Quinoa Nutrition is one of complete food
The quinoa nutrition plant seed came to Europe to be used in place of wheat, mainly to produce wheat flour. Soon the seed was incorporated into our cuisine, being consumed as oil or in nature in several dishes. Its flaked or powdered form (flour) is one of the most preferred because it can be consumed in various ways, such as in vitamins, juices, salads and even straight into the food dish.
Quinoa Nutrition contains no gluten and is very rich in protein and other nutrients. In fact, it is so nutritious that the United Nations and the US Academy of Science have even compared it to breast milk on some level. Quinoa seed has the optimal amount of protein, fat, carbohydrate, and calories for our body.
The Nutrients of Quinoa
The nickname of pseudocereal is given because quinoa is as nutritious as other cereals like rice and wheat. Much consumed in the Andes, it has all the essential amino acids in our organism.
Quinoa Nutrition is a rich source of fatty acids like omega 3 and 6, iron, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, ascorbic acid and B-complex vitamins like thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2) and niacin (B3).
Check out the classification of nutrients in every 100 grams of quinoa:
Calories (Kcal) 336
Carbohydrates (g) 68.3
Proteins (g) 12.1
Water (g) 10.8
Phosphorus (mg) 302
Calcium (mg) 107
Fibers (g) 6.8
Iron (mg) 5.2
Thiamine (mg) 1.5
Niacin (mg) 1.2
Riboflavin (mg) 0.3
Ascorbic Acid (mg) 1.1
Major Benefits of Quinoa Nutrition
Quinoa helps our immune, nervous and cardiovascular systems. Omega 3 and 6 quinoa helps control our cholesterol and regulate blood pressure, which prevents cardiovascular problems
As it is rich in proteins and carbohydrates, the seed is a good choice for vegetarians and for those who enjoy a good workout, since it helps in strengthening and maintaining muscle and increases the disposition. In addition, it helps our bone structure, preventing the onset of osteoporosis.
She is also a female friend because her phytoestrogens emulate the action of estrogens in the female organism, alleviating the symptoms of PMS and menopause. As it has antioxidant properties, it fights premature aging and even helps hair, skin and nails.
Since quinoa is also rich in fiber, it can be an ally and so much in diets, since it gives that sensation of satiety after consumed, besides providing a good functioning of the intestine. Those who have celiac disease can also consume quinoa because it has no gluten.
Including Quinoa in Your Food
It is not difficult to include the seed in your daily diet. As it is sold in flakes or in powder, simply add two spoons per day to the food you prefer. You can make vitamins, juices, salads by putting the powder along with the other ingredients, or even sprinkle it on your plate of food like flour.
If you like you can even substitute the wheat flour for the quinoa flour, making cakes, breads, cookies, pies and more. Simply substitute the wheat flour in the same proportion for the quinoa flour, they are equivalent.
7 Proven Benefits of Quinoa Nutrition – For Which It Serves and Properties
The benefits of quinoa nutrition are so many that it is commonly described as a “super food” or a “super grass.” It has become world-wide popular among people who want to maintain health and are always in search of more complete and healthy foods. This is because it is a small seed, but full of proteins, fibers and various vitamins and minerals.
Quinoa is gluten-free and can be used as a substitute for rice in all types of dishes.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) officially declared that 2013 be recognized as “The International Year of Quinoa”. This was a proposal of the government of Bolivia and has received strong support from many countries where quinoa has already been identified as a food of high nutritional value and that can play an important role for food worldwide.
Knowing that quinoa remains unknown to many people, especially in relation to its properties and benefits, we promote here a little more information and tips for the preparation of food using this seed.
A little history to get to know quinoa better
Quinoa means “maternal grain” in the Incan language. It originated in the Andes Mountains, and for millennia, was the staple food for the native peoples of that region.
Quinoa is generally considered to be a grain and commonly referred to as such, but is actually the seed of a plant called Chenopodium quinoa, native to Peru, Chile, and Bolivia, and related to beet, chard, and spinach. When cooked, the quinoa is soft with a slight nutty taste. It can also be consumed in the form of flour and flakes and added to several savory dishes or in the dough of cakes and breads.
Properties of quinoa nutrition – an integral grain
Quinoa is used in the same way as cereals and whole grains and also has a similar nutritional profile.
We call whole grains the seeds and whole grains, in which none of its parts is removed. When the grains are milled or refined they are processed to create thinner versions with lighter texture. Unfortunately, most of the important nutrients like fibers are also removed during this process.
The most common versions available in the stores are white, red and black quinoa.
Whole grains such as quinoa provide essential vitamins, minerals and fibers that help regulate the digestive system, unlike white flours and white rice that provide us with only simple carbohydrates with little nutritional value and which are quickly digested.
Nutritional Profile of Quinoa
Quinoa is naturally gluten-free and contains iron, B vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, vitamin E and fiber. It is one of the few plant foods considered a complete protein, composed of all essential amino acids. Quinoa also has a high proportion of protein when compared to other grains. The seed was considered by the American Space Agency as an ideal food for astronauts on long-term spaceflight.
Quinoa also contains a healthy dose of fatty acids. According to Melinda Lund, a nutritional medicine therapist, “About 25% of quinoa fatty acids are healthy monounsaturated fat for the heart, and about 8% are alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), the type of omega 3 found in plants.”
A quarter cup dried quinoa contains 160 calories, 2.5 grams of fat (0 grams of saturated and Trans fat), 0 grams of cholesterol and sodium, 27 grams of carbohydrates (3 grams of fiber and 0 grams of sugar), and 6 grams of protein.
