You have seen them in the supermarket, you have seen them in restaurants and your favourite fitness icon can’t stop swooning over it. We are talking about Quinoa, a super food that has been gaining popularity in India rapidly. Available in red and white grains, Quinoa is cooked the same way as rice and is loaded with several health benefits. Quinoa stands tall and proud amongst all its grainy counterparts for its high quantum of proteins, monounsaturated fat, potassium, phosphorus, copper, zinc, vitamin E and B6, riboflavin, niacin, thiamine, iron and magnesium. Low in calories and dense in energy, Quinoa is also renowned for its role in boosting digestion, metabolism and its heart protective properties. In addition to this, the supergrain is low in carbs which helps maintain blood sugar level and lower high blood pressure and cholesterol, making it a great dietary addition for diabetics.
Here are 6 Health benefits of Quinoa that will compel you to go buy a pack for yourself.
1. A source of complete protein
It’s not for nothing that the health and nutrition circuit is abuzz with the many nutritional qualities of Quinoa. Quinoa is a complete source of protein, as it contains all essential amino acids. This also makes Quinoa a favourite amongst vegetarians, who are unable to get their complete fill of protein through the vegetarian sources. Protein can reduces hunger pangs and helps boost metabolism, and all those who are looking to shed some extra kilos must load up on adequate amounts of protein to do so.
2. Aids tissue growth
Quinoa is particularly high in lysine, an amino acid which plays an important role in tissue growth and repair.
Quinoa is packed with oleic acid, a monosaturated fatty acid and alpha-linolenic acid, according to the book ‘Healing Foods’, by DK Publishing, this combination can help reduce unhealthy (LDL) cholesterol levels in the blood and fight inflammation that can lead to hardening of the arteries.
According to the book Healing Foods, “ In addition to a spectrum of E vitamins including alpha-, beta-, gamma-, and delta-tocopherol, quinoa contains two antioxidant flavonoids , quercetin and kaempferol, which fight free radicals and are present in concentrations equal to or higher than high flavonoid berries, such as cranberries”
Quinoa can also help boost digestion as it contains almost twice the quantity of fibre as compared to most other grains. Fibre aids digestion by adding bulk to the stool, thereby regulating bowel movements. Fibre also helps prevent heart diseases and lowers risk of stroke and elevated blood pressure. Fibre takes long to chew and the longest to digest, this induces the feeling of fullness- for a longer time and prevents you from bingeing on other foods soon after you have finished your meal. According to the book ‘Healing Foods’, “Quinoa is easy to digest and doesn’t contain any gluten making it suitable for anyone on a gluten free diet.”
6. Rich in Iron
Quinoa has a reasonable amount of iron. Iron is essential for our red blood cells which are crucial for hemoglobin formation. Iron also plays a key role in transporting oxygen to cells. It also supplies oxygen to our muscles and brain. Iron aids enzyme activity and energy metabolism.
Quinoa has a sweet, grassy flavor and texture. Blend them in your smoothies, whip them in your desserts, sprinkle them to your salads or add them to your soups, there are many ways you can add the super grain to your diet. So get started already.