Which to Choose, Quinoa or Rice?
No one can ever deny the importance of rice when it comes to the main dishes because it suits a lot of things and manages to give the stomach the fulfillment feeling that it needs, but since quinoa appeared on the surface and with the different benefits that it carries, it is now considered a good and healthy substitute for rice. The battle started when nutritionists started comparing quinoa to both the brown as well as the white types of rice in order to reach the healthiest option and direct people to the one with the most benefits. It is important to know which one to choose and which is considered healthier than the other, so keep reading this article.
The comparison between quinoa and rice should grab your attention for a little bit, not just because you have to make the healthiest choice, but also to know more about a specific type of seed – or grain as some perceive it – and the benefits it could deliver to your body. Whether you are a fan of white or brown rice, you will still be placed in a comparison with quinoa and will be forced to make a choice.
Quinoa vs. Rice
Being both placed under the spotlight, you will be taken through a journey that informs you more about quinoa nutrition and that related to rice; this journey will tell you about the benefits which your body will gain from both sides and which one will be carrying more benefits to this body; in other words, it will make a decision and leave the final choice for you.
It has always been known in the first place that brown rice is considered healthier than the white type and this mainly goes back to contributing to the body’s intake of whole grains. Usually when the question is asked in a form like: which is healthier quinoa or white rice? The answer will be definitely quinoa, but when the comparison is made between quinoa and brown rice then there might be a little bit of benefits shared between them both and thus the decision will be a little bit harder; you might even choose according to the taste you prefer more.
Even though quinoa and brown rice are both considered the same when it comes to contributing whole grains to the body, there are still some slight differences in their mineral and vitamin content and thus might eventually carry different effects on the body at the end; this is when you should pay close attention to know which one is considered healthier for your body and why.
From the different benefits of quinoa and those related to brown rice, you will have to look at these in order to make your final decision:
- Iron and Magnesium
The comparison held between brown rice and quinoa starts with their content of iron and magnesium. Both iron and magnesium are needed by your body and this goes back to their ability to help your cells access the energy they need to function, in addition to that, the body needs the iron in order to make functional red blood cells and it will be in need for magnesium in order to maintain healthy cell membranes and bone tissue.
Choosing between quinoa and brown rice at this point, we have to say that quinoa is considered much healthier because each half cup of quinoa carries 59 milligrams of magnesium and 1.4 milligrams of iron, while brown rice on the other hand carries 42 milligrams of magnesium and 0.4 milligram of iron; so if you are looking for gaining more iron and magnesium then your choice should definitely be quinoa.
- Calories and Macronutrients
Among the different quinoa benefits that make people always heading out for it is losing weight, which is also considered one of the main reasons why a lot of people switch from the white rice to the brown one and this brings us to the comparison between quinoa and brown rice according to the calories and macronutrients content. At this point, you are free to choose any of these two options to add to your meal because they are so close to one another in their content of both calories and macronutrients, the only difference is the fiber content delivered which is more in quinoa, making it more fulfilling for the body.
A half cup of cooked quinoa provides the body with 111 calories which is not much different from the cooked brown rice which provides the body with 109 calories, and both calories come from their carbohydrate content; they both offer 20 or 22 grams of carbohydrates. Referring to the fiber content, there is a difference between quinoa and brown rice because quinoa could provide the body with 2.6 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein through one serving, while brown rice could only offer the body with 1.9 grams of fiber and 2.5 grams of protein.
- B-Complex Vitamins
This is one of the different benefits that both quinoa and brown rice are different in and one which will make you schedule when you will eat both of them during the week since every single one could manage to deliver a different vitamin type to the body than the other. Talking about quinoa for example, we have to mention that it provides the body with good amount of folate, which is a B-vitamin type that helps in making DNA and supports the brain cell communication; each serving of quinoa provides the body with 10 percent of the daily recommended folate intake.
Looking at quinoa on the other side, it serves the body with other important B-vitamin type which the body is in need for, which is niacin that serves the body by boosting the blood flow, supporting the healthy nerve function, and nourishing the skin. Also a serving of the brown rice could provide the body with 10 percent of the recommended daily amount of niacin for women and 9 percent for men.
- Manganese and Selenium
The final comparison done between quinoa and brown rice and one which will give you the chance to decide which one of them you are going to depend on more is the one carried between them both when it comes to their manganese and selenium content. It was better for you to depend on quinoa when you are trying to provide your body with more iron or magnesium, but in this case, when you are searching for sources of manganese and selenium, you should choose brown rice instead because it will deliver those minerals in greater amounts to the body.
There are different benefits for both manganese and selenium; they both protect the tissues from oxidative stress and they both activate enzymes that shield the cells from free radicals, the reactive chemicals that oxidize and damage tissues. There are still other benefits to be mentioned since selenium aids in the function of the muscles while manganese supports in the healing of the wounds. A serving of brown rice will provide the body with 9.6 micrograms of selenium and 0.9 milligram of manganese, while one serving of quinoa will provide the body with 2.6 grams of selenium and 0.6 milligram of manganese.
Is Quinoa Healthy?
According to the comparison held above, we have to say that quinoa and brown rice stand on the same level since every single one of them could provide the body with specific minerals more than the other one, so you could choose any of them if you are looking for general benefits for your body or else manage to choose a specific one if you are searching for specific minerals that you want to provide your body with. When you are trying to compare between quinoa and white rice then in this case we have to say that quinoa is definitely healthier and it could even help you lose more weight than white rice could.
Cooking quinoa is easy and even the preparation stage that it has to go through does not take time and that is why a lot of people become attached to the idea of preparing something quickly which will at the same time be healthy for their bodies and provide them with several benefits. Quinoa is healthy; it is a complete source of protein since it carries all the nine essential amino acids, it carries fiber which is known to be beneficial when it comes to losing weight as well as relieving constipation, it contains iron which keeps the red blood cells healthy and also helps the oxygen to move from one cell to another, it contain lysine which is mainly needed for tissue growth and repair, it carries magnesium which relaxes the blood vessels and thus is beneficial when it comes to beating migraines, it is also rich with riboflavin which improves the metabolism of energy within the brain and muscle cells, and finally it is also rich with manganese.
All these different minerals and nutrients which you will find in quinoa should be enough to inform you about how this seed or grain is considered healthy and how much your body is in need for it in order to gain any of these different benefits it could manage to deliver. You just have to learn how to prepare quinoa and how to wash it thoroughly to get rid of the bitter taste that it carries, and learn how it should be cooked correctly and how much will all these different steps take in order to get closer to this food type.
Comparing between quinoa and rice is not enough because even the rice has some types of it; the white and the brown, and definitely we all know that the brown rice is much healthier than the white one. There are some differences found between brown rice and quinoa but we could say that they still stand side by side because when one fails in providing the body with a specific type of mineral, the other manages to do so. The choice between quinoa and white rice will always go for the white rice, but choosing between quinoa and brown rice will always depend on which one you like the most, or else just schedule them across the week.