Updated: Jul 4, 2021
Quinoa is a type of grain and is considered to be a superfood. Not only is quinoa gluten-free, high in fibre and protein, but it is also one of the few plant foods that contain sufficient amounts of all nine essential amino acids that need to be ingested through foods. It is also very high in fibre, magnesium, B vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E and various beneficial antioxidants.
Quinoa is a grain that offers all of the amino acids, with 8 grams of quality protein per cup (185 grams), making it an excellent plant-based protein source for vegetarians and vegans. These essential amino acids must be consumed as they are vital in synthesizing proteins for tissue repair and acting as the building blocks of protein in your body.
Additionally, quinoa contains almost twice the amount of fibre as other grains, with 17–27 grams of fibre per cup (185 grams). Although these fibres are mostly insoluble, there are still 2.5g of fibre per cup, promoting bowel movements to relieve constipation—fibre aids in digestion, a process that requires bile acids which are made partly with cholesterol. As your digestion improves, the liver pulls cholesterol from the blood to create more bile acid, which reduces the overall amount of LDL (bad) cholesterol in the body. Lowering LDL levels may also reduce your chance of encountering heart disease as high levels of LDL cholesterol may lead to fatty deposits in your blood vessels, which may eventually clog arteries and stop blood flow.
Not only does quinoa contain many nutrients to help support your health, but it is also gluten-free, making it a suitable choice for those with Celiac disease, a severe gluten intolerance. Individuals on gluten-free diets may have a harder time getting all of the iron, calcium, fibre, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and folate as the nutrients that are especially lacking in gluten-free diets. Quinoa, provides iron (18.4mg), calcium (182mg) and fibre (12.7g).
Quinoa also contains two main types of flavonoids: "Uercetin" and "Kaempferol." Flavonoids are important for human health because of their antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, and anti‐inflammatory activities. Thus, eating quinoa may help to have anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-cancer and anti-depressant effects.
How to cook the Perfect Quinoa