lower your triglycerides, insulin and blood sugar levels.
Quinoa can also be added to a high fructose diet to mitigate the effects of too much fructose. The reduction in your blood pressure lowers your risk of hypertension related ailments. Normal blood pressure also eliminates symptoms of dizziness, nausea and weakness, all caused by high blood pressure.
9. Has Antioxidant Properties
An unhealthy diet and lifestyle takes its toll on your body. The end result are all kinds of toxins that weaken your immune system. Quinoa is rich in antioxidants that eliminate free radicals. Your body gets stronger and the antioxidants fight off aging and other diseases and ailments.
Quinoa has more antioxidants than legumes and cereals, and letting the seeds sprout produces even more antioxidants. By including quinoa in your diet you’ll end up with a healthier body.
10. Promotes Weight Loss
Quinoa is one of the most effective products when it comes to weight loss. As mentioned earlier, quinoa is rich in fiber. Fiber makes you full so you don’t have to go on eating binges. The less food you eat the more pounds you are going to lose.
The rule for losing weight is simple: take in less calories than you consume, burn the extra calories and you lose those pounds. There are certain types of food that stimulate weight loss by reducing your appetite or boosting your metabolism. Increasing metabolism ups the calories you use, while appetite control reduces calories going in.
Quinoa contains a bit of both. It is full of protein that reduces your appetite and enhances your metabolism. But because it is rich in fiber you’ll feel less of those hunger pangs and eat less. By incorporating both you will burn more fats and calories.
Its low glycemic score is another reason why quinoa is good for weight loss. You still need to go on a healthy diet and exercise to get in shape. However there in no doubt quinoa is good for wight loss. Other health foods offer only one or the other, but quinoa offers both so you get the best of both.
11. Easy to Add in Your Daily Regimen
One of the most practical benefits of quinoa is how easy it is to add to your meals. One of the reasons why it’s hard to go on a diet is many healthy foods don’t taste good. Quinoa is an exception as it tastes good. Quinoa also works well with different types of foods so you’ll be able to mix and match them.
Since quinoa is palatable you can eat different types of food. Keep in mind there are many types of quinoa so some flavors may taste better than others. Some quinoa have to be rinsed to remove sapponis as it makes quinoa taste bitter. Many quinoa brands have been rinsed already however.
12. Lower Cholesterol
Quinoa reduces your cholesterol and makes you less vulnerable to heart disease and other medical conditions brought about by obesity. Quinoa has properties that naturally reduce cholesterol, but there are other factors that make it effective.
The high level of fiber plays an important role in reducing cholesterol as it binds with the fats and flushes it out of your body. As your body’s cholesterol level goes down, you lose fat and calories.
Reduction of cholesterol produces a snowball effect, all of which are good. When your cholesterol goes down, risk of life threatening diseases go down as well. If you have hemorrhoids, the weight reduction relieves pressure and discomfort.
It’s impossible to talk about cholesterol reduction without mentioning weight reduction. This is understandable because weight loss is one of the most immediate effects of reduced cholesterol. When combined with exercise you’re going to experience significant weight loss.
13. Good for Muscle Growth
When people talk abut quinoa, the first thing that usually comes to mind is weight loss. But it is also good for muscle growth. Quinoa isn’t something you would associate with muscles, but a closer look reveals its benefits.
The reason why quinoa is good for your muscles are the amino acids. The essential amino acids are the foundation of protein, and proteins build muscles. Protein synthesis is the process by which your body builds muscles. When you exercise, lift wights or otherwise exert force, your muscles get torn and repaired.
The repair process leads to bigger muscles, but this will only work if you have a sufficient amount of proteins. With quinoa you have a sufficient supply. When combined with workouts you’ll gain muscles more quickly.
How to Prepare Quinoa
Follow the directions in the package as it may vary from brand to brand. The general steps are as follows.
1. Pour two cups of water in a pot. Turn the heat up.
2. Pour a cup of quinoa in it along with a bit of salt.
3. Boil about 15 to 20 minutes.
4. The quinoa is now ready to eat.
This is the simplest way to prepare quinoa, as there are many others.
As we have shown, quinoa provides a lot of health benefits that are difficult to get in other foods and supplements. For these reasons it makes sense to include it in your diet. Delicious and nutritious, it’s the kind of health food that you’ll enjoy and benefit from.