July 06, 2015 · Written by Foodtolive Team
Quinoa Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits
Quinoa is a superfood that gets more popular every day. The main reason for this is the fact that this seed offers a great number of health benefits. Quinoa is often mistaken for a grain and can be used as a substitute for rice. However, it is in fact the seed of a plant that is distantly related to beet and spinach. The plant is native to Peru, though nowadays quinoa is cultivated in many other countries.
Organic quinoa benefits are numerous and varied. They are directly connected to the high nutritional value of the seeds. They are considered a superfood for a reason. So you definitely should consider including them in your diet. This won’t be difficult, as apart from the organic seeds, you can find quinoa flour, flakes, breads, and even pasta.
Of course, if you want to get the most out of the benefits this particular superfood has to offer, you should buy high quality organic seeds and cook them properly. This way, they will be easy to digest and you will be able to get all the nutrients from them.
Quinoa Nutrition Facts
In order to understand why exactly this seed is so good for your overall health, you will need to learn a few quinoa nutrition facts:
- It is a good source of dietary fiber.
100 grams of cooked quinoa contain 3 grams of dietary fiber. This constitutes 11% of the healthy daily dose.
- It is rich in potassium. Potassium is an element essential for your overall health as it plays an important part in several biochemical processes. A serving of cooked quinoa will provide you with 5% of the daily dose of this element.
- It’s an excellent source of manganese.
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Manganese is an essential mineral that plays an important part in your bone and skin health. It also helps regulate the level of glucose in your blood. Therefore, a manganese deficiency is a very serious problem. Unfortunately, it is also a very common one as the traditional American diet doesn’t include many foods rich in this mineral. 100 grams of cooked quinoa can provide you with 32% of the necessary daily dose of manganese.
- It’s rich in copper and iron.
These are two very important minerals that affect your health as a whole. Quinoa will provide you with about 10% of the daily dose of both iron and copper.
Apart from the aforementioned elements, quinoa also contains vitamins B, A, and C, as well as calcium, magnesium, and folate.
Organic Quinoa Benefits
The most important health benefits offered by quinoa are:
- It supplies your body with complete proteins.
There are many food sources of proteins, but few of them supply you with all nine essential amino acids (leucine, histidine, valine, isoleucine, methionine, threonine, lysine, tryptophan, and phenylalanine). Human bodies cannot produce essential amino acids, so the only way to get them is through food or supplements. Quinoa is the best plant food for this purpose. It contains 25% more proteins than refined grains.
- It lowers cholesterol.
Quinoa contains a lot of healthy dietary fiber, which allows it to lower the level of bad LDL cholesterol in your blood. This happens because fiber promotes digestion, which makes your body produce more bile acids. These acids contain cholesterol, so their production makes use of the element that clogs your arteries. If you have a history of heart disease in your family, you really need to keep an eye on your blood cholesterol levels. Eating these seeds on a regular basis will help you prevent many diseases that affect the circulatory system.
- It has potent anti-inflammatory properties.
Chronic inflammation is a very serious health condition that can lead to several dangerous diseases, such as arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, lupus, and asthma. Even cancer and cardiovascular disease are influenced by chronic inflammation. Scientists still struggle to pinpoint the cause of this condition.
Several studies prove that quinoa seeds can reduce the risk of this inflammation, thereby protecting you from the dangerous diseases it causes. Of course, eating these seeds will not provide you with a 100% guarantee against developing one of these nasty conditions. However, nothing can provide you that level of protection. The best you can hope for is to reduce the risks, and quinoa seeds can help with this.
- It helps both fight and prevent heart disease.
The ability of quinoa seeds to lower the level of LDL cholesterol isn’t the only thing that makes them beneficial to your cardiovascular health. They are also rich in flavonoids, elements that have been proven to have a strong positive effect in fighting and preventing heart disease. The seeds are also high in monosaturated fats and linolenic acid, both of which also promote cardiovascular health. The great thing about quinoa is that it doesn’t lose these precious fatty acids during the process of cooking.
- It improves digestion.
A healthy dose of fiber is necessary to maintain your digestive health. Eating these seeds will ensure that your intestines remain strong and healthy. This will have a strong positive effect on your overall health.
- It assists in treating hypertension and diabetes.
Quinoa is rich in quercetin, a very special antioxidant that is extremely efficient in managing type 2 diabetes. This particular seed contains the highest level of this antioxidant, and has quite a few more, which makes it a very potent weapon in the fight against diabetes and associated hypertension.
- It helps you live longer.
The healthier you are, the longer you will live. As quinoa strengthens your body and help prevent many dangerous chronic diseases, eating it on a regular basis will increase your longevity.
In order to avoid saponin poisoning, you will need to soak the seeds before cooking them. The vast majority of organic quinoa recipes offer detailed instructions on how to do this properly.
If cooked right, quinoa seeds can be exceptionally beneficial. They definitely deserve the title of superfood and will help you become a stronger and healthier person if you consume them on a regular basis.
In order to be sure you get all the nutrients and benefits that these seeds have to offer, you will need to buy the best.