Quinoa Superfood Health Benefits
Whether you call it a seed or else prefer to call it a grain, quinoa will still be considered a superfood for all the different benefits that it has the ability to deliver. Keen-wah – yes, this is actually how it should be pronounced – is a plant seed that is filled up with nutrients and minerals which are the main reason behind these delivered benefits. There are some famous questions which are always asked about quinoa; whether it is a seed or a grain, as well as whether it is considered a superfood or not. Quinoa is that superfood, or super grain, which you will be looking forward to add to your diet and depend on in different aspects related to your health.
Is Quinoa a Superfood?
In order to decide whether quinoa is a superfood or not, you should first understand what superfood means. Superfoods are those foods which mainly come from plants – but they sometimes come from fish and meat as well – and are nutritious and thus beneficial for the health of the person. To make it clear enough, it is important to mention that according to the American Heart Association, it was said that there is no criteria that determines what is and what is not considered a superfood.
The word “superfood” was mainly used in order to market all the healthy foods out there which have the chance to deliver some important benefits to the body, but in the real world, there is no such word to tell you what to eat and what to stay away from. Nuts, seeds, beans, and wholegrains, are among the list that states the most important types of superfoods out there and those come in addition to blueberries, kiwi, kale, salmon, sweet potato, as well as some other types of food.
Quinoa is known to be the plant seed that is usually referred and recognized as a grain because of the same benefits that it carries as well as the same way it is usually prepared and cooked in and that is why it is known as a whole grain or a pseudo-cereal. This seed carries different nutrients and minerals that could deliver important benefits to the body starting from the inner health problems and ending with those related to the skin and the hair.
Quinoa has been always considered a valuable seed out there by the Bolivians, who were the ones to bring it out to the people, as well as for those people nowadays who are gaining different benefits from consuming it. These minerals and nutrients found in quinoa, as well as the fact that it is considered both a seed and a grain, make quinoa a superfood and one thing that should definitely go in the list of superfoods.
Why is Quinoa a Superfood?
Usually, the foods that are given this name carry different health benefits for the body and these health benefits usually come from the different nutrients and minerals which are found in them. Superfoods are also known as those which rescue the body from illnesses, nutritional beneficences, and the threat of obesity. As we have mentioned above, the word “superfood” is not one that has a technical definition out there, but it is the word used to refer to those foods which carry different benefits for the body while at the same time providing the least amount of fats and calories.
Quinoa comes among this list since it is a plant seed that delivers different benefits for the body while at the same time giving it small amount of fats and calories. One serving of quinoa carries 222 calories and only 4 grams of unsaturated fats, which means that it matches the rule of low fats-low calories related to superfoods.
There are still other reasons behind calling quinoa a grain superfood, such as:
- It Carries a High Amount of Protein
One of the things that make quinoa unique and differentiates it from the rest of the plant seeds is the fact that it carries complete protein. According to one study that was done by the University of Chile, about 15% of the total content of quinoa is protein, which is more than double the amount found in other grains. Being a complete protein means that quinoa carries all the essential amino acids and this also means that with each serving, the body will be receiving the nine essential blocks that are needed for making protein.
- It Can Fight Diabetes and Hypertension
There are different diseases that quinoa could help in fighting, such as heart disease and diabetes. According to a study done in the Universidad de Sao Paulo in Brazil, it was found that quinoa has the ability to lower the levels of blood glucose in those who are suffering from diabetes. This study was also able to prove that consuming quinoa on a regular basis helps in lowering the blood pressure levels for those with hypertension. The scientists who were behind the scenes of this research said that the presence of quercetin derivatives in quinoa are the main reason behind the positive effects carried on the blood glucose and the cardiovascular system.
- It is Considered a Natural Appetite
In addition to the two previous important reasons behind quinoa being referred to as a superfood, it is also considered a natural appetite and thus is also considered a superfood. Another study done by the University of Milan found that quinoa was effective when it comes to controlling appetite due to being a good source of fiber which is the main reason behind the fullness feeling that people feel after eating it, which will in turn decrease the amount of food they tend to consume throughout the rest of the day.
- It Carries Some Good Benefits for the Skin
There are different quinoa benefits which are related to the skin and the hair, making this grain or seed move to a totally different level and even placing it at the top of the superfood list. Some researchers were able to found that quinoa is a good source of free phenols which destroy free radicals in the bloodstream, and as a result to this, quinoa is considered important when it comes to the aging process and slowing it down, as well as decreasing the risk of cancer and delay the appearance of the fine lines and wrinkles.
- It Helps with Reducing the Symptoms of Anemia
Quinoa is a famous seed that is known for its nutrients and minerals and among these minerals; quinoa carries magnesium, manganese, iron, folate, as well as zinc. Iron is considered one of the most important minerals found in quinoa and this goes back to its ability to carry oxygen from one cell to another throughout the whole body, making it an important addition for all those who want to gain more energy during their workouts. In addition to all that, iron is also an important addition to the diets of those with anemia.
- It Can Deal with the Digestive Problems
Some people say that quinoa give them the bloating feeling while others say that it gives them the chance to get rid of it, actually quinoa is important to deal with some digestive problems. Quinoa is a good source of fiber, the same nutrient needed for those who want to feel full and lose some weight, but this time fiber is important because it assists with digestion and can help prevent indigestion, these seeds are also helpful by decreasing the frequency of bouts of constipation.
Some Other Important Superfoods
In addition to the superfood quinoa, there are some other important superfoods out there; some you might have come across while others you might have never been introduced to before. When we mention the word superfood, the first one that appears on the top of the list is the quinoa and afterwards come things like:
Amaranth is considered a superfood because it is high in protein, it also carries lysine which is almost absent in most of the grains except amaranth and quinoa, it is rich with fiber, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus. Amaranth also carries iron as well as vitamins A and C.
Tempeh is derived from soybeans which have come to exist as a healthy substitute for meat. The reason behind adding this food to the list of superfoods out there is the fact that it carries soy protein, omega-3 fatty acids which are important for improving heart health, reducing hypertension, and alleviating many autoimmune disorders as well as improving some mental health conditions such as depression. Tempeh is also a good source of dietary fiber which can prevent the onset of many bowel-related illnesses and conditions.
Kale is another superfood that might be famously known after quinoa and amaranth. Kale is considered a superfood because it carries high amounts of organosulfur, making it an anti-cancer food. It is also a good source of carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, which are important to ward off the debilitating eye disease. Kale is rich with vitamins A, C, E, and B, as well as being important when it comes to manganese, copper, calcium, and iron.
Quinoa superfood benefits bring us to the fact that this seed is beneficial and healthy for the body for different reasons, including fighting different diseases as well as being important for the skin, the hair, and the teeth. Superfoods do not have a definition but they are usually referred to those which have the ability to deliver some important health benefits to the body, and quinoa with all its benefits, stands at the top of this list.