Health Benefits of Quinoa

Health Benefits of Quinoa

Quinoa– the “superfood.”

Each year, it seems that there’s some new super food that’s all the rage– Last year, the internet was abuzz with the antioxidant-rich super fruit acai berry  This year, people can’t seem to get enough of quinoa, and for good reason! Quinoa is packed with protein, it’s low in fat and it’s high in fiber.

Quinoa is commonly referred to as a whole grain, but it’s actually a seed. Quinoa is prepared like barley, rice and other whole grains. The tiny seed, quinoa, is packed with good stuff.

Quinoa provides 9 essential amino acids, is a complete protein, it’s gluten-free, cholesterol free and it contains two times the fiber of other whole grains.

Why is quinoa being called a “superfood?”

1. Quinoa is a complete protein, making it a great choice for vegetarians and vegans.

2.  Quinoa is loaded with iron.  Iron carries oxygen through your  blood, supplying oxygen to your cells and to your muscles.  Iron improves your brain function and it helps regulate your body temperature.

3. Quinoa is packed with fiber– In fact, quinoa contains twice as much fiber as other grains.  Fiber aids digestion, reduces blood pressure and glucose levels.

4. Quinoa contains lysine, a vitamin that helps repair and grow tissue.

Health Benefits of Quinoa
Replace rice with quinoa.

5. Quinoa is high in Vitamin B2, or Riboflavin.  Vitamin B2 improves energy.

6. Quinoa is packed with magnesium, which helps “relax blood vessels” and alleviates headaches.

7. Quinoa is high in manganese, a powerful antioxidant.

8. Quinoa also contains potassium, calcium and vitamin E.

What you should know about preparing and cooking quinoa:

1. You should wash quinoa before preparing it.  Quinoa contains a saponin, a chemical that gives off a bitter soapy flavor.

2. Quinoa can be popped like popcorn. 

3. Quinoa needs to be stored in an air-tight container or in the refrigerator.

Nutrition information: 1 cup of quinoa contains 127 calories, 2 grams of fat, 23.4 grams of carbohydrates and 4.5 grams of protein.

Have you tried quinoa?  Do you have a quinoa recipe you’d like to share?

Find healthy quinoa recipes here. 

Sources: Forbes

The Soup Stone

Huffington Post

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