Quinoa, a great protein source

Quinoa is the seed of a plant known scientifically as Chenopodium quinoa, is actually not a grain, but a seed that is prepared and consumed like a grain. Quinoa is higher in nutrients than most grains.  It is also gluten-free, it may help to lower blood sugar levels and is very weight loss friendly. Is also relatively high in quality protein, it contains high amounts of vitamins, minerals and is especially high in antioxidants. The protein quality of quinoa is comparable to casein, the high-quality protein from dairy products. Is considered to be a complete protein source, which means that it provides all the essential amino acids. It is exceptionally high in the amino acid lysine, which is usually lacking in the plant kingdom.

You can use it as breakfast porridge, added to salads, or used to thicken soups, it has many ways to be cooked, like:

Add quinoa to salads: If your salads just aren’t too tasty add cooked and cooled quinoa to your salad. Make breakfast porridge: you can use it as a base for breakfast porridge and add your favorite fruit, nuts and yoghurt on top. Make burger patties: quinoa is the perfect base for veggie patties, along with beans, mushrooms and herbs. Add quinoa to stews and soups: to add texture to soups and stews, stir quinoa into the pot when cooking. Make healthier treats: you can add whole toasted or cooked quinoa to treats like muffins, cakes, crumbles and chocolate cups. Make fake meat: For a healthier way of eating meat or if you already have a vegetarian diet, quinoa seems to be the right ingredient to mix with all kind of veggies and flavors to have a meat alike texture and flavor fake meat.

Blend it in your smoothie: You can blend quinoa in any of your beverages. This will give you a drink natural rich in protein that will keep you energized through the day. Add it to homemade energy bars: Energy bars are great to fight hunger pangs. Pick your favorite ingredients like nuts, seeds, whole-wheat flour, dry fruits, chocolate chips and at least one cup of quinoa. And there you go, you’ve got your own version of an energy bar. You can used it instead of rice and it´s actually easier and faster to cook, it will only take you 15 minutes.

Nutrition facts

Calories 120

Water   72 %

Protein 4.4 g

Carbs     21.3 g

Sugar     0.9 g

Fiber      2.8 g

Fat          1.9 g

Saturated            0.23 g

Monounsaturated 0.53 g

Polyunsaturated 1.08 g

Omega-3             0.09 g

Omega-6             0.97 g

Trans fat              ~

Carbs

Carbs are 21% of cooked quinoa, almost like barley and rice. About 83% of the carbs are starches.

Fiber

Cooked quinoa is a relatively good source of fiber, it has more fiber than brown ice and yellow corn. Fibers occupy 10% of the dry weight of cooked quinoa, insoluble fibers have been associated with reduced risk of diabetes, some of the insoluble fiber may be fermented in the gut like the soluble fibers, feeding the friendly bacteria and promoting better overall health.

Protein

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, some of them are referred to as “essential” because of our body’s inability to produce them. Quinoa provides 16% protein, which is higher than most cereal grains, such as barley, rice and corn.

Vitamins and Minerals

Quinoa is a good source of antioxidants and minerals, providing more magnesium, iron, fiber and zinc than many common grains. B-2 in quinoa: One cup contains around 10 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin B-2. Is essential for the proper functioning of a range of enzymes. There is some evidence that riboflavin might help reduce some types of migraine headache. Some the main vitamins and minerals in quinoa:

Manganese: Found in high amounts in whole grains, is essential for metabolism, growth and development.

Phosphorus: this mineral is essential for bone health and maintenance of various body tissues.

Copper: A mineral that is important for heart health.

Folate: One of the B-vitamins, essential for cell function and tissue growth. Folate is considered particularly important for pregnant women.

Iron: An essential mineral that performs many important functions in the body, such as transporting oxygen in red blood cells.

Magnesium: Important for many processes in the body.

Zinc: is important for overall health, and participates in many chemical reactions in the body.

Health Benefits of Quinoa

Lower Blood Sugar Levels: Whole grains like quinoa have been linked with reduced risks of diabetes. A study showed that quinoa, fed to rats on a high-fructose diet, reduced blood cholesterol by 26%, triglycerides by 11% and blood sugar levels by 10%. May Help With Weight Loss: It is higher in protein than similar foods, such as rice, corn and whole wheat. Protein is considered to be one of the key factors for weight loss.  Fibers are also important for weight loss, promoting decreased calorie intake by increasing the feeling of fullness, as well as improving gut health. Quinoa is higher in fiber than many whole grain foods. The glycemic index value of quinoa is relatively low, but low-glycemic foods have been shown to prevent overeating and decrease hunger.

Quinoa is Gluten-Free: As a gluten-free pseudo cereal, quinoa is suitable for individuals who are intolerant or allergic to gluten, such as those with celiac disease. Using quinoa in a gluten-free diet, instead of other common gluten-free ingredients, increases the nutrient and antioxidant value of the diet. Quinoa-based products are well received, and may therefore be a suitable dietary alternative to wheat. It does not matter if you are looking for some weight loss receipts, if you are vegan or vegetarian or if you just want to make cooking a more interesting thing, quinoa will always be a good option to eat healthier, with no regrets and always with a different flavor in every new recipe.