Quinoa health benefits – You’re sure to have heard and probably tried quinoa. You may even have it as a staple part of your diet.
Over the last decade, quinoa has gained massive popularity as an alternative to many traditionally popular grains and seeds.
It has also found its place as one of the faces of the vegan lifestyle owing to its rich protein profile.
Quinoa’s massive mainstream popularity in western cuisine may seem like a new thing, but this seed has its roots (no pun intended) in ancient culinary culture.
Indigenous to the Andes Mountains, quinoa seeds come from a flowering plant of the same name.
This super seed comes in many varieties, let’s take a look at each.
Types Of Quinoa
Quinoa exists as food in several forms, each with a different taste and texture profile.
White quinoa, for example, is the most popular when it comes to human consumption. That’s probably because it’s got the mildest texture and flavor profile, allowing it to be palatable to more people.
On the other end of the spectrum is black quinoa, which has a richer earthier flavor with some hints of sweetness.
Red quinoa has a tougher, granier texture with a similar earthy profile as black quinoa in terms of flavor. The flavor is often described as a blend of nutty or woody.
Flavor and texture aside, what is the nutritional value of quinoa?
In this article, we’re going to dig into some nutritional facts about quinoa, and why you should consider it as part of your diet if you haven’t already.
6 Nutritional Quinoa Health Benefits
Great Nutritional Profile
Quinoa has an amazing nutrient profile.
It provides many beneficial essential nutrients, thus helping to improve your health, optimize performance and maintain vital functions.
Nutrients quinoa health benefits :
Zinc is particularly special. That’s because with quinoa’s prevalence as a vegan dietary staple, it provides a healthy intake of zinc, which is typically deficient when living on a strictly plant-based regimen.
That brings us to another valuable nutritional fact and one that also benefits plant-based lifestyles. protein!
Plant-Based Complete Protein
Quinoa is reputed as a good protein source when it comes to plants.
That’s because, amongst all the fruits, veggies and plant-sourced foods we typically eat, very few acts as single complete protein sources.
A single source complete protein is an individual food item whose protein quality profile contains all 9 amino acids.
Quinoa is one such food, having all 9 essential amino acids in one food source.
At 8 grams of protein in a cup of cooked quinoa, it has respectable protein values which will translate into a healthy intake that fulfills all your protein needs.
Another interesting benefit of quinoa is its abundance in antioxidant compounds.
Quinoa contains flavonoid chemicals quercetin and kaempferol. These antioxidants have a protective action by scavenging for free radicals, limiting their ability to cause oxidative stress and inflammation.
This helps preserve your cells and tissues as well as boosting metabolic activity and reducing inflammation..
High In Dietary Fiber
The fiber rating of quinoa is quite profound.
It tops the charts when compared to many common natural fiber sources.
Fiber content benefits health in a few ways.
Firstly, as you may know, it allows for regular bowel movements, keeping the gut clean and functional by improving motility and removal of solid waste.
Secondly, it nourishes the bacteria in your gut, which serve many important functions and help maintain your overall health.
Lastly, fiber has a metabolic role. It mediates the uptake of glucose from the digested food in the gut to the bloodstream.
This moderated control of glucose helps keep insulin sensitivity at a healthy high, thus keeping a healthy balance and reducing the risk of metabolic complications such as diabetes and obesity.
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Gluten-Free Grain Alternative
Many people are gluten insensitive or gluten intolerant.
Gluten, which is a protein found in many cereal grains such as wheat, can trigger a host of complications, ranging from mild gut irritation, all the way to life-threatening anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction.
Quinoa offers the same familiar dining experience as some grain-based foods such as couscous and can even be processed into pasta, allowing people to enjoy the pleasures of familiar foods while benefiting from a zero gluten profile.
Quinoa seems like it’s here to stay. With such an amazing nutrient profile and quinoa health benefits , we see no reason why it shouldn’t be included in more people’s diets.
It’s also very well tolerated, offering a great gluten-free alternative as well as serving as a great plant-based protein source.