Quinoa Nutritional Guide: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Quinoa Nutritional Guide: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Quinoa, the nutrient packed superfood, is a gluten-free pseudo-cereal. Pseudo-cereals come from plants that produce seeds or fruits that are consumed as cereal or grains. Unlike other grains, a pseudo-cereal grows on plants and not grasses. 

Quinoa has recently gained popularity as a healthy whole grain food. People can purchase quinoa-based products from their local grocery stores or online shops dedicated to selling organic and farm-to-table products. 

Quinoa is consumed both in its grain form and as flour (organic quinoa flour). This quinoa nutritional guide will help you understand the nutritional benefits of quinoa and how it can influence your long term health.

A] Quinoa Nutrition Facts

Quinoa is a pseudo-cereal grain like Amaranth and Buckwheat, and quinoa's nutrition composition varies  depending on the size of the serving or the amount of quinoa used in a particular recipe. The nutrient composition of 1 cup of cooked quinoa, which could be approximately 185 grams is: 

Nutrient

Composition

Protein in quinoa

8 grams

Carbs in quinoa

39 grams

Fiber in quinoa

5 grams

Fat in quinoa

3.55 grams


*Data Source: Healthline and Webmd

Quinoa is an excellent source of minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, calcium, iron, and zinc. It also contains essential vitamins such as vitamin B6, vitamin E, and folate.

B] Health Benefits of Quinoa

1. Healthy Gluten-Free Food Option

What is all the brouhaha around gluten-free food?

Experts from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences have observed that around 6-8 million people from India have celiac disease that stems from gluten intolerance. But, gluten intolerance and celiac disease are not the same. 

  • Non-Celiac Gluten Insensitivity

  • Gluten intolerance or non-celiac gluten insensitivity is a short-term immune reaction to consuming gluten, while the consequences of people with celiac disease eating gluten are quite dire. People with gluten intolerance are likely to experience stomach aches, bloating, diarrhoea, constipation, fatigue, depression, anxiety, and brain fog. These symptoms go away with proper care and are relatively short term. Primary care includes staying hydrated, taking digestive enzymes, or taking collagen supplements. 

  • Celiac Disease

  • Celiac disease, on the other hand, is autoimmune and is considered the most severe form of gluten intolerance that may damage your digestive system. The few common symptoms of celiac disease include diarrhoea, constipation, smelly faeces, fatigue, psoriasis, alopecia areata, chronic urticaria, depression, anxiety, weight loss, iron deficiency, autoimmune thyroid disease, joint pain, muscle pain, leg numbness, or arm numbness. 

    While celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity share a few symptoms, the symptoms of celiac disease may last longer and are stronger. 

    Quinoa: Gluten-Free Food Option

    One of the most important self-care treatments for gluten intolerance is eating a gluten-free diet. Quinoa is one of the most popular gluten-free alternative for people who are allergic to common healthy grains such as wheat, barley, and rye. While several gluten-free refined products can act as a substitute, they are not as rich in fibres, magnesium, zinc, and folate.

    2. Helps Lose Weight and Improves Digestive Health

    A study conducted to investigate the effect of quinoa consumption in 40 healthy adult participants found that consuming quinoa biscuits had positive effects on body weight, BMI, and cholesterol levels. 

    Other studies have backed the finding  that consuming quinoa or food products made from quinoa can help regulate blood sugar, maintain healthy body weight, and improve triglyceride levels. 

    Quinoa’s high fibre and protein content helps you feel fuller for longer, so you can avoid munching on nutrition-less snacks.

    3. Lowers the Risk of Severe Diseases

    Quinoa has higher nutrition density compared to other gluten-free foods such as rice, corn, or potato flour, and is also one of the richest gluten-free sources of antioxidants. Vitamin E is one of the primary antioxidants found in quinoa and it has been linked with a reduced risk of heart disease.

    Quinoa also contains beneficial polyphenols that may help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Another component of quinoa, saponins, are used in the clinical setting in combination with chemotherapy to enhance its effectiveness. These quinoa saponins may also be used to prevent and treat inflammation.

    C] Quinoa Recipes

    You would have already tried and enjoyed our Quinoa Chaat and Quinoa Biryani recipes using Jiwa’s organic quinoa

    Try these other interesting recipes with Quinoa and its flour too:

    Quinoa Burrito Bowl - Mexican

    Orange Quinoa Salad 

    Quinoa Flour Cupcake 

    Quinoa Flour Halwa

    Final Thoughts

    Quinoa is, without doubt, one of the essential gluten free protein rich foods to add to your diet. Its numerous health benefits get substantiated when balanced with leafy greens, whole grains, meats, fish, and eggs. While quinoa alone can help reduce the risk of several diseases, a balanced diet will do more so.

    Significant quinoa benefits range from aiding weight loss to lowering the risk of severe diseases. And most importantly, providing a healthier wheat alternative to those with gluten intolerance. 


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