Nutritional Value of Quinoa
Whenever we get introduced to a new type of food, we usually look for the benefits it could deliver – that’s of course when it is anything that is not about the sweet and calories-stuffed desserts – and that is why the first time a lot of people hear about quinoa, they run after the different benefits it could deliver to their bodies and start searching for some good things they will be able to gain. Quinoa is a species of the goosefeet genus which is grown for its edible seeds; it is easy to prepare, easy to cook, and have a taste which is not strong and could take any other one added to it. There are different health and nutrition facts about quinoa which we will mention through this article.
Quinoa Nutritional Info
Back in the old days when the Inca Empire first discovered quinoa, they used to refer to it as “mother of all grains” and this goes back to the nutritious value that it carries. Quinoa comes in three different colors; the black, white, and the red, and they could be all found in different health stores around the world or even in the supermarkets.
Some of the nutrition facts of quinoa that should be known are related to the fact that it carries 8 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, 58% of protein, 30% magnesium, 28% of phosphorus, 19% folate, 18% copper, 15% iron, 13% zinc, 9% potassium, over 10% of vitamins B1, B2, and B6, as well as calcium and vitamin E. Every single one of these different nutrients delivers different benefits to the body which might range from those related to the body, the mind, as well as those which help with other health conditions.
Quinoa nutritional benefits include:
- It Could Help in Weight Loss
One of the nutrients found in quinoa is fiber and according to different studies done on fiber content in it before, it is believed that quinoa carries a good quantity of fiber that might be more than most of the other grains and which is about 10 to 16 grams per 100 grams, the only negative thing about it is that most of the fiber is insoluble which do not carry the same health benefits of the soluble one. There are different things that fiber could get the chance to help with, such as reducing the blood sugar level, lowering the cholesterol, increasing the feeling of being filled up and thus helping with weight loss as well.
- It is Beneficial for Metabolic Health
There are different benefits related to quinoa and in addition to the one related to weight loss, we should mention that quinoa is beneficial for the metabolic health as well. We have mentioned the different nutrients that are found in quinoa and these different nutrients have been proved to reduce the blood sugar, insulin, and triglyceride levels when it replaces gluten-free breads and pastas.
- It Could Fight Aging
There are different important nutritional benefits that would make you think million times about adding quinoa to your diet plan and in addition to those mentioned above, we should also mention how effective it is when it comes to fighting aging as well as many other diseases. The reason why quinoa is able to fight aging is the antioxidants that it is rich with; these substances which neutralize free radicals and in turn fight aging.
- Quinoa is Also Rich with Minerals
The human body usually loses some minerals during the day while being engaged in different activities but which the person never even realizes and that is why the minerals that are found in quinoa will manage to refill those lost ones in the body one more time. Some of the important minerals that should be mentioned here is magnesium, potassium, zinc, and iron and it is high in them all, particularly in magnesium.
One of the problems that might face the person while trying to get these minerals from quinoa is that quinoa also carries a substance known as phytic acid which could bind these minerals together and reduce their absorption. To solve this problem, sprouting the quinoa might be the best solution since it reduces the phytic acid content and make these minerals more available and easier to be absorbed by the body.
- Quinoa Carries All the Essential Amino Acids
Quinoa nutritional value is important to be mentioned because it is a little bit different than all the other grains. One of the benefits related to quinoa is the fact that it is high in protein and carries all the essential amino acids. When a certain type of food carries all the essential amino acids it is usually referred to as “complete protein” and the reason why these acids are known as “essential” is the fact that the body could not produce them and will need to receive them from a specific diet. According to the amount of protein found in quinoa, we have to say that it is one of the good choices that vegans and vegetarians could depend on.
- It is Also Gluten Free
For all those people who are gluten sensitive and are always trying to stay as far away from foods that are gluten as possible, quinoa is one ingredient that could be used as a substitute in a lot of recipes in order to make them much healthier and at the same time make them able to be consumed by those who are sensitive to gluten. Eating foods that are gluten free but are made of refined starches is not considered healthy, but using quinoa instead of potato, corn, rice flour, or tapioca is what we recommend.
Cooked Quinoa Nutrition
The benefits of cooked quinoa slightly differs from the ones that are not, just like the phytic acid that we have mentioned before, but there are still different other things to be mentioned. The cooking process of quinoa is an easy one that might not exceed 20 minutes, but the whole point is in the idea of washing the quinoa in order to remove any bitter taste it might carry. First of all, the seeds should be placed in a fine mesh strainer under water and then rubbed with both hands a little bit before tasting one and making sure that there isn’t any bitterness kept.
The percentage of the nutrients and minerals found in cooked quinoa differs than those found in the one that is not yet cooked. Cooked quinoa carries 222 calories, 8 grams of protein, 15% of iron, 3% of calcium, 5% of total fat, 21% of dietary fiber, and 13% of total carbohydrate.
In order to have the perfect cooked quinoa, there are some important steps which you will need to go through and which include:
- Rinsing the quinoa seeds in cold water in order to remove the bitter taste that it comes with. Some of the manufacturers sell the quinoa already rinsed, but if you want to repeat the process then you have to place it in a fine mesh strainer, keep it under the water for a couple of minutes, rub it between your both hands, and then remove the water as much as you can.
- After you make sure that there is no bitterness – you could taste one with your tongue – you will need to put the seeds into a pan filled with water and add some salt to it.
- Place this pan over medium heat and bring it to a boil then reduce to simmer for about 10 or 15 minutes or until you start to see the seeds absorbing the liquid and are becoming tender.
- When you realize that your seeds are ready to be eaten and the cooking process is over, you will need to use a fork and fluff the seeds to separate them from one another.
Cooking quinoa is definitely not a hard thing to do and it will not take more than a couple of minutes from your time, making it a healthy meal that you could easily prepare whenever you don’t feel like cooking.
Some Quinoa Facts
After knowing the different quinoa nutritional facts, there are different things – or facts – which you are supposed to know about quinoa as well; some might surprise you while others will turn out to be acceptable.
- A lot of people refer to quinoa as a grain when in fact it is not, it is cooked like one but it is more like a seed.
- We all know about the three famous colors of quinoa which are the black, red, and white, but according to the Whole Grains Council, there are actually more than 120 types of quinoa all around the world.
- When the quinoa undergoes the cooking process, it will appear like a seed with some kind of tail coming out of it; this tail is the germ of the seed which separates on its own when it becomes ready.
- It is better to wash quinoa before cooking it because it is usually coated with a compound that would make it bitter, and even though most of the new brands package it already washed, it is better to stay safe and repeat the process.
Quinoa is one of the healthy foods that you could depend on in different things related to your health since it carries different nutrients and minerals that play perfect roles in the body. Quinoa nutritional benefits include helping with weight loss, lowering blood sugar level, providing the body with some lost minerals, as well as many other things that make it a superfood.