Quinoa used to be a bit of a mystery food but then gained so much popularity that it is almost a household name. Have you tried quinoa yet? If you have not eaten quinoa try finding it at a fresh deli or restaurant in a tasty salad. If that doesn’t work you can go to the freezer section of your local grocery store and find a bag mixed with greens. A good recommend is to hold off trying to make it from scratch until you are familiar with the consistency and various ways you can prepare this healthy grain. But no worries, because once you try quinoa you are going to be adding this to your regular menu schedule. And it will not just be for the taste alone. Quinoa has some incredible ingredients which makes it an important staple for people living a healthy lifestyle. Let’s look at what makes quinoa so healthy.
When people think about fiber, regular bowel movements and digestive health come to mind. But fiber also does some other important things in our bodies. For people managing portions and dieting fiber is good because it makes you feel fuller, longer. This happens because fiber rich foods are absorbed more slowly than others which also creates another health benefit; blood sugar levels stay more even rather than rising and falling. Fiber aids in the prevention of diabetes, heart disease and even some cancer. Based on a 2000 calorie diet, 25 grams of fiber is recommended for an adult. 1 cup of quinoa contains a little over 5 grams of fiber which is a great addition to any meal plan.
Vitamins and Minerals
A serving of Quinoa has almost 20% the amount of folate that is required for an adult per day. Folate is vitamin B6 critical for cell reproduction. It is also directly linked to the prevention of dementia, some cancers, heart disease and even depression. Another essential benefit of Quinoa is the 30% recommended amount of magnesium which regulates the heart along with other muscles and aids in combating anxiety, diabetes and migraine headaches. Quinoa is also high in other essential micronutrients including iron, zinc, copper, potassium and phosphorus.
Quinoa is amazing in that it contains all the essential amino acids. This makes it one of the best sources of plant based protein. Your body breaks down protein into amino acids and uses it for building up muscle tissue, especially thst broken down from weigth lifting and exercise. Eating quinoa can also speed up healing in wounds. Internal benefits include the repair and new growth of bones, muscles, cartilage and blood. External benefits include the repair and new growth of hair, skin and nails.
Often times antioxidants are thought to be found in colorful fruits and vegetables but surprisingly, quinoa has high levels of antioxidants. Some of these are:
- phenolic & anthocyanin – thwart the growth of viruses, prevent cancers and reduce inflammation.
- polyphenol – can prevent and even treat diabetes & cardiovascular disease while also improving weight management and digestion.
Quinoa not only has all of the above health beneifts but it also contains healthy fats and is gluten free. It is not a stretch to say that quinoa is on the list of superfoods! Adding quinoa to your diet routine a few times a week is a sound decision. Your body will reap intense benefits in many ways and you will feel so much better. If you are trying to prevent cancer, treat blood sugar issues, regulate digestion and combat depression and anxiety, quinoa is the best bet for you. Oh yes, and it tastes great too!
Here are some awesome quinoa recipes for you to try: