4 Benefits of Eating Quinoa
4 Benefits of Eating Quinoa
Are you keen on quinoa (pronounced keen-wah)? If you’re not sold on this nutritious grain-like seed, then we highly recommend you continue reading. Quinoa is a protein-packed superfood that’s loaded with health benefits. The tiny seeds come from a plant native to the regions of Peru, Bolivia and Chile. And though it’s been a staple in South American culture for thousands of years, quinoa has started gaining popularity in the United States over the last decade or so – and for good reason.
In fact, quinoa was deemed “the gold of the Incas,” because they believed it increased their warriors’ stamina, according to WHFoods. It’s no strange coincidence that quinoa sprouts make up a third of our Chocolate Magic plant-based protein powder blend – and here’s why
4 Health Benefits of Quinoa
Quinoa is a complete protein source
It provides all nine essential amino acids, and it’s even a great source of lysine, which is uncommon among most plant foods. Consuming complete proteins is a vital part of supporting growth and normal maintenance of body tissue. A cup of quinoa holds 8 grams of protein, so it’s a definite go-to dish for vegans and vegetarians alike.
It’s high in fiber
Not to brag or anything, but quinoa contains nearly twice as much fiber as other grains. Why is that so important? Well, according to Vox, only 5 percent of people in the US meet the Institute of Medicine’s recommended daily target of fiber consumption. That’s quite alarming, considering that fiber is known for relieving constipation, preventing heart disease, and even helping you lose weight.
One study that looked at four varieties of quinoa found a range of 10-16 grams of fiber per every 100 grams – equaling about 17-27 grams per cup.
It has anti-inflammatory properties
If you look up any list of anti-inflammatory foods, you can bet your bottom dollar that quinoa will be on there. Quinoa contains an abundance of anti-inflammatory phytochemicals, providing potential protective effects against inflammation.
Quinoa contains quercetin and kaempferol, which are antioxidants better known as “flavonoids.” Sure, those may just look like a bunch of silly words – but these two plant compounds have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-cancer and even anti-depressant effects in various studies. By adding quinoa to your repertoire, such as adding a scoop of Chocolate Magic to your smoothie, you’ll be adding a significant amount of these important nutrients to your daily intake.
Quinoa is gluten-free
Every day, more and more individuals turn to a whole foods, plant-based diet. This typically means ditching gluten. If you’re just starting out on your journey to consuming more whole foods, options may seem limited at first.. But luckily, quinoa is a whole, unprocessed, gluten-free food. It’s a great option for those with sensitivities, or anyone trying to minimize their intake.
According to a study published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, researchers at Columbia University's Celiac Disease Center found that the nutritional profile of gluten-free diets was improved by adding oats or quinoa to meals and snacks.
To make quinoa’s case even better, studies have shown that using quinoa instead of your typical gluten-free ingredients, like refined tapioca or rice flour, can dramatically increase both the nutrient and antioxidant value of your diet, as well as your polyphenol content. Polyphenols are chemicals that protect cells and body chemicals against damage caused by free radicals, which contribute to tissue damage in the body.
Quinoa Recipe Ideas for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
- Quinoa porridge with a scoop of Planet Protein, coconut yogurt and fresh fruit
- Quinoa salad with hearty greens, chopped pecans and roasted squash
- Quinoa tacos with sauteed veggies, lentils, guacamole and cashew sour cream
- Chocolate nice cream: frozen bananas, Chocolate Magic and a splash of nut milk