Quinoa, a plant based complete protein, is rightly praised as a super seed among the health industry. Its powerful benefits were first recognized by Incas almost three thousand years ago. In fact, for them the worth of Quinoa seeds was almost the same as gold because they believed it possessed the power to increase the strength of their warriors. The year of 2013, according to the food and agriculture organization of United Nations, was officially, “The International Year of Quinoa“.
This ancient seed gold is now widely known for its rich nutritional benefits, and is starting to become a staple in everyone’s meal just like rice.
In this article, we are going to look at 7 reasons why Quinoa has been touted by scientists as a super seed:-
1. It is a complete protein–
It is highly rare when a plant based food items contains all the essential amino acids required by our body. This is why Quinoa is so special. It is a complete protein, which means that it is a great option for non-meat eaters. Quinoa consists of 13.8% protein, with one cup yielding 8 grams of protein.
2. Twice as much fiber as other grains–
Quinoa is incredibly rich in fiber, which in conjunction with protein can help thwart diabetes by keeping the blood sugar balanced. One cup contains almost 12 grams of fiber. Eating foods, such as quinoa, that are rich in fiber slows down the rate at which sugar is absorbed into the blood, thus keeping the hunger pangs away. It cleans the bad bacteria from our gut and keeps our digestive system running smooth and regular. Cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes…it reduces your risk for all of them along with many other nasty problems such as hemorrhoids.
3. More flavonoids than berries–
Quercetin and Kaempferol are the two flavonoids present in copious amounts in Quinoa. Some varieties are also dense in other flavonoids such as myricetin and isorhamnetin. Flavonoids are antioxidant agents that suppress harmful enzymes, neutralize free radicals and stimulate the workings of certain neurotransmitters and hormones. Along with that, research has shown flavonoids to help protect our body from cancer, atherosclerosis, inflammation, neurodegenerative diseases, and aging.
4. Extremely rich in minerals like Magnesium–
There are 5 main minerals that every body needs. These are Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, Iron and Potassium. Quinoa is rich in all these minerals, along with phosphorous. That said, quinoa contains high amount of oxalate and phytic acids, which are compounds that binds itself to some of these minerals and lowers its absorption by the body. One way to lower its presence is by sprouting or soaking them in a warm environment.
5. Promotes Weight loss –
It has iron, vitamins and proteins that are important to regulate energy and weight loss. Because quinoa is so rich in fiber and protein, it keeps you full for longer periods of time which means you are very unlikely to binge on unhealthy foods. Also, the dietary fiber in quinoa binds to fat and cholesterol molecules, preventing them from being absorbed by your body. Depending on how you cook it, Quinoa has a medium to low glycemic index, which means that it is a diabetic friendly food that doesn’t cause blood sugar spikes. A stable blood sugar ensures that you do not get hungry frequently.
6. It is Gluten free-
Quinoa is a naturally gluten free seed, and is relatively easy to digest, which is why it is safe for children, toddlers and people who are sensitive to gluten. That said, note that not all products containing quinoa are gluten free.
7. It is very versatile-
Cereals, salads, pasta and bread, quinoa can be easily incorporated into your diet. Cooking it is very easy, and its taste complements many other food items. When cooked, quinoa has a crunchy texture and a nutty flavor. Quinoa flour can be also used for baking purposes as well.
If you have never tried quinoa, now is the time to add this powerful seed to your diet. Especially those who are transitioning to a more vegetarian or vegan based diet, adding quinoa to your meals will prevent you from feeling hungry. You can cook it just like rice, or you can sauté it for a more toasty flavor. Before cooking, make sure to thoroughly rinse it to get rid of the bitter coating that supposedly exists to prevent the birds from consuming them.
In the comments below, please share: What is your favorite way of eating quinoa?