Have you heard of Quinoa, the latest rage in the super-foods market? For those who haven’t,quinoa or Inca Rice is a healthier and high-in-nutrition alternative of Wheat and Rice. Chenopodium quinoa plant or simply quinoa is a broad-leaf plant that produces seeds rather than fruit. It is a common misconception that quinoa is either a grain or a seed. But the fact is that it actually belongs to the leafy family of Spinach or the Amaranths. Since 2013, it has become a rage because of its high nutrition values. Every 100 grams of quinoa contains 65% Phosphorus, 35% Iron, 55% Magnesium, 95% Manganese, 64.2 grams Carbohydrate,6.1 grams Fat,14 gram Protein, 7 grams of Dietary Fiber and 13.3 grams of Water. After cooking, quinoa turns into almost 75% Water. Moreover, quinoa is absolutely Gluten-free, has no Trans-fats and is easy to digest.
Quinoa is originally a 7,000 year old plant that finds origin in the mountains of South America. Since it has passed the test of time, it continues to be known as the “Ancient Grain”. In the year of 2013, the United Nations took Quinoa as capable of “eradicating hunger, malnutrition and poverty.” This is because it has a diverse nutritional foray. Moreover, is easily available and inexpensive to cultivate. The same year was titled as the Year of Quinoa.There are about 120 varieties of quinoa throughout the world and White quinoa being the most common. Red and Black Quinoa are other known varieties of the same. Not just nutritional benefits, quinoa has a wide range of health benefits to offer as well. Lets, now have a look at 10 Quinoa Health Benefits.
10. Quinoa- The Only Plant to be a Complete Protein in Itself.
Quinoa contains all 9 essential Amino Acids that make up the building blocks of the human body, that is Proteins. This means that only one cup serving of boiled quinoa offers 8.44 grams of heart-healthy plant protein, more nutritional in comparison to wheat, rice, rye, corn, barley and other available grains. Additionally, this serving contains 222 calories along with 5.2 grams of dietary fiber.
09. Reduces Cholesterol Levels and Blood Pressure
Quinoa is a light and heart-healthy counterpart to meat and other sources of protein that contain high saturated fats. These highly saturated fats tend to raise blood cholesterol. With quinoa, the total amount of cholesterol level and LDL or the bad cholesterol in the blood drops down. Therefore, quinoa is one effective way to lower cholesterol levels. Furthermore, this leads to healthy blood pressure levels.
08. Accelerates Organ and Tissue Growth and Repair
Quinoa contains five vitaminated folates, making it the highest concentrated vitamin. Folate is a B vitamin. It is highly functional for a healthy tissue and organ development in children. In fact, it works for betterment even at the DNA level. Quinoa aids DNA repair and production in children as well as adults.
07. Rich in Fiber and Antioxidants
A certain type of antioxidants called Bioflavonoids, or simply Flavonoids, are richly found in quinoa. These antioxidants are known for their disease-preventing benefits for cardiovascular disease, cancer, osteoporosis and diabetes. Moreover, it contains other antioxidants too. Some of them are Quercetin, Kaempferol, Vanillic acid and Ferulic acid. These antioxidants are important to the human body for the reduction of inflammation and risks of chronic diseases. In addition, quinoa also posses Beta-carotene and other carotenoids that benefit the body. These caroteniods scavenge free radicals that cause premature aging and related problems.
06. Promotes Digestion
Quinoa is a light-on-the-gut and high fiber protein based food. It not only keeps you full but also aids higher energy expenditure, better glucose utilization and lesser dietary fat absorption. Moreover, quinoa contains over 95% of Manganese, way more than what our bodies need. Manganese can manipulate the hormones and related digestive enzymes. That is, it can make it easy for our bodies to digest and utilize food efficiently.
05. Promotes Weight-loss. Reduces Cravings and keeps you Fuller
It is a highly insoluble fiber and protein super-food that can offer satiety at petite amounts. Quinoa holds the capacity to increase that “fuller” feeling after meals and still be light on the stomach. This enables one to control untimely food pangs or cravings. Consequently, help maintain weight and in a longer run aid weight loss. In addition, it is said that quinoa influences the hormones such as Gherkin, Peptide YY and Insulin, that play a major role in appetite behaviors. Surveys suggest that eating quinoa on a regular basis can lead to prevention of obesity as well.
04. Helps Control Blood Sugar and Reduces the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Manganese-rich foods are a key in maintaining a healthy blood sugar level. In fact, it effectively decreases and curbs the risk of diabetes. A 2013 animal study reveals that by adding manganese into the diet, can help fight insulin resistance of the body. And we know quinoa is 95% of the Manganese component. Why is Manganese that important? The reason is that Manganese plays a vital role in the process of Gluconeogenesis. This process involves the conversion of amino acids into sugar and balances the sugar levels in the bloodstream. Magnesium intake is commonly associated with lowering the risk of Type II diabetes.
03. Aids Production of Red Blood Cells and Boosts Immunity System
In a medical survey, Victor F. Zevallos from the Division of Diabetes and Nutritional Sciences, Department of Gastroenterology, King’s College London, United Kingdom noted that, “Two varieties of quinoa contained enough gluten to initiate an adaptive and immune response in some study participants.” It is said that quinoa helps in the production of the red blood cells that are the key to building a strong immune system. Moreover, quinoa helps in the enhancing immunity by generating immune responses and antibodies. This is done by the high amount of Folate, the highest concentrated vitamin in quinoa. Folate is a B-vitamin and is essential for healthy red blood cell development.
02. Gluten Free
For those who have no idea as to what Gluten-free means,here is some information. Gluten is a protein-complex that contains over 75% to 85% of the total protein contained in bread wheat. Gluten is a direct enemy of the human gut. This means that gluten-rich foods can harm the gut through constipation, diarrhoea, vomiting and heartburn. In fact, there is a terminology of Gluten-related disorders. These disorders include Celiac Diseases (CD), Non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS), wheat allergy, gluten ataxia, and dermatitis herpetiformis (DH).
Amidst all this, quinoa comes across as a Savior as it is gluten free and easy to digest. Both of these work really well for the gut, keeping it healthy and happy. To make a meal out of quinoa, one can easily boil quinoa just like other grains such as rice. Moreover, it works great even as a cereal or when combined with other grains to form a pilaf. Furthermore, quinoa can also be used as an extension for wheat flour for baking. To retain quinoa’s natural and heart-healthy benefits, it is better to avoid making it with added fats such as cream, butter or other foods.
01. Reduces the Risk of Heart Diseases
By now we already know that Quinoa- the super-food is gluten-free, rich in fibers and anti-oxidants, reduces blood cholesterol and blood pressure. All of this collectively reduces the risk of coronary heart diseases that may arise due to unhealthy habits. Excessive fats, cholesterol and digestion issues exert pressure on the functioning of the heart. Sometimes it narrows down the arteries and causes a heart-related problem termed as Atherosclerosis. Under this condition, the arteries become rigid and narrow, as a result of which pumping and flow of blood through the heart suffers. Therefore, quinoa lowers the LDL cholesterol and lowers the life-threatening risk of atherosclerosis and related coronary heart diseases such as congestive heart failure and heart attacks.
The health benefits list of quinoa are just not limited to these. Quinoa also aids comfortable and deep sleep, fights constipation, promotes eye health, prevents strokes, DNA Repair and Production, eases cold and headaches, etc.