Quinoa: A Super Carb

Quinoa nutritional value is extremely high as it is a plant-based source of protein that provides a wide range of essential amino acids to our body. It imparts many essential nutrients that support our muscle development, immune function, and other bodily functions.

Introduction

Quinoa is a nutrient dense food with a lot of potential health benefits. Moreover, it has a high concentration of protein (highly bioavailable essential amino acids), unsaturated fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. It is also referred to as Chenopodium quinoa and belongs to the amaranth plant family.

It provides a higher source of nutrition than other cereals and is also known as an effective "functional food" as it is gluten free and good for the lactose intolerant individuals. To know more about quinoa nutrition facts and quinoa health benefits, read till the end.

Quinoa Nutrition

There are numerous Quinoa benefits as it possesses a high nutrition profile as compared to many other cereal grains. It also plays a crucial role in preventing various health issues, including heart problems and diabetes. According to IFCT 2017, below we have listed both macronutrients and micronutrients that are present in quinoa. There are lots of benefits of eating quinoa, which we discuss later in this article:

Nutrient content of Quinoa (per 100 grams serving)
  Macronutrients Nutrient content (unit)
1. Energy 328 kcal
2. Carbohydrates 53.65 g
3. Protein 13.11 g
4. Total fat (lipid) 5.50 g
  Micronutrients (Vitamins and minerals)
5. Vitamin A 153 µg
7. Vitamin E 2.08 mg
8. Vitamin K 2.00 µg
9. Calcium 198 mg
10. Iron 7.51 mg
11. Magnesium 119 mg
12. Phosphorus 212 mg
13. Potassium 474 mg
14. Sodium 4.50 mg
15. Zinc 3.31 mg
16. Thiamine (B1) 0.83 mg
17 Riboflavin 0.22 mg
18. Niacin 1.70 mg
19. Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.62 mg
20. Vitamin (B6) 0.21 mg
21 Folate (B9) 173 µg
22. Biotin (B7) 0.62 µg
  Other nutrients
23. Water 10.43 g
24. Dietary Fibre 14.66 g

As mentioned above, quinoa has high nutritional quality due to its high content of protein, lysine and amylose content with carbohydrates and starch. It is also rich in vitamins and minerals like potassium, phosphorus and calcium. All of these quinoa nutrients are beneficial for bone development and proper growth of the body.

Tips for cooking quinoa

Whether you’re cooking quinoa porridge or quinoa salad, these handpicked tips are sure to come handy. Quinoa cooking times vary depending on the kind of seeds it contains. It is traditionally cooked as a whole grain, just like rice, or it is milled into flour to make bread or pasta. There are many varieties of quinoa products that are available in the market. The cooking time varies greatly depending on the kind of quinoa product you’re cooking. A basic method is as follows: To cook quinoa, pour it in a medium pot with sufficient water, bring it to a boil, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Let it cook for 15 minutes and then let it sit for a while. Once it is at a normal temperature, take it out with a fork and serve.

There are many quinoa products also available commercially, such as pasta, bread, cookies, drinks, baby products, diet supplements, etc. One must be cautious in reading the instructions on the nutrition label on how to cook and store it.

Quinoa Health Benefits

There are multiple quinoa benefits thanks to its nutritional content. It is widely popular among high-performance sports groups due to its therapeutic features and gluten-free content. Quinoa nutrition benefits play a significant role in human nutrition and high performance.

  • Antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties:

    Quinoa are a rich source of antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties. It is beneficial for treating multiple diseases and prevents lifelong bodily disorders.
  • Celiac diseases:

    As quinoa is gluten-free, it is beneficial for those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Moreover, it provides ample amounts of nutrients that are beneficial for health.
  • Gastrointestinal effects:

    Quinoa has a beneficial effect on your gut health. It is a mild laxative and is good for your gut microbiota. Due to its high fibre content, it is also beneficial for your bowel movements.
  • Nutrient dense food:

    Quinoa is a rich source of protein and demonstrates high levels of carotenoids, minerals, vitamins, and fibre that make it a power-packed food source. It is popular among all age groups due to its nutrient dense characteristics.
  • Body’s growth and development:

    The nutrient dense content helps in the overall growth and development of the body. In addition to that, it is also recommended for kids as it plays a significant role in their growth and development.
  • Aids in weight loss:

    Quinoa is cholesterol free and has high fibre content, which makes it an ideal choice for weight loss foods. It not only provides energy but also regulates your metabolism level and gives you a high satiety level, or feeling of fullness for a long time.

Thus, quinoa nutrients are highly beneficial as compared to other cereal based grains, due to which it is an excellent dietary choice for vegetarians and the vegan population. It is a power packed food source with a lot of nutrients and essential amino acids like lysine, valine, isoleucine, methionine, tryptophan, etc. that are vital for building strong immunity.

 

Conclusion

There is an endless list of quinoa advantages that range from regulating blood pressure to reducing inflammation. It is a highly proteinaceous grain that helps in planning a well-balanced diet. It is technically a seed and is popular world-wide due to its perfect blend of fibre, minerals, antioxidants, and proteins. It is gluten-free and can be easily included in your daily diet. Some easy to make food options include quinoa pomegranate salad, chocolate quinoa bowl, and quinoa porridge.

Quinoa food products promote easy digestion and absorption of protein in your body. Thus, including quinoa in your diet is essential for a healthy metabolism as well.

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