Quinoa – Nutrition Powerhouse
Quinoa – Nutrition Powerhouse
Quinoa is considered as an excellent source of protein compared to other grains. It is often touted as the nutrition powerhouse because quinoa contains all nine of the essential amino acids comprising of complete protein. Due of its high protein content and other nutritional factors, quinoa is highly favored by vegans and vegetarians. They can depend on this nutrition powerhouse for their daily dose of protein.
Besides protein, it is also high in fiber content and contains zero cholesterol. Amazed by the nutritional value of quinoa, The Foods and Agriculture Organization of United Nations announced 2013 as the International Year of Quinoa.
How is Quinoa used for Cooking?
Much similar to other grains, quinoa is also harvested. Then the seeds are processed by getting rid of the outer coating to eliminate the bitter taste. The seeds are then cooked in the same way as we cook rice grains for our daily diets.
Our food sources are limited and cultivating quinoa is considered as the best thing to replace other popular grains around the globe. Given its high protein content, it is also believed to be the answer for establishing food security and eradicating poverty in the long run.
Here are some of the amazing health benefits of adding quinoa in your daily diet.
- It has achieved the status of super food. 1 cup of quinoa contains 8 grams of complete protein. Complete protein means that it contains all the 9 essential amino acids.
- It contains flavonoids in ample quantity including plant compounds quercetin and kaempferol. Both these plant compounds work as antioxidants and deliver many health benefits.
- It contains a huge amount of fiber content, even much higher than what you get from other grains. 2.5 grams of soluble fiber is found in 1 cup of quinoa. This helps in lowering blood sugar levels and cholesterol.
- If you’re suffering from gluten intolerance, then you must add quinoa in your daily diet as it is 100% gluten-free. It is a much better alternative for people with gluten intolerance as it is naturally gluten free, unlike other gluten-free substances made with refined starches.
- This super food also measures low in glycemic index which makes it an excellent diet option to control blood sugar. Although relatively higher in carbohydrates, the glycemic index of quinoa is around 53 and is quite low.
- Thanks to high fiber and protein content as well as a low glycemic index, quinoa also helps in weight loss and better health.
- Once you sprout its seeds, the antioxidants level increases even further.
- It also improves the metabolic health as it consists of many beneficial nutrients.
- Besides protein and fiber, it is also rich in minerals like zinc, potassium, iron and magnesium. However, there is also a substance called phytic acid that binds these minerals. It also prevents them from being absorbed. You can still soak or sprout the seeds before cooking. This reduces the phytic acid and makes these minerals get absorbed.