Quinoa the Magnificent - Nutritional & Health Benefits
This week we will talk about the magnificent quinoa. There is no need to say how much I love its delicate and nutty flavor - I eat it minimum three times a week for breakfast (as a cereal), lunch (as a salad) or dinner (as a side). It is very versatile, incredibly healthy, and so easy to incorporate it into your everyday diet. In recent years, quinoa has become one of the world’s most popular health food. It is good to know that botanically, quinoa is not a cereal or a grain, but a pseudo-grain and the edible part is the seeds. However, nutritionally it is considered a whole grain.
Let’s see why quinoa is so popular and so healthy 😊
- Although quinoa is plant food, it has an excellent amino acid profile, as it contains all nine essential amino acids making it a complete protein source and consequently ideal for vegetarians and vegans.
- Quinoa appears to be very high in the antioxidants: quercetin and kaempferol, which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, anti-cancer and anti-depressant effects.
- Quinoa is naturally gluten-free and can be eaten safely if one has gluten intolerance. Using it instead of typical gluten-free ingredients can increase the antioxidant and nutrient value of a gluten-free diet. It is also non-GMO and usually grown organically.
- Quinoa is a slowly digested carbohydrate very high in dietary fibers (much higher than most grains) which makes it a good low-GI option. High-fiber diets have been shown to improve blood sugar control, promote the good function of the alimentary system, and promote a healthy weight.
- Quinoa has a high content in manganese, a trace mineral which is essential for development, metabolism, and the antioxidant system. This element is also vital for the proper functioning of many enzymes.
So why quinoa is one of the healthiest foods on the planet? Well…it is packed in antioxidants, fibers, minerals, it contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein, it improves the blood sugar level, it has a low GI, it aids weight loss, it has anti-inflammatory, antiviral, anti-cancer and anti-depressant properties…what’s more? Aw yes! It is gluten-free, non-GMO, super tasty, amazingly versatile and unbelievably easy to prepare and incorporate it into your everyday diet!