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Quinoa: All You Need to Know About it and the Top 7 Benefits it Offers

B
Bajaj Finserv Health
February 2nd, 2022
6 mins read

Key Takeaways

  • Quinoa is the seed from Chenopodium plant, mainly grown in Peru & Bolivia
  • Quinoa benefits your heart health and improves your blood sugar level
  • Having quinoa for weight loss is smart because it is rich in protein and fiber

Gaining popularity in the past decade, quinoa is known for the nutritional value it adds to your plate. It is loaded with iron, zinc, manganese, vitamin B6, copper, and more. Apart from the nutritional benefits of quinoa, keep in mind that it is a gluten-free grain. This makes it a popular choice among health-conscious people. 

Read on to understand what is quinoa and the benefits it offers.

What is quinoa?

Quinoa, a gluten-free alternative to starchy grains such as wheat, rye, or barley, is a seed from the Chenopodium plant. Despite being more popular now, it is still majorly produced in Peru and Bolivia. Since it has no gluten, it is also a popular option for those who have wheat allergies, celiac disease or are on a gluten-free diet. It is known as a pseudo-grain because it has nutrients similar to that of a grain. You can also eat quinoa the same way as a grain. 

Top 7 Quinoa benefits to keep in mind

Acts as a source of high protein 

Quinoa, seeds from Chenopodium, is a plant-based protein-dense food. In 100g of cooked quinoa, you add 8 grams of protein to your dish [1]. This makes it one of the highest protein foods and a great addition to your high protein diet. Protein helps keep your body healthy and regulates its function. It is also often referred to as a complete protein because it contains all 9 essential amino acids that your body needs. With quinoa, protein needs of your body are met, especially if you follow a vegan or vegetarian diet.  

Additional Read: 7 Top Foods to be Included in a Vegan Diet Plan

quinoa benefit

Improves your metabolic health

If you have high cholesterol levels, adding quinoa to your meal may help you keep it under control. According to research, regular quinoa consumption may reduce your total LDL cholesterol levels and triglycerides as well. Though there needs to be more research on its effects on your cholesterol. Optimum cholesterol levels also lead to improved metabolic health. 

Comes with vitamins and minerals

One of the reasons for quinoa’s popularity is the nutrients it comes with. It is a great source of the following nutrients

  • Magnesium
  • Copper
  • Folate
  • Zinc
  • Thiamin
  • Vitamin B6
  • Iron
  • Manganese
  • Phosphorus

It is also low in calories making it a great food for you to get the vital vitamins, fiber, and minerals.

Boosts gut health

Other than being one of the highest protein foods, quinoa also offers a good amount of fiber. It has approximately 5g of fiber, which is 18% of the daily recommended intake. A fiber-rich food will promote good bacteria in your gut and regulate your bowel movements. 

Tips to include Quinoa in diet

Lowers your risk of chronic health conditions

Quinoa has anti-inflammatory phytonutrients. Due to this, it is good for preventing and treating certain health conditions [2]. It also has omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fats that are good for your heart health. This also reduces your risk of a chronic health condition.

Balances your blood sugar level

Considered a whole grain, quinoa is good for your blood sugar too. Whole grains are linked to lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes [3]. This food also improves your blood sugar levels. Since diet has a direct effect on type 2 diabetes, It is also a great addition to a healthy diabetes diet

Aids in weight loss

Eating quinoa for weight loss is smart because it has high protein and fiber content. Protein and fibers help reduce overeating by making you feel full. The low glycemic index also helps reduce the triggers for hunger and various cravings. 

Additional Read: 5 Vital Peanut Butter Benefits to Help You Lose Weight

Despite similar properties, in comparison to quinoa, rice has more calories and fewer health benefits. This makes quinoa a more favored gluten-free grain. But excessive consumption of quinoa may cause you to experience some of the following issues:

  • Stomachache
  • Bloating
  • Discomfort
  • Diarrhea

Make sure you have a balanced diet and follow healthy food habits to get the nutritional benefits of each meal. If you notice any signs of a health condition or an allergic reaction, contact a doctor immediately. You can book an online doctor consultation with the best nutritionists on Bajaj Finserv Heath. Get professional advice on maintaining a healthy diet and learn how much quinoa you can add to your diet for better health.

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