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Food for Life - Caribbean- Quinoa

Quinoa is one of the world’s most popular health foods.

Quinoa is gluten-free, high in protein and one of the few plant foods that contain sufficient amounts of all nine essential amino acids.

It is also high in fiber, magnesium, B vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E and various beneficial antioxidants.

Here are 11 health benefits of quinoa.

1. Very Nutritious
Quinoa is a grain crop that is grown for its edible seeds. It’s pronounced KEEN-wah.

It technically isn’t a cereal grain, but a pseudo-cereal.

In other words, it is basically a seed, which is prepared and eaten similarly to a grain.

Quinoa was an important crop for the Inca Empire. They referred to it as the “mother of all grains” and believed it to be sacred.

It has been eaten for thousands of years in South America and only recently became a trend food, even reaching superfood status.

This is the nutrient content in 1 cup (185 grams) of cooked quinoa:

  • Protein: 8 grams.
  • Fiber: 5 grams.
  • Manganese: 58% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA).
  • Magnesium: 30% of the RDA.
  • Phosphorus: 28% of the RDA.
  • Folate: 19% of the RDA.
  • Copper: 18% of the RDA.
  • Iron: 15% of the RDA.
  • Zinc: 13% of the RDA.
  • Potassium 9% of the RDA.
  • Over 10% of the RDA for vitamins B1, B2 and B6.
  • Small amounts of calcium, B3 (niacin) and vitamin E.

2. Contains the Plant Compounds Quercetin and Kaempferol
The health effects of real foods go beyond the vitamins and minerals with which you may be familiar. There are thousands of trace nutrients, some of which are extremely healthy.

3. Very High in Fiber, Much Higher Than Most Grains
Quinoa is much higher in fiber than most grains. One study found 17–27 grams of fiber per cup (185 grams). Most of the fiber is insoluble, but one cup of quinoa still contains 2.5 grams of insoluble fiber.

4. Gluten-Free and Perfect for People With Gluten Intolerance.
Quinoa is naturally gluten-free. Using it instead of typical gluten-free ingredients can increase the antioxidant and nutrient value of your diet when you're avoiding gluten.

5. Very High in Protein, With All the Essential Amino Acids
Protein is made of amino acids, nine of which are called essential, as your body cannot produce them and needs to obtain them through your diet.

If a food contains all nine essential amino acids, it’s referred to as a complete protein.

The problem is that many plant foods are deficient in certain essential amino acids, such as lysine.

However, quinoa is an exception to this, because it contains sufficient amounts of all the essential amino acids.. For this reason, it’s an excellent source of protein. It has both more and better protein than most grains

6. Has a Low Glycemic Index, Which is Good for Blood Sugar Control
The glycemic index is a measure of how quickly foods raise your blood sugar levels.

Eating foods that are high on the glycemic index can stimulate hunger and contribute to obesity.

Such foods have also been linked to many of the common, chronic, Western diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease

7. High in Important Minerals Like Iron and Magnesium
Many people don’t get enough of certain important nutrients.

This is particularly true of some minerals, especially magnesium, potassium, zinc and (for women) iron.

Quinoa is very high in all 4 minerals, particularly magnesium, with one cup (185 grams) providing about 30% of the RDA.

8. Very High in Antioxidants
Quinoa is very high in antioxidants, which are substances that neutralize free radicals and are believed to help fight aging and many diseases.

One study, researching antioxidant levels in five cereals, three pseudo-cereals and two legumes found that quinoa had the highest antioxidant content of all ten foods

While not directly a health benefit, the fact that quinoa is very easy to incorporate into your diet is nonetheless important.

It’s also tasty and goes well with many foods.

Information sourced from www.healthline.com

 



 
 
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