Here’s Why You Should Add Quinoa To Your Diet
Everywhere you look, you will discover some dishes featuring lots of quinoa. And if you’re like most people, you’re probably wondering why quinoa became so popular. Rest assured, we’ve got you covered in this article! Next, we shared with you the top benefits of quinoa! Read on to discover this impressive seed and the reason why it became so popular!
What is quinoa?
Quinoa is a whole grain with several health benefits. It is a gluten-free seed, which makes it excellent for using it as a substitute for rice or other grains. Keep in mind that this is a versatile ingredient, which is why you can discover on the market over 120 types of quinoa. Some of the most popular varieties are red, white, and black quinoa.
What is quinoa’s nutritional content?
Cooked quinoa is quite nutritious and beneficial for any meal plan. Only 100 grams of cooked quinoa has:
- Calories: 120
- Water: 72%
- Protein: 4.4 grams
- Carbs: 21.3 grams
- Sugar: 0.9 grams
- Fiber: 2.8 grams
- Fat: 1.9 grams
What are the health benefits of quinoa?
#1 It is a plant-based protein source
Quinoa is great for those following a plant-based diet since it is a reliable protein source. One cup of cooked quinoa offers around 9 grams of protein. And the best part about quinoa is that its proteins consist of amino acids. Amino acids are key in immune activity and muscle development. Also, quinoa has high levels of lysine, an essential amino acid necessary for growth and development.
#2 It has a high fiber content
Quinoa is one of the grains with tremendous amounts of fiber. It can offer at least 16% of a person’s daily recommended intake. Several studies show that the fibers in quinoa can diminish the risk of constipation, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diverticulosis. Besides, a diet rich in fibers helps in weight loss and promotes a feeling of satiety and fullness.
#3 It is rich in antioxidants
This gluten-free grain is rich in essential antioxidants that you won’t find in any other gluten-free grain. Quinoa is rich in vitamin E, essential for decreasing the risk of heart disease, cancer, and eye disorders.
#4 It is a good source of manganese
One cup of cooked quinoa has around 1.2 milligrams of manganese. And this is more than beneficial for providing at least 27% of the daily recommended intake of this nutrient. Manganese is needed in metabolism and body development, as it supports the proper functioning of various enzymes.
#5 It is a reliable source of iron
Iron is key for good health, and one of the best ways to add it to your meal plan is with quinoa. It can help oxygenate the blood, and it supports adequate cell functioning.
Are there any side effects associated with quinoa?
For most people, quinoa doesn’t trigger side effects. Still, this grain is rich in phytates, which in some people might decrease the absorption of minerals. Also, quinoa has a high content of oxalates, which might contribute to kidney stone formation. So, if you suspect you have a health issue, it might be a good idea to ask for medical advice before adding quinoa to your meal plan.
How to add quinoa to your diet?
There are plenty of recipes you can use to include quinoa in your diet. You can use it instead of rice in any recipe, and it will offer a subtle nutty taste. Still, make sure you wash it thoroughly before you cook it. Even though manufacturers remove saponins by rinsing quinoa with water, it might still contain traces of it. This can lead to a bitter taste.
Some of the best ways to serve quinoa are:
- quinoa salad
- nourishing lemon chicken quinoa soup
- quinoa breakfast porridge
- quinoa black bean tacos
The bottom line
So, quinoa is a superfood that can turn out to be beneficial for you, no matter if you’re on a gluten-free diet or not. It is rich in several essential nutrients, and it has high-quality protein. It is one of the best gluten-free grains you can eat that might offer several health benefits. So, if you aim to lower blood sugar levels, balance your weight, and follow a healthier meal plan, quinoa might be your next ally. And the best part about it is that it is so versatile that you can add it in numerous recipes.