An ancient grain named ”Quinoa” has again gained popularity in 21st century due to its exclusive nutritional profile. The health boosting properties associated with it incites researchers to examine it deeply and what they find is amazing!
”Quinoa is a blessing in disguise” because it is cheap and laden with a variety of nutrients as well. It is not wrong to say that quinoa provides complete food package to ensure good health. When compared to other grains it contains two times more protein, antioxidant, vitamins and minerals.
Nutritional Profile of Quinoa:
One cup of quinoa gives you 225 calories with only 35 calories coming from fats, this figure is pretty good for people with special health concerns. The macronutrients delivery per cup is as follow:
• 39grams of Carbohydrates.
• 8grams of Protein.
• 5grams of Dietary fiber.
• 0 gram of Cholesterol.
It also provides a good deal to hypertensive patients with little proportion of 13g sodium. Other nutrients present in it includes vitamin-A, vitamin-E, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin-B6, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese and selenium.
The United Nation declared quinoa among highly nutritious and potent healing foods due it impressive nutrition. Below are giving some convincing reasons to add this delicious health booster to your diet:
• Quinoa: A protein rich food
A food without lysine is considered incomplete in protein but luckily this grain has all nine essential amino acids along with a handsome contribution from lysine. Therefore quinoa is a complete protein food and can replace animal protein thus a strong source to fulfill protein requirements for vegetarians. The 8g of protein provided per serving is equivalent to one whole egg or one ounce of any animal protein.
Although it is high in protein but I don’t recommend taking it as primary protein source. Apart from being protein rich it is also much higher in calories and carbs so be sensible. There are possibilities that in order to fulfill your daily requirements of protein you may mislead yourself in the consumption of extra calories and carbs so switch to other protein sources as well. Remember, diversity in foods is the key to healthy eating.
• Gluten free grain:
Quinoa provides a good treat to those following a gluten-free diet. Many people with celiac disease or gluten allergy have to eliminate grains from their diet thus suspected to certain nutritional deficiencies. But if they add quinoa as primary grains in their diet rather than rice then they can better meet their needs for protein, calcium iron and especially B-vitamins. So adding quinoa can enhance the quality of life of people with gluten sensitivity.
• Fiber rich & good for digestive health:
Fiber content of quinoa contributes a lot to its health boosting properties. The type of fiber found in it is of insoluble type that is beneficial for digestive health. Fiber adds bulk to our diet without giving extra calories. A meal high in fiber restrains you from overeating by making you feel satiate.
• Healthy For Heart:
The balance in fat consumption is the key to healthy life and fortunately nature has bestowed a unique combo of fats to quinoa with more ratios from monounsaturated fats ’’the good type of fats’’. It includes oleic acid and alpha-linoleic acid (ALA) that reduces the risk for heart attacks. The benefits of ALA are not only limited to that but it has the capabilities to manage cholesterol levels and blood pressure too. Moreover, asthmatic patients can also enjoy the ALA content of quinoa as it reduces inflammation in lungs giving relief from severe asthma attacks.
• Full of Antioxidants:
Flavonoids are the most precious belongings of quinoa because of their disease fighting properties. One of the flavonoid called polyphenols is preventive against cancer, CVDs, osteoporosis and other chronic diseases. It also has the power of 2 important anti-inflammatory agents called quercetin and kaempferol that averts many diseases.
• Why Quinoa is a Super food:
Due to changing food trends and overconsumption of modern diets we are depriving ourselves of many vitamins and minerals. If we look at the nutritional profile of quinoa it has a variety of nutrients that make it super food. Many foods loss their nutrients while high food processing but quinoa is a grain that needs least food processing thus no or little nutrient loss.
Calcium, zinc, magnesium and B-vitamins are the most highlighted nutrients in it. Magnesium deficiency is very common in people characterized by muscle cramps, pain, and anxiety. Fortuitously one serving of quinoa can meet 30% of the total daily value of magnesium and is cheap so magnesium deficiency can be treated easily.
Another thing to consider is that, quinoa has phytic acidic in it that bind with other nutrients making them unavailable for absorption. Soaking quinoa before consumption can minimize its phytic acid content and ensures good absorption of nutrients.
• Reduce risk for Diabetes:
Diabetes is now perceived as commonly found chronic disease but its risk can be minimized by adding two extra servings per day from highly fiber grains like quinoa. It potent antioxidant activity also improves insulin response in patients with type 2 diabetes.