Benefits of Quinoa – what exactly is it for?
Let’s explore below the benefits of quinoa for good form and health by showing how the properties of quinoa positively impact quality of life.
1 – Quinoa contains high concentrations of the antioxidants of Quercetin and Kaempferol
The effect that quinoa consumption can provide to our health goes beyond the vitamins and minerals we are familiar with. It has extremely healthy micronutrients and among them are interesting molecules called flavonoids. These are plant antioxidants that have been shown to be extremely beneficial to health.
Two flavonoids in particular, Quercetin and Kaempferol, found in large quantities in quinoa, have shown in laboratory studies that they have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, anticancer and antidepressant action.
Studies have shown that the concentration of these two flavonoids in quinoa may be greater than their concentration in red fruits such as cranberry.
2 – Quinoa is very rich in proteins and contains all the amino acids essential to our organism
According to American nutritionist Kelly Jops: “Quinoa is one of the only plant foods that provide complete proteins, containing all the amino acids essential for a healthy body balance.”
Essential amino acids are those that the body cannot produce on its own, so they need to be ingested through food. Proteins are made from amino acids and are considered complete when they contain all of them in almost equal measure.
There are nine essential amino acids listed by the Institutes of Health: histamine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine.
Most grains are considered inadequate as total protein sources because they lack adequate amounts of lysine and isoleucine. In contrast, quinoa nutrition has significantly higher amounts of both which categorizes it as a complete source of protein and therefore an excellent food for vegetarians and vegans who do not consume animal protein.
3 – Quinoa is a perfect food for people with gluten intolerance
A major benefit associated with quinoa is the decreased risk of allergy, especially for people who have adverse reactions to certain grains because of gluten. Several public organizations have recommended quinoa as a substitute for wheat whenever it is necessary to avoid the intake of this protein.
Because of this characteristic and also because of the ease of being digested, quinoa nutrition has also become an indicated food in the diet of children and infants.
4 – Quinoa consumption may help lower cholesterol
The significant fiber content of quinoa may aid in lowering cholesterol levels. Fibers help in the digestion of bile acids which are made, in part, of cholesterol. With improved digestion, the liver absorbs cholesterol from the blood to create more bile acids, thereby reducing the amount of LDL, the bad cholesterol.
A study published in the journal Plant Foods for Human Nutrition showed mice that were fed quinoa reduced their LDL cholesterol by 57 percent.
Large scale human studies are still being developed demonstrating the benefits of quinoa for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease including atherosclerosis.
What has already been proven is that quinoa has beneficial flavonoids to maintain heart health.
In addition, quinoa nutrition can provide healthy monounsaturated fat to the heart through its content of oleic acid as well as omega 3. One advantage of quinoa over other beans that have monounsaturated fat is that most of them lose their healthy fatty acids when cooked, but the nutrients of quinoa remain even after boiling.
5 – Quinoa nutrition has a low glycemic index
The glycemic index is a measure of how quickly foods raise blood sugar levels. Ingestion of high-glycemic foods can be known to stimulate hunger and contribute to obesity, as well as being associated with many chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
The glycemic index of quinoa is 53, which is considered low. This is why the food is digested more slowly by our body and is indicated for diabetics because it does not cause sudden increases of the blood sugar index.
6 – Quinoa can help in weight loss
To lose weight we know that we have to burn more calories than we eat. We also know that certain properties of certain foods can facilitate this process either by increasing metabolism and burning calories, or by reducing appetite by decreasing calorie intake.
Quinoa has several properties that contribute to weight loss and this is one of the most appreciated benefits of quinoa.
It is high in protein and can increase metabolism and reduce appetite significantly.
The large amount of fiber also helps to increase the sensation of satiety, making decrease the total calorie intake.
The fact that quinoa has a low glycemic index is another important characteristic. Foods with this property are digested more slowly by the body and maintain the feeling of satiety for longer.
7 – Quinoa is easy to incorporate into your daily diet
Quinoa seeds have a natural coating called saponin. It is naturally bitter and has the function of keeping insects away from the plant, i.e. it is a natural pesticide. To remove it, simply wash the quinoa in water before cooking it.
It is easy to incorporate quinoa into the diet. Just use it in place of rice in any recipe. Its small grains cook in less than 15 minutes and its subtle flavor makes it a versatile ingredient in the kitchen. It can be eaten as a main dish, added to hot dishes or even seasoned as a cold salad.
How to Buy and chose the Quinoa Nutrition
Quinoa can now be purchased in larger supermarkets or in health food stores. Whether sold in bulk or packaged, the most important feature to be checked on quinoa is whether there is any evidence of moisture.
White quinoa is the most common type to be found, but there are also the red and black varieties of this seed. Many stores already sell a tricolor mix of it.
When cooking, remember that the quinoa expands several times its original size during the cooking process.
Store the quinoa in an airtight container to keep it fresh longer. The container can be kept in the refrigerator for three to six months.
Tips for preparing Quinoa Nutrition
The processing methods used in the commercial version of quinoa generally remove most of the saponin found in the outer layer of the seeds. Saponin is responsible for the bitter taste of quinoa and many people prefer to wash the seeds before preparation to remove any bitter taste that may remain.
One effective method to do this is to place the quinoa seeds in a fine mesh sieve and let cool water run over it by rubbing it gently with your hands. Try the taste of the seed each time washed to remove the bitter residue in the desired amount.