QUINOA – One Stop Shop For Nutrients by Nutritionist Megha Gupta

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Do you also wish, to have one stop solution for multiple nutrients and benefits…

Nutritionist Megha Gupta talks about benefits of Quinoa

NUTRITIONIST MEGHA GUPTA

Then, Quinoa is the answer – it’s a rich source of protein, high fiber, antioxidant, good source of calcium, manganese, magnesium and iron, gluten-free, and so on. It also contributes useful levels of several B vitamins, Vitamin E and dietary fiber. This magical grain has endless benefits.   

Quinoa – pronounced as “KEEN-wah”, is a gluten-free seed that can make a great substitute for rice, wheat and other grains. It can be used as different dishes like quinoa salad, quinoa fried rice and even quinoa protein shake. Quinoa is called “super-food” for its stupendous properties. 

Quinoa is low-carb rice substitute and has maintained buzz as one of the most popular health-food trends, including low- and gluten-free diets. When cooked, quinoa is soft and fluffy, with a slightly nutty taste. It can also be made into flour, flakes and various foods like pasta and bread. 

Health benefits of regularly consuming quinoa 

A plant-based source of protein 

Quinoa is a good source of protein for people following a plant-based diet. The proteins in quinoa offer a wide range of amino acids, it contains all 9 essential amino acids (like lysine, methionine and tryptophan) making it a complete protein source. Amino acids are vital for supporting muscle development and immune activity, among other essential functions.  This makes quinoa an excellent dietary choice for people following a vegetarian or vegan diet. 

High fiber content

Quinoa has a high fiber content compared with other grains, providing 5.18 g in a single 185 g cup. This 

equates to at least 15.42% of a person’s daily requirement, depending on their age and sex. Diets rich in fiber may also promote a healthy weight loss because foods high in fiber help people feel fuller for longer, potentially reducing their overall intake of food. Quinoa’s good fiber content can aid in lowering cholesterol levels as well. Quinoa is also more easily digestible than many other grains. 

A source of antioxidants 

Quinoa is a good source of flavonoids. Flavonoids are a particular kind of antioxidants. Two flavonoids that have been found in large amounts are Quercetin and Kaempferol. It is a good source of antioxidants, compared with other common grains in a gluten-free diet. Most gluten-free products consist of corn, rice, or potato flour. These generally provide fewer nutrients than products using quinoa, such as quinoa flour. Quinoa provides vitamin E. This is an antioxidant compound that may help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, certain cancers, and several eye disorders. 

Good source of iron

One cup of quinoa supplies 2.76 mg of iron, providing 34.5% of the recommended intake for males 

and 15.33% for females. Maintaining adequate levels of iron is essential for good health. Iron is necessary for a range of processes in the human body. It is an essential part of haemoglobin. This compound carries oxygen in the blood, supporting energy and cell function throughout the body. 

Adequate iron intake also supports healthy connective tissue and muscle metabolism. 

Naturally Gluten free

Gluten-free diets are recommended for people with Celiac disease, a severe gluten intolerance. People who follow gluten-free diets can have a hard time getting all of their essential nutrients. 

Adding quinoa or buckwheat to gluten-free products significantly increases their polyphenol content, as compared to typical gluten-free products made with rice, corn and potato flour. Products made with quinoa or buckwheat contained more antioxidants compared with both wheat products and the control gluten-free products. 

Quinoa and Weight Loss 

Quinoa being an insoluble fiber, helps increasing the feeling of fullness. It keeps you fuller for longer and aiding weigh loss. It boosts metabolism and reduces food craving, thereby decreasing calorie intake. Substituting traditional grains like wheat, rice with quinoa could be a small change that will provide more protein and fiber and help reach weigh loss goals. Quinoa is also low on the glycemic index (GI) that makes it a safer food for Diabetes and helps keep blood sugars under control. Therefore, Quinoa is an excellent choice for weight conscious people, it helps curb appetite. 

Quinoa in the diet 

Quinoa cooks faster than most whole grains, taking only 12 to 15 minutes. This makes quinoa “an easy grain for busy families and individuals to add to their weekly rotation. Furthermore, unlike some grains that tend to dry out when cooled, quinoa maintains a pleasant, chewy texture when served warm, chilled or at room temperature. 

This all means that quinoa can be incorporated into your diet in a variety of ways, from being prepared as a breakfast porridge to being an addition to high protein salads. Quinoa can also be used to thicken up soups or stews, and quinoa flour can be used in gluten-free baking. 

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