Remarkable Health Benefits of Quinoa
The origins of quinoa date back 3000 to 4000 years ago when the Inca civilization first realized that these seeds were suitable for human consumption. According to WHFoods, quinoa “was the gold of the Incas” because their civilization believed that it increased the stamina of their warriors and fighters. These yellowish pods are the seeds of a plant called Chenopodium quinoa that is native to Peru and belongs to the family of beets, chard, and spinach.
Quinoa is a whole-grain carbohydrate, and a whole protein since it contains essential amino acids. It is often referred to as the super grain of the future because of its high quantum of proteins, monounsaturated fat, potassium, phosphorus, copper, zinc, vitamin E and B6, riboflavin, niacin, thiamine, iron, and magnesium.
Recently, quinoa has rapidly gained popularity in India. Mostly found in red and white grains, quinoa is cooked the same way as rice and it is loaded with several health benefits.
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Listed below are some of the health benefits of Quinoa:
Provides adequate protein
Quinoa has rich protein content, as it contains all types of essential amino acids. This also makes quinoa a favorite amongst vegetarians, who are unable to get their complete fill of protein through other vegetarian sources. Protein can help reduce hunger pangs and also boost metabolism. Consumption of quinoa is helpful for people who want to shed some extra kilos and load up on adequate amounts of protein to achieve the same.
Helps in the growth of tissues
Quinoa consists of high lysine content, an amino acid which plays an important role in tissue growth and repair. Try and add quinoa to your diet, like in salads, cereals, pancakes, and even porridge for that protein boost.
Improves heart health
Quinoa is loaded with healthy fats that can help boost healthy cholesterol levels in the body. It is packed with oleic acid, a monosaturated fatty acid, and alpha-linolenic acid, a combination that can help reduce bad cholesterol or LDL levels in the blood and fight inflammation to prevent the hardening of the arteries. Fibre, vitamin-E, and antioxidants are very high in quinoa which helps prevent heart diseases and lowers the risk of stroke and elevated blood pressure.
Aids in digestion
Quinoa consists almost twice the quantity of fiber as compared to most other grains, it can help boost digestion. Fiber is known to relieve constipation and aid digestion by adding bulk to the bowels, thereby regulating bowel movements. It also helps to keep people full for longer periods of time, thereby aiding weight loss in the long run.
Reduces iron deficiency
Quinoa consists of an adequate amount of iron. Iron is essential for building red blood cells in the body that are vital for the formation of hemoglobin. Iron also plays a major role in providing oxygen to cells, muscles, and the brain. Iron also aids in enzyme activities and energy metabolism.
Quicks ways to add quinoa to your diet
When cooked, Quinoa becomes soft, fluffy, and has a nutty taste. It lends a sweet, grassy flavor and texture to the food. It can also be made into flour, flakes, and various food items like pasta and bread. Some of the other ways to add quinoa to your diet are:
- Blend it in your smoothies
- Whip some of it in your desserts
- Sprinkle it on your salads
- Add it to your soups
Quinoa is considered to be a grain, but it is actually a seed and is often used as a substitute for rice. Add it to your diet to enjoy quinoa benefits like boosting digestion, metabolism, and promoting heart health. In addition to this, the super grain has extremely low carbohydrate content that helps keep the blood sugar levels in check. It also lowers high blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels, making it a good dietary addition for diabetics. Moreover, white quinoa, also known as ivory quinoa, is gluten-free and therefore recommended for people who are allergic to gluten or are on a gluten-free diet.
Quinoa or white quinoa is the most common type of quinoa that is available on several eCommerce stores and supermarkets. But always look for naturally harvested quinoa that is free from pesticides and other preservatives to reap its maximum benefits.