Want to eat something healthy in your breakfast! You should take a look over quinoa.
Quinoa pronounced as “keen -wah” is a very healthy grain. It is packed with a high amount of nutrients and many health benefits. It’s considered as a superfood due to its rich nutrient content.
It’s a healthy grain that can be replaced with protein rich foods like egg, milk and meat.
It contains all nine amino acids that are vital for muscle growth and development. So if you want to build muscle, then quinoa is a complementary of animal products. Animal products provide protein, but they are loaded with cholesterol.
But quinoa contains mono-unsaturated fat that reduces cholesterol.
Protein is not only the nutrient that is the center of attraction for quinoa. It provides varieties of nutrients that are essential for the development and functioning of the body.
It also protects from free radicals that are responsible for cellular damage.
Due to the rich antioxidant, antioxidant flavonoids, minerals, and vitamins, it’s proven as healthiest grain. So know the health benefits and nutrient facts of Quinoa.
Nutrition Facts That Make Quinoa An Adorable Food
Quinoa is super nutritious and healthy grain. Considered as a superfood, it is packed with multiple nutrients and even with some nutrient that is available rarely in food. It has become popular grain for fitness enthusiast in past few year due to nutrient richness.
Let’s explore the amazing nutrient profile of quinoa so that you can add the benefit of quinoa in your day-to-day life.
Contains quercetin and kaempferol
Vitamin, mineral and other nutrients are required for better health.
There are lots of nutrients that we require to some or the other process to function properly. There are few trace nutrients that are found rarely in food to enjoy its complete benefits.
Among those trace nutrient are quercetin and kaempferol. A recent study has found that quinoa contains a large amount of these both nutrients. (1).
Since these nutrients are flavonoids, they have antioxidant property.
Another nutrient that we need to improve our health is fiber.
Fiber is required for multiple functions that make it vital. Quinoa can fill those gap in your diet.
The fiber content of quinoa is double than that of other grains that we usually eat such as wheat, a major source of energy and fiber.
It contains both soluble and insoluble fiber. But the quantity of insoluble fiber is quite high thus lowering its benefit.
Soluble fiber is highly preferred and it also available in quinoa. (9)
A study done in 2013 found that one-third of U.S are currently trying to minimize or avoid gluten. Many people are following gluten-free diet without having diagnosed with any disease.
People following gluten-free diet lack many of essential nutrients like iron, fiber, riboflavin, thiamin, folate and niacin. They are struggling to get these essential nutrients as gluten free diet lack these nutrients. (10)
Gluten free food that is naturally available is the best way to follow gluten free diet. As processed foods lack essential nutrients and they are also termed as junk food.
Quinoa is a best gluten free grain that is found to have a high amount of essential nutrients.
A study found that gluten diet nutrients profile can be increased just by adding quinoa or oats. Nutrients like protein, iron, calcium and fiber ratio increased making gluten free diet a healthy food. (11)
A study also found, adding quinoa or buckwheat with a typical gluten-free product made of potato, rice and corn flour increased antioxidants and polyphenols intake value. (12)
Quinoa is one the most praised grain by NASA for a long-term human space mission, and the mission that will require the crew to have a nutritionally balanced diet. (13)
It’s considered valuable due to its high protein value (12-18%) and its unique amino acids combination. It’s termed as a complete protein source.
Protein is of two type: Essential and Non-Essential
Essential protein can’t be produced inside our body while our body produces non-essential protein. We need a good source of complete protein to meet our daily need.
Vegetarian source lacks complete protein. While quinoa is different from other grains as it contains 9 sets of essential amino acids including lysine that plant foods lack. (14)
Quinoa exceeds the required amino acid as recommended by FOA.
All essential amino acids in quinoa
- Phenylalanine + Tyrosine
- Methionine + Cysteine
People following vegetarian diet lack essential protein. They can include it in their regular diet to increase the intake of quality protein.
Low glycemic index
Oxidative stress is the primary reason for the production of oxidants, also known as free radicals. We come in contact with free radicals through environment and it is also produced in our body.
Body produce free radicals to defend us from virus and bacteria. But increased oxidative stress is causing damage to our cell, and they damage DNA and cell functionality.
These free radicals are the reason for cardiovascular disease, aging, osteoporosis and cancer.
To stay protected from these free radicals, our body require antioxidants to neutralize those active compounds. The demand of antioxidant is increasing to stay healthy.
Quinoa is a rich source of flavonoids like quercetin, kaempferol and other antioxidant compounds that provide it antioxidant activity. It also leads to the reduction of inflammation.
Perfect Balanced Nutrients
Along with many of nutrition facts mentioned, quinoa has a perfect balance of other essential nutrients. Including it with other foods will increase the nutrients profile that other food lack.
1 cup (170 g) raw quinoa provides (17)
- Protein – 24 g (48% of RDA)
- Vitamin E – 4.1 mg (21%)
- Thiamin – 0.6 mg (41%)
- Riboflavin – 0.5 mg (32% )
- Niacin – 2.6 mg (13%)
- Vitamin B6 – 0.8 mg (41% )
- Folate – 313 mcg (78%)
- Pantothenic Acid – 1.3 mg (3%)
- Dietary Fiber – 11.9 g (48%)
- Calcium – 80 mg (8%)
- Iron – 7.8 mg (43% )
- Magnesium – 335 mg (84%)
- Phosphorous – 777 mg (78%)
- Zinc – 5.3 mg (35%)
- Copper – 1 mg (50%)
- Manganese- 3.5 mg (73%)
Health Benefits Of Quinoa
1. Quinoa Complete Protein Helps To Repair and Build Muscle
Our body need nine essential nutrients to build muscle and heal muscle damage. These nine amino acids are the building block of cells and muscles.
