Quinoa is an ancient South American grain that has been ignored for centuries.
Interestingly, this was recently noticed by the rest of the world and was perceived as a “superfood” because of its high nutritional content.
It is currently considered food products gourmet and health.
This article discusses what quinoa is, where it comes from and why it is so good for you.
What is quinoa?
Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is the seed of the plant Chenopodium kinoa.
Botanically speaking, it is not a grain. However, it is often called a “pseudograph” because it is similar to nutrients and eats the same thing as cereal grains (1).
Quinoa was first grown for food 7,000 years ago in the Andes. The Incas called this the “mother grain” and believed that it was sacred (2).
Although it has grown all over the world, most of them are still produced in Bolivia and Peru. Until recently, it was virtually unknown to the rest of the world (1).
Since then, he has experienced a huge surge in popularity due to its high nutrient content and health benefits. It is also easy to grow in various conditions.
In fact, 2013 was named by the UN the “International Year of the Klinoy” because of its valuable qualities and capabilities to fight world hunger.
Quinoa is also popular because it is a gluten-free grain. This means that people with celiac disease, wheat allergy or those who avoid gluten, can consume it.
Bottom Line: Quinoa are seeds classified as pseudogranes. Nutritionally, it is considered whole grain, and also gluten free.
Types of Quinoa
There are over 3,000 species of quinoa (2).
However, the most common types are red, black and white. There is also a tricolor variety, which is a mixture of all three.
Quinoa can also be wound into flakes or crushed into flour, which can then be used for cooking and baking.
White quinoa is the most commonly used variety, and this is what you usually find in the store. Interestingly, different types also have different nutrient contents.
A study of red, black and white quinoa showed that, although black quinoa has the lowest fat content, it has the highest omega-3 fatty acids and carotenoids (3).
Red and black quinoa also have almost twice the amount of vitamin E in white swan.
The same study analyzed the content of each type of antioxidants and found that the darker the color, the higher the antioxidant capacity.
Bottom Line: There are many types of quinoa, but the most popular ones are red, black and white. They differ in both color and nutrient composition. AdvertisingAdvertisingAdvertising
Quinoa is loaded with nutrients
This grain is also popular because it is very nutritious.
It is packed with vitamins and minerals and contains more protein, fiber and healthy fats than other grains.
Only one cup (185 grams) of cooked quinoa is an excellent source of the following nutrients (4):
- Manganese: 58% of RDI.
- Magnesium: 30% of RDI.
- Phosphorus: 28% RDI.
- Folate: 19% of RDI.
- Copper: 18% of RDI.
- Iron: 15% of RDI.
- Zinc: 13% of RDI.
- Thiamine: 13% of RDI.
- Riboflavin: 12% of RDI.
- Vitamin B6: 11% of RDI.
The same cup provides only 220 calories, in addition to 8 g of protein, 4 g of fat and at least 5 g of fiber.
Adding quinoa to your diet is a great way to increase your daily intake of important vitamins, minerals and fiber.
Bottom Line: Quinoa is loaded with vitamins and minerals and contains more fiber and protein than most other grains.
Quinoa contains complete proteins
Proteins are made up of amino acids that can be made by your body or found in certain foods.
Nine amino acids are essential amino acids, that is, your body cannot produce them, and you must get them from your diet.
Complete proteins contain all nine amino acids in significant quantities. Although all animal protein sources are full, most vegetable proteins are not. As a complete vegetable protein, quinoa is one of the exceptions.
This is one of its unique qualities and makes it a very valuable source of protein, especially for those whose diet is mainly based on plants.
Although it is possible to obtain all the necessary amino acids from a plant-based diet, it requires the consumption of various plant proteins.
Quinoa is particularly high in lysine, methionine and cysteine, which are among the amino acids that often secrete food (5).
Bottom Line: Quinoa is one of the few vegetable proteins that is a complete protein. This means that it contains all the amino acids you need. Advertising
Contains beneficial plant compounds
Quinoa is very high in beneficial plant compounds. Some examples are saponins, phenolic acids, flavonoids, and betajanins (6).
Many of these compounds can act as antioxidants, meaning that they can neutralize free radicals that damage your body at the molecular level.
In one study, 10 types of grain from Peru were studied. He found that quinoa had an antioxidant capacity of 86%, which was higher than all other analyzed grains (7).
While all varieties of quinoa contain large amounts of antioxidants, the darkest seeds contain the highest amounts. This means that black quinoa contains more antioxidants than white (3).
In addition, seed germination can further increase the antioxidant content (8).
However, the high ability of antioxidants in the laboratory does not necessarily translate to a higher antioxidant capacity in your body.
However, one study showed that consuming 25 g (just under 1 ounce) of quinoa daily increased the level of important antioxidant glutathione by 7% (9).
This shows that it really helps your body fight oxidative damage from free radicals.
Bottom Line: Quinoa contains beneficial plant compounds. Many of them act as antioxidants and protect your body from free radicals. Advertising
It can improve the quality control of blood sugar.
