Here are some amazing the health benefits of quinoa
What is this weird-sounding grain and, really, how does one even pronounce it? Let us make it simpler for you. This rather old grain of Celtic origin is actually pronounced as ‘qee-n-wah’, with the last bit sounding like when you blow a kiss – mwah.
Now, that you know how to pronounce it, practise it a few times. In the meantime, I will tell you why you need to include this amazing grain into your daily meals.
The first thing you need to know is that quinoa is actually a seed from a plant called Chenopodium Quinoa. It is extremely rich in several nutrients and is hence counted amongst one of the “superfoods”.
The unusual thing about quinoa is that it is actually not even a grain but a pseudo cereal – a seed that is prepared and consumed like a grain. Well, we are not complaining, as it gives us all the benefits of seeds and is filling enough to be a grain.
As quinoa has a crunchy texture, it works well with soups and salads due to its nutty flavour. For those who are generally gluten-intolerant, this is an ideal grain to include in meals. Cooked quinoa consists of 71 per cent carbohydrates , 15 per cent protein and 14 per cent fat. Still wondering why you should have quinoa? Read on…
Top 5 benefits of quinoa:
For those suffering from various gluten and wheat allergies or intolerances, this is a life-saving grain. Due to its versatile nature, it lends itself well to pretty much any recipe – from porridge to salads to risottos.
High protein content
With its 15 per cent protein content, this is the grain of choice for athletes and those looking to lose weight. For those who don’t want to consume empty calories and yet need enough high quality fuel, this grain is like gold dust. Especially in comparison to rice, which has only 4 per cent protein. This grain can be eaten as a snack or incorporated as a side dish with meat or chicken.
Being high in nutrients and low in calories, it will help you feel full sooner and stay so for a longer period of time. When the body is fed low-nutrient fuel, it tends to feel constantly hungry or run down. And the higher protein content will boost your metabolism, especially if you eat it with some raw vegetables containing amino acids that will break protein down into energy.
In short, it is a great low-fat food that will help address cravings as opposed to other unhealthy foods around you.
Extremely high nutrient content
A cup of cooked quinoa will give you unbelievable amounts of nutrients:
. Protein: 8 grams
. Fibre: 5 grams
. Manganese: A whopping 58 per cent of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA)
. Magnesium: 30 per cent of the RDA that we all need to recover from workouts
. Phosphorus: 28 per cent of the RDA
. Folate: 19 per cent of the RDA
. Copper: 18 per cent of the RDA
. Iron: 15 per cent of the RDA
. Zinc: 13 per cent of the RDA
. Potassium: 9 per cent of the RDA
. Over 10 per cent of the RDA for vitamins B1, B2 and B6.
. Small amounts of calcium, B3 (niacin) and vitamin E.
These quantities of nutrients cannot be scoffed at, especially these days, when most of the foods we eat are extremely low on nutrients and fibre.
High in antioxidants
Along with being all of the above, quinoa grains are also very high in antioxidants, which are substances that neutralise free radicals in our systems that help fight cancers and various other diseases.
In comparison to other foods of its kind, quinoa is known to have the highest antioxidant content. What’s more, allowing the seeds to sprout overnight under the right conditions will boost antioxidant content levels even further.
At the end of the day, all of the above benefits and more have earned the quaint little quinoa grain its place amongst the superfoods. Isn’t it high time you tried it out? Or for that matter, up the ante by replacing animal protein in your meals with this impactful grain?