Quinoa is among few grains that contain every essential amino acids in large amount. The unique amino acid that it contain is Lysine in large amount, similar to animal food.
One cup quinoa contains 8 gram of protein which is quite less as per daily need. Depending only on quinoa wouldn’t be a great choice due to its high calorie.
Add it to other protein-rich foods to meet essential and other protein need. You won’t need more than a cup of quinoa to get it’s protein benefit.
Wrap up: Lysine with other essential amino acids helps to build stronger muscle. They even improves sports performance.
2. Quinoa Boost Complete Metabolic Health That Increase Longevity
Metabolic health is totally confused by just, “How many calories the body burn during the day.” It’s just a part.
Wheres metabolic system comprises of several organs, hormone and enzymes that work together to digest, absorb, process, transport and excrete nutrient for better health.
A healthy metabolic system is responsible for better overall health as well as protects from obesity, type 2 diabetes, etc.
Quinoa has a lot of nutrients that is found to improve metabolic health, thus improving the quality of life.
Study on human found that including quinoa instead of gluten free bread and pasta reduces the blood sugar, triglycerides, and insulin.(21)
Study on rat found including fructose with quinoa completely inhibit the negative effect of fructose. (22)
Quinoa has a great amount of nutrients ranging from protein, fiber, vitamin, minerals, saponins, phytosterols, phytoecdysteroids, and phenolics. 40 g will be enough to get a large portion of RDA for a better metabolic health. (23)
Wrap up: With high amount of protein, fiber, vitamin and minerals, it helps to kick the function of the metabolic system.
3. Lose Weight Successfully With Quinoa
Want to lose weight?
Quinoa can be a great choice due to its high protein, fiber and low glycemic index.
For a successful and effortless weight loss, it’s important to burn more calories and intake few calorie. Healthy metabolism will burn more calorie which low appetite will avoid excess calorie intake.
Eating fiber rich foods for breakfast can give you a better result as it keeps full for longer, preventing unwanted hunger pang throughout the day.
Wheres its low glycemic index is found to reduce hunger, lowering the calorie intake. (26)
Wrap up: Quinoa contains protein and fiber that supress appetite and boost metabolsim. They lower the calorie intake and helps to burn more calorie effortlessly.
4. Quinoa Protects From Type 2 Diabetes and Protects From Complications of Diabetes
Quinoa contains multiple nutrients that are required for optimum health and to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Among those, protein and fiber are promising to provide better protection.
Protein and fiber are both essential for healthy blood sugar level.
We need fiber for healthy blood sugar regulation. It also provides more benefit when we eat it with other grain or food. (27)
Wrap up: Protein and fiber maintain healthy blood sugar level. Also it’s anti-inflammatory nutrients protect from diabetes complications.
5. Oleic Acid and Inflammatory Nutrients Protect From Cardiovascular Disease
Quinoa contains a high amount of monounsaturated fat(oleic acid). Oleic acid is a healthy fat that reduces bad fat. (34)
Including quinoa in the diet reduces bad cholesterol in the blood. Thus, it improves blood circulation and reduces the risk of heart attack or stroke.
It also contains anti-inflammatory nutrients that protect blood vessels from inflammatory damage and prevent atherosclerosis.
Wrap up: Oleic acid is an heart friendly fat that nourish and protect heart. Quinoa improves blood flow and protect blood vessels from free radicals.
6. Quinoa Antioxidant Compound Protect From Multiple Cancer
Quinoa is a great a source of anti-inflammatory and antioxidants that provide complete protection from cancer.
Cancer is caused due to uncontrolled growth of cells caused due to increased inflammation and free radicals damage.
Anti-inflammatory and antioxidants neutralize free radicals and control inflammation reducing the risk.
Quinoa contains a large amount of quercetin, an antioxidant. Quercetin has found to reduce the risk of many types of cancer. (35)
Fiber cleans the toxins and carcinogens stored in the colon that help to prevent colon cancer. (36)
Wrap up: With high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrient, quinoa protect from mutiple cancer. Fiber is helpful in protecting from colon cancer.
7. Quinoa Helps to Build Strong Bone and Quicken Healing of Fracture
The body needs various nutrients and minerals for proper functioning. Among those nutrients, manganese is also important for the development of bone.
Calcium is required for the development of bone, but manganese is required to increase bone density. So it prevents the development of osteoporosis.
Quinoa contains a good amount of manganese that improves bone health and protects from the fracture.
A study found that Lysine with L-arginine(amino acid) enhance collagen production and make bone-building cell more active. (37)
A test was done on rabbit for fracture healing, with Lysine with L-arginine. (38)
Lysine with L-arginine showed better vascularization, callus formation, and mineralization in the bone, increasing the speed of healing fracture.
Wrap up: Calcium and manganese help in development of stonger bone. Lysine help to develop high calcium dense bone and fastens healing of fracture.
8. High Iron and Riboflavin Protects From Anemia
Quinoa contains a high amount of Iron and Riboflavin. 1 cup quinoa provide almost 43% of iron and 32% riboflavin required in the daily diet.
Eating Iron and Riboflavin-rich food increase the production of new blood cells. It also cleanses the blood and increases the flow of oxygen. Riboflavin increases the energy metabolism. Also, it reduces the risk of a migraine. (
Riboflavin increases the energy metabolism. Also, it reduces the risk of a migraine. (39)
Wrap up: Iron and Riboflavin combination increase new blood cells and prevent Anemia. Also it also improves energy level.
Tip to remember
Saponins is a compound present outside layer of skin that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory property. It’is regarded as good nutrient due to its antioxidant property.
These saponins give quinoa a bitter taste, and few people face stomach irritation. As it is water soluble, you can wash in cold water to rise excess saponins.
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