Quinoa is considered whole grain.
Several studies have found that eating whole grains is associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and improved blood sugar control (10).
In one large survey, it was found that consuming just 16 g of fiber from whole grains per day was associated with a 33% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes (10).
However, there is not much research on the specific health effects of quinoa.
However, one rat study found that it could reverse some of the negative effects of a high fructose diet, including high blood sugar (11).
This may be due to the fact that it contains phytoecdysteroids, which have been shown to lower blood sugar levels in mice (12).
It also appears to contain compounds that inhibit alpha-glucosidase, one of the enzymes involved in the digestion of carbohydrates. This can delay the breakdown of carbohydrates, causing a slow release of glucose into the bloodstream (13).
The high content of Quinoa protein and protein can also contribute to its positive effect on blood sugar levels. However, it is grain and is still relatively high in carbohydrates (7).
Bottom Line: Whole grains such as quinoa seem to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Quinoa can also help with controlling blood sugar. Advertising
Other health benefits
Quinoa may also have benefits for metabolic health, inflammation, etc.
May improve metabolic health.
Quinoa is a good choice for people with high blood lipids (cholesterol and triglycerides).
One study found that consuming 50 g (1.7 ounces) daily for 6 weeks lowers total cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol (14).
However, the effects were small, and he lowered the levels of “good” HDL cholesterol.
Another study compared quinoa and cornflakes. It was found that only quinoa significantly reduces triglycerides, total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (9).
This is a preliminary, but offers quinoa can help improve metabolic health.
May help fight inflammation
Chronic inflammation is associated with a wide range of diseases: from type 2 diabetes to cancer and heart disease (15).
Although studies have not shown consistent results, it is believed that a diet high in antioxidants helps fight inflammation in the body (15).
Quinoa seems to be very high in antioxidants, but can help fight inflammation in other ways.
Saponins are one of the plant compounds found in the swan. They give it a bitter taste, and some people wash or soak quinoa to try to remove that taste (16).
However, saponins also seem to have some positive
In one study, it was found that saponins can inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory compounds by 25–90% in isolated cells (16).
Read this article for more information about the health benefits of a winch.
Bottom Line: Quinoa appears to help lower blood cholesterol and triglycerides. It can also reduce inflammation.
It contains some antioxidants
Some foods, such as grains and legumes, contain anti-nutrients. Saponins, phytic acid and oxalates are the most common anti-inflammatory agents found in quinoa (5).
However, quinoa is very well tolerated, and anti-nutritional substances are not a big problem for healthy people with a well-balanced diet.
Saponins can have both positive and negative qualities.
On the one hand, they have beneficial antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Some saponins even showed that they help lower blood cholesterol levels (5).
However, saponins also have a bitter taste and can prevent the absorption of certain minerals, such as zinc and iron.
Some varieties are lower in saponins than others. Rinsing, cleaning with water, or soaking can also help reduce their levels, if necessary.
Oxalate is a compound found in several foods, including spinach, rhubarb and buckwheat. It can reduce the absorption of certain minerals and can bind with calcium to form kidney stones (5).
While oxalate does not cause problems for most people, those who are prone to developing these types of kidney stones may want to avoid high in it products.
Phytic acid is found in a number of products, including nuts, seeds, and grains (17).
It can also be both positive and negative. On the one hand, phytic acid has antioxidant effects and can block the formation of kidney stones.
On the other hand, it can also block the absorption of minerals. This can raise the risk of deficiencies in an unbalanced diet.
Bottom Line: Like other grains and legumes, quinoa contains some anti-nutrients. However, they do not create problems for most people. AdvertisingAdvertisingAdvertising
How to eat Quinoa
Quinoa is very versatile and easily prepared. It has a nutty taste and a chewing, fluffy texture. You can cook it just like rice, with two parts of liquid in one part of the winch.
Just bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it boil for about 15 minutes. Fluff and feed.
Try using broth instead of water or add various seasonings for even more flavor.
Watch the video below to demonstrate how to cook quinoa:
Quinoa can be used like any other grain. It can be served simply as a side dish or included in other recipes. Quinoa flour can also be used for baking.
Here is a list of ways to enjoy the quinoa:
- Mix with chopped vegetables, serve warm or cold.
- Season and serve as a side dish.
- Cook in a dry breakfast with bananas or blueberries.
- Mix with vegetables and other substances in bell pepper.
- Add to chili.
- Throw in a salad of spinach or cabbage.
Take Home Message
Quinoa is a delicious whole grain filled with nutrients, fiber, protein and vegetable compounds. It has a unique taste and is an easy way to add variety to your diet.
This is especially healthy for vegans, vegetarians and people on a gluten-free diet.
However, its impressive nutritional profile and health benefits make quino a great addition to any diet.
Read more about quinoa:
- 11 Proven health benefits from Quinoa
- Quinoa 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits