Quinoa is considered one of the most nutrient-dense whole grains and has many amazing health benefits. It is a naturally gluten-free grain and high in protein. An important plant source of nine essential amino acids, quinoa is trending as a health food these days. The list of nutritional benefits it provides is so staggering that NASA has used it to feed astronauts on space missions. Cooked like rice, quinoa can be part of a healthy lifestyle.
In this post, we’ll share the nutritional highlights of this fashionable alternative grain and highlight how quinoa promotes an overall healthy lifestyle.
Nutritional Profile of Quinoa
A good source of many important minerals, including quinoa
- Flavonoids such as quercetin and kaempferol
- Small amounts of calcium, vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids
7 Top Health Benefits of Quinoa
1. May reduce the risk of chronic diseases
Studies have linked quinoa consumption to the prevention and treatment of various chronic diseases. That’s because quinoa is high in anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, making it potentially beneficial to human health. It contains omega-3 fatty acids and is higher in monounsaturated fat than regular grains.
2. May help you lose weight
Quinoa is a weight loss friendly super food. Being an energy dense food, quinoa keeps you fuller for longer and helps control appetite and hunger. So it is extremely beneficial for those who are looking for weight loss benefits. It is rich in fiber and contains more protein than rice or barley. The filling nature of protein and fiber helps control your appetite. Additionally, quinoa has a low glycemic index (GI), so its slow energy release makes it less likely to stimulate hunger.
3. May help balance blood sugar
A small number of studies suggest quinoa is a diabetes-friendly food and may be particularly beneficial for managing blood sugar in diabetics. One explanation for this is that since quinoa is low in sugar and carbohydrates, it could potentially help develop effective dietary strategies for managing type 2 diabetes. It has a relatively low glycemic index (GI) of 53, which means it won’t cause a dramatic spike in blood sugar like other grains.
4. Suitable for gluten intolerance
An important benefit of quinoa is that it is naturally gluten free and nutritionally dense. This makes quinoa an ideal option for those unable to eat gluten grains, such as those with celiac disease. Being high in fiber, quinoa is a great alternative to glutinous grains, such as rice or potato flour.
5. May improve gut health
Regular consumption of quinoa can help protect your gastrointestinal tract. It can improve gut health by increasing the diversity of beneficial gut bacteria and reducing the inflammatory symptoms of conditions like colitis. It acts as a probiotic, providing fuel for beneficial gut bacteria and allowing them to thrive.
6. Helps in hemoglobin formation
Another active ingredient in quinoa is iron, and its intake helps form hemoglobin and keeps red blood cells healthy. Just 1 cup of cooked quinoa can provide about 2.8 grams of iron, or 16% of the daily dietary requirement. It helps in neurotransmitter synthesis, enzyme activity, increased metabolism and regulation of body temperature.
7. Reduces bad cholesterol
Quinoa has several heart-healthy benefits and is an excellent alternative to meat and other protein sources that are high in saturated fat. Studies have shown that consuming quinoa helps lower LDL or bad cholesterol, thus reducing the risk of coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure and heart attack. Thus it is a good choice for people with high blood lipids (cholesterol and triglycerides).
Other health benefits
- Protection against metabolic and degenerative diseases
- Improving the immune system
- Reduction of symptoms associated with post-menopause,
- Promote muscle mass
In fact, quinoa is one of humanity’s most promising crops for its nutritional properties. Since this superfood has some impressive benefits, it’s no surprise that many scientific research studies attribute the multiple health benefits of quinoa consumption. It is gluten-free, a good source of minerals and fiber and supports healthy digestion.
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