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At times, there are certain foods that are considered to be a staple part of the diet in some remote part of the world and then all of a sudden, everybody starts raving about it. It becomes a kind of fad where everyone keeps on hyping up the benefits of a certain food, and people keep on repeating that this great food should be a part of your diet if you wish to stay healthy. Such kind of talk can be confusing for some people who wonder whether this new food is genuinely good or are people just hyping it up as some gimmick.
One such food that has suddenly achieved prominence is quinoa. Quinoa has been grown in the South American countries for thousands of years and is both a staple part of their local diet and also holds spiritual significance. Although it looks like a grain, Organic Quinoa is actually the seed of a plant related to the spinach family.
But should you be replacing wheat and rice from your diet with quinoa? Is all the hype about quinoa actually worth something? To help you make an informed decision, we look into the nutritional properties and constituents of quinoa :-
One of the biggest advantages that quinoa has over wheat or rice is its extremely high fiber content. In fact, one cup of quinoa contains nearly 17-27 grams of fiber which is nearly double the amount found in most popular grains.
Fiber is important for your body as it helps in the easy movement of food through the intestines and generally improves digestive health. Also, foods rich in fiber make you feel full; as a result, you have a lesser tendency to gorge on snacks and junk foods and a greater chance to control your overeating and weight gain. Fiber rich foods also play a part in lowering cholesterol and risk of heart diseases.
An incredibly impressive feature of quinoa, especially for vegetarians, is its extremely rich reserves of protein, which are among the highest when it comes to non-animal protein sources. One cup of quinoa contains nearly 8 grams of protein, a reasonably good quantity for a vegetarian seed.
Apart from its rich protein content, another highlight of quinoa is its amazing amino acid count. Quinoa is one of those rare foods that provide all nine essential amino acids (essential amino acids are the ones that our body cannot synthesize by itself and needs to get it from the diet).
So to sum it up, not only does quinoa have a better quantity of protein than most grains and plants, it also has a better quality of proteins due to its amino acid content.
Quinoa also has a pretty good collection of minerals inside – important ones that are necessary for fulfilling your body’s needs.
Quinoa is rich in iron – eating one cup of quinoa will assuage 15% of your ideal daily iron intake. Having the required amount of iron is important for maintaining brain health, improving muscle strength and preventing anaemia.
A third of your ideal daily magnesium intake can also be satisfied by one cup of quinoa and help to keep your blood pressure under control, your diabetes in check and preventing diseases like osteoporosis.
One cup of quinoa is also enough to satiate half of your daily manganese requirement, which helps to stave off neurological problems, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
Anti-oxidants are compounds that neutralize free radicals and prevent them from running riot throughout the body. Free radicals are responsible for a variety of illnesses, from premature aging to cancer and arthritis. The high anti-oxidant content of quinoa is therefore a great help in cutting down the risk of free radicals in the body.
Quinoa is loaded with vitamins from the B family, especially B12, which makes it a valuable addition to your diet.
These are the major nutritional highlights of quinoa. As it is clear, it is an extremely useful food from this perspective. The nutritional constituents it has have so many health benefits, it is easy to lose count. It is thus fairly obvious that quinoa isn’t one of those novelty food items that don’t have any use, but is rather an amazingly nutritious food. For vegetarians and people allergic to gluten, it is the perfect replacement for wheat in the diet. For others, any amount if quinoa you consume, it’s going to help you greatly!
To know more about organic quinoa, click here.
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