Health Benefits of Quinoa

Quinoa is gluten-free, high in protein and one of the few plant foods that contain sufficient amounts of all nine essential amino acids. It is also high in fiber, magnesium, B vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E and various beneficial antioxidants.

Here are 11 health benefits of quinoa. 1. Very Nutritious Quinoa is a grain crop that is grown for its edible seeds. It’s pronounced KEEN-wah. It technically isn't a cereal grain, but a pseudo-cereal. In other words, it is basically a seed, which is prepared and eaten similarly to a grain. Quinoa was an important crop for the Inca Empire. They referred to it as the "mother of all grains" and believed it to be sacred.It has been eaten for thousands of years in South America and only recently became a trend food, even reaching superfood status. There are three main types: white, red and black.

This is the nutrient content in 1 cup of cooked quinoa: Protein: 8 grams. Fiber: 5 grams. Manganese: 58% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA). Magnesium: 30% of the RDA. Phosphorus: 28% of the RDA. Folate: 19% of the RDA. Copper: 18% of the RDA. Iron: 15% of the RDA. Zinc: 13% of the RDA. Potassium 9% of the RDA. Over 10% of the RDA for vitamins B1, B2 and B6. Small amounts of calcium, B3 (niacin) and vitamin E.

This comes with a total of 222 calories, with 39 grams of carbs and 4 grams of fat. It also contains a small amount of omega-3 fatty acids. Quinoa is non-GMO, gluten-free and usually grown organically. Even though technically not a cereal grain, it still counts as a whole-grain food. SUMMARY Quinoa is an edible seed that has become increasingly popular among health-conscious people. It’s loaded with many important nutrients.

2. Contains the Plant Compounds Quercetin and Kaempferol

The health effects of real foods go beyond the vitamins and minerals with which you may be familiar.There are thousands of trace nutrients, some of which are extremely healthy. This includes plant antioxidants called flavonoids, which have been shown to offer various health benefits. Two flavonoids that have been particularly well studied are quercetin and kaempferol, both found in high amounts in quinoa.In fact, the quercetin content of quinoa is even higher than in typical high-quercetin foods like cranberries. These important molecules have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-cancer and anti-depressant effects in animal studies. By including quinoa in your diet, you will significantly increase your total intake of these (and other) important nutrients. SUMMARY Quinoa contains large amounts of flavonoids, including quercetin and kaempferol. These are potent plant antioxidants with numerous health benefits. 3. Very High in Fiber, Much Higher Than Most Grains Another important benefit of quinoa is its high fiber content. One study that looked at 4 varieties of quinoa found a range of 10–16 grams of fiber per every 100 grams. This equals 17–27 grams per cup, which is very high — more than twice as high as most grains. Boiled quinoa contains much less fiber, gram for gram because it absorbs so much water. Unfortunately, most of the fiber is insoluble, which doesn't appear to have the same health benefits as soluble fiber. That being said, the soluble fiber content in quinoa is still quite decent, with about 2.5 grams per cup or 1.5 grams per 100 grams. Numerous studies show that soluble fiber can help reduce blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol, increase fullness and help with weight loss. SUMMARY Quinoa is much higher in fiber than most grains. One study found 17–27 grams of fiber per cup (185 grams). Most of the fiber is insoluble, but one cup of quinoa still contains 2.5 grams of insoluble fiber.