The Grain You Actually Should Eat More Of
Written by: Brandi Monasco
Have you ever eaten quinoa? If you haven’t already, you should take the time to see the reasons why so many people have started to cook quinoa grain on a regular basis.
What Is Quinoa?
Quinoa is usually listed as a grain, but it is actually the seed of a plant related to spinach.
This superfood is lower in sodium content and higher in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, manganese and zinc than wheat, barley, or corn. It is complete high quality protein (has all 8 essential amino acids). In fact, the World Health Organization rates the quality of the protein in quinoa to be equivalent to that in milk. It is gluten-free, low glycemic, high in fiber and it can be used as a substitute for any grain.
What Are The Benefits Of Quinoa?
1. Great Source Of Protein
Quinoa is among the several veggie meals that provide a huge amount of necessary protein supply. While a lot of plant based meals are unsuccessful in providing a huge amount of protein necessary for health and wellness, quinoa offers all of the nine essential amino acids. Its protein content is higher than that of any other grain (which makes it fantastic for vegans!).
2. Great Source Of Fiber
One of quinoa’s main health benefits is the high fiber content. It contains about 5 grams of fiber per cooked cup. Most of the fiber that is found in quinoa is insoluble fiber, which is the type of fiber that your body needs in order to maintain a healthy digestive system.
3. Adds Additional Protein During Pregnancy
Adding quinoa to your diet is a great way to ensure an adequate protein intake during pregnancy. It is a more valuable protein source compared to meat and soybeans, because it also contains all essential amino acids.
4. Contains Iron
Another essential component that your body needs is iron. It helps to keep your red blood cells healthy and carries oxygen from one cell to another while supplying the needed oxygen to your muscles. At the same time, it can lessen the symptoms of anemia.
5. Contains Antioxidants
Quinoa has extremely high levels of both manganese and copper, which your body needs in order to create enzymes that help protect your cells against damage that can be caused by free radicals. This helps to fight off all sorts of diseases ranging from heart disease to cancer.
Quinoa has a delicate nutty flavor and is very easy to prepare. It’s perfect for today’s active lifestyle and it can be served as a side dish, in soups, in a salad, as a pilaf and even as a nutritious breakfast cereal.
When you purchase quinoa, the package should say that the quinoa grain had been pre washed and thoroughly rinsed and air dried to remove the naturally occurring bitter saponins.
Need somewhere to start? Give one of these delicious recipes a try:
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Brandi Monasco is a freelance writer, graphic designer and social media manager from Texas. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts and has recently found a new love for health and nutrition.
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