What is Quinoa?
At some point of your life, you will realize that your body is in need for several seeds and grains that will be able to provide it with the different nutrients that it does not produce by itself, and quinoa is one of these superfoods. This plant based source of protein gives you the chance to add it to different food recipes and gain several benefits out of it as well. Don’t ever worry about the taste of this superfood because quinoa is believed to carry a good taste and this depends on the opinions of those who have tried it before. Still being an important ingredient to use in your different recipes, there is some information that you should know about quinoa.
Is Quinoa a Grain?
There are several questions that any person might ask when he/she is introduced to something new in his/her life, just like quinoa. Quinoa is definitely a seed but is usually taken as a grain crop, which is grown primarily for its edible seeds, and it is a species of the goosefeet genus. Since quinoa is not a true member of the true grass family, it is considered a pseudocereal rather than a true cereal. Quinoa is related to the species of spinach as well as other things such as tumbleweeds and beetroots.
The quinoa plant is native to Bolivia that used to refer to it as “the mother grain”. Sometimes you might find that the seed or the grain which you are consuming comes in different colors, doing nothing more than just confusing you about which one is considered the best to use. Quinoa is the same since it comes in three different varieties or colors; the whole grain white, the black, as well as the red quinoa, and they are all used in the same way and carry the same nutrients that deliver the same benefits to the body at the end.
In order to start eating or adding a specific ingredient to your meals, it is important to know about the different benefits that should attract you to them. Another interesting thing about chia seeds is the fact that they are gluten-free and could substitute pasta, rice, or couscous. Quinoa is considered one of the few plant-based sources of complete protein which could be milled into gluten-free flour that could be used in baking, or in making the base of pasta and cereals.
Quinoa Nutrition Facts
It is important to understand that most of the healthy foods will still manage to deliver some calories to your body, but that does not mean that you are going to gain weight because sometimes eating these superfoods will fill your body faster leaving no space for other types of food to enter and thus making you consume less food.
Quinoa calories are there, but they are not going to ruin your lifestyle. One cup of quinoa will provide your body with 222 calories and 32 calories coming from fats, this comes in addition to the total fat which will be 4g, 13mg sodium, 39g total carb, 5g dietary fiber, 8g of protein, 3% calcium, and 15% iron.
Being a complete source of protein, it means that quinoa can deliver all the nine essential amino acids that are needed by the body for a good and better overall health. These amino acids are needed by the body because it does not produce them and will be waiting to receive them from foods. Amino acids are needed because they support strong muscles; keep the immune system in tip-top shape, as well as do other several important things for the body.
Usually people love to search and dig deep behind everything entering their life in order to know whether they will be happily using it or will change their minds about the whole thing. There are different benefits that you will need to know about which will come from quinoa, and which will give you the chance to get more attracted to the idea of consuming it and adding it to your different meals.
- It Helps in Relieving Constipation
Yes, quinoa is famously known due to its complete protein but this is not the only reason why it is considered beneficial for people to use and consume. Another nutrient found in quinoa is fiber and fiber is widely used and consumed by a lot of people in order to heal and relieve constipation. Fiber plays other roles as well since it helps in lowering the blood pressure and diabetes which means that it could prevent heart diseases. Fiber can also lower the cholesterol and glucose levels and may lower the risk of developing hemorrhoids.
One of the benefits related to the existence of fiber in some foods is the ability it can carry on helping people to lose some weight since it takes longer time to be chewed and fills the body faster, leaving no space for other things to enter the stomach, this is in addition to it being less “energy dense” which means that it has fewer calories for the same volume of food.
- It Can Alleviate Migraines
Magnesium can be found in quinoa, adding different other benefits to it as well since magnesium helps in relaxing the blood vessels which in turn helps in alleviating migraines. In addition to fiber, magnesium can also reduce type-2 diabetes by promoting healthy blood sugar control. There are several benefits of quinoa that could be delivered through every single nutrient or mineral that it carries inside. Magnesium still has the ability to do other things, such as transmitting nerve impulses, regulating body temperature, detoxification, producing energy, as well as helping in the formation of healthy teeth and bones.
- It Increases the Function of the Brain
It seems that fiber and magnesium alone can attract people to quinoa without even mentioning the rest of the benefits that it carries. Iron is another mineral found in chia seeds and iron can keep the red blood cells healthy and is also considered the basis of hemoglobin formation. In addition to that, iron also carries the oxygen from one cell to another and supplies the oxygen to the muscles in order to aid in their contraction.
Next to the muscles and the oxygen delivered to them, quinoa is also known for its ability to increase the function of the brain since the brain takes about 20% of the blood oxygen. From the different other benefits of iron is neurotransmitter synthesis, regulation of body temperature, aiding enzyme activity and energy metabolism.
- It is High in Riboflavin, Manganese, and Contains Lysine
There are other important benefits carried to the body through quinoa due to some other nutrients and minerals that it carries. For example, the lysine found in quinoa is essential for tissue growth and repair, the Riboflavin (B2) that it is high in, can improve the energy metabolism in the brain and muscle cells as well as help in creating proper energy production in cells, and finally the manganese found in quinoa is also important since it prevents the damage of mitochondria during the production of energy as well as to protect the red blood cells and other cells from injury by free radicals.
- It Can Help with Cardiovascular Diseases and Inflammatory Conditions
One of the famous things that might be found in quinoa is the flavonoids which could be only found in other foods such as berries. These flavonoids have the ability to help with things like cardiovascular diseases as well as inflammatory conditions, which means that those who might be at the risk for heart disease or might have arthritis should start adding quinoa to their diet plans.
- It Help those Who Suffer from Celiac Disease or are Gluten Intolerant
We have mentioned above that quinoa is gluten free and this brings us to the fact that it could help those people who might be suffering from celiac disease or are gluten intolerant. Quinoa is a seed but it is also unrelated to wheat which makes it a great substitute for pasta, wheat flour, oatmeal, as well as other things. Quinoa could be grinned, dried, baked, boiled, steamed, or even fried.
Where to Buy Quinoa?
There is always some interesting piece of information to know about the seeds or the grains that you usually consume. For example, chia seeds are known to date back to the Aztecs who used to value it and consider it sacred since they were sacrificing it in their religious ceremonies. On the other hand, quinoa also has its interesting history; it dates back to three or four thousand years when the Incas first realized that this seed could be consumed by human beings.
According to the World’s Healthiest Foods (WHFoods), quinoa was considered “the gold of the Incas” because they believed that it increases the stamina of their warriors.
Quinoa is one of the seeds that are considered rare to be found in the grocery stores or the supermarkets, although those who go out searching for it there should always focus their attention on specialty rice, beans, and other grains. Quinoa is considered famous in the health food stores and is usually sold in bulks.
In order to store quinoa in the most right way, you have to follow the same rules that you usually keep in mind when it comes to storing rice and other dry grains; you have to keep it always in cool and dark places, in an air-tight container to avoid insects from reaching inside as well as avoid and keep out moisture.
It is Important to know that quinoa is a seed and not a grain but due to the way it is regarded as a grain crop, people usually consider it a grain. There are several benefits for quinoa that make it a superfood without any hesitations and which push people forward to know more about it and know more about how they could add it to their meals.