Hey there viewers and welcome back to another Farmingocean article! Is your social media being bombarded with quinoa recipes? There’s a good reason for this.
The health benefits of quinoa are no longer a secret. With this superfood achieving cult level popularity, its new health benefits are huge.
For starters it’s gluten-free, packed with protein, plant compounds, and a good amount of all 9 essential amino acids. Normally people choose it as a replacement for rice or include it in a salad with other veggies.
It doesn’t matter how you choose to add it to your diet, the better this versatile grain offers is massive! From improving heart health, lowering cholesterol, and reducing the risk of chronic disease to improving gut health, in today’s article we will be talking about the various health benefits of quinoa.
What is Quinoa?
- So you’ve heard a lot about quinoa. But what exactly is it? A seed, a grain? Technically speaking, quinoa is a pseudo-grain because it shares similar nutrients as a cereal grain and is also eaten the same way but it really is a seed.
- Mostly grown in Bolivia and Peru, it went unnoticed for centuries until the recent wave of healthy eating.
- Did you know that 2013 was declared the ‘international year of quinoa’ by the United Nations? Versatile in nature, you can find it in various forms like flour, grain, and cereal.
- Just one cup cooked, provides over 8 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, over 30 grams of carbs, and over 3 grams of saturated fat.
- This shows that quinoa isn’t all hype, there’s proof to back it up.
Quinoa Benefits For Health
1. Protects the heart
- Time and again we hear that quinoa is a superfood but what puts it in that category? Packed with minerals and vitamins, this tiny seed plays an important role in keeping your heart healthy.
- Potassium makes the muscles strong which keeps the heart beating properly. It also contains all essential amino acids usually only found in meat.
- This promotes tissue growth and repair which reduces the risk of heart disease. Who said healthy eating has to be bland and boring?
- You can add quinoa to anything from muffins and pancakes to soups and risotto! What is the one heart-friendly food you swear by? Tell us your suggestions in the comments.
2. Manages weight
- Have you been spending hours in the gym and still nothing? There’s only one mantra for losing weight, eat fewer calories than you burn.
- Switching to nonstarchy options like quinoa for weight loss seems like a natural step towards shedding a few pounds.
- This mother of all grains effectively burns fat by boosting metabolism.
- Not just that, the high protein and fiber content curbs appetite which keeps those mid-morning snacks in check.
- Making it a part of your regular diet will promote weight loss.
3. Manages blood sugar
- People living with diabetes have to be extra careful selecting the food they eat. With limited choice, quinoa is here to save the day!
- Ranking low on the glycemic index, it can be seamlessly added to your everyday meals and won’t cause any dramatic blood sugar spikes.
- The winning combination of protein and fiber slows down the digestion process and keeps blood sugar levels in check.
- Managing and limiting carbs is also important in controlling blood glucose and one cup of quinoa has a very small amount.
4. Improves metabolism
- Proper metabolism is the key to a healthy life.
- If you are looking for food that can naturally make your stomach problems better, then quinoa should be on your radar.
- Packed with magnesium, potassium, zinc, and iron, it has the potential to become your gut’s best friend.
- If that wasn’t enough, the high protein and good fats keep you energetic throughout the day.
- This happens because all the B vitamins in quinoa properly break down the food and turns it into fuel for the body.
- If you are feeling a little low on energy but are too afraid to mess with your digestion by eating junk, then switching to quinoa will be a great start.
5. Reducing the risk of depression
- The food you eat impacts not just your physical health but mental health as well. These two go hand in hand.
- If you are not in the right headspace your body suffers. When it comes to food that promotes good feelings and can possible reduce symptoms of depression, quinoa is a star.
- Being a seed wearing the skin of grain has a calming effect on your mind.
- The carbohydrates in quinoa boost the production of serotonin or happy hormones that eases anxiety and makes you feel like you’re more in control.
6. Reduces the risk of chronic disease
- Did you know that chronic inflammation is linked with diseases like lupus, arthritis, and asthma?
- It is important to keep munching on food with anti-inflammatory properties to keep yourself healthy.
- One way of doing this is by including quinoa in your diet. Not just quinoa, other whole grains lowers the risk of disease-causing inflammation, too.
- They do so by promoting the development of healthy gut microbes which prevents obesity along with lowering inflammation.
- Another reason is the presence of phytonutrients and phenolic acid.
7. Lowers cholesterol
- High cholesterol opens the gate to heart disease. This is because it builds up in the heart walls and creates problems.
- We have already established the fact that the fiber in quinoa offers a bunch of benefits, one of which is lowering cholesterol.
- Sadly, the American diet lacks a sufficient amount of fiber, which in reality is not difficult to add to your meals.
- By adding fiber-rich foods like quinoa you can lower the bad cholesterol or LDL levels and give the good cholesterol levels a major kick.
- Along with fiber, the phytochemicals offer some long-term health benefits like avoiding diabetes and weight management.
8. Improves skin health
- The quest for glowing skin is never-ending.
- Mainly because there are a hundred new skincare products every day and the plethora of options has us spoilt for choice.
- If it’s a natural, chemical-free option you’re after, then quinoa can be your go-to.
- What’s better than eating your way to healthy skin? It is rich in lysine that serves as the building blocks of collagen for the skin and joints.
- The elastin gives skin its elasticity and helps you avoid early signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles.
- Everyone wants flawless skin before we move forward, but who really wants to pay hundreds on products and supplements
- ? Here are 16 secret tips for flawless skin they never tell you. Now back to learning about the health benefits of quinoa.
9. Lowers the chance of certain cancers
- Did you know that a daily bowl of quinoa has the potential to save your life?
- Although there are tons of wholegrains stacked on supermarket shelves, not all of them share the same nutritional goodness as quinoa.
- When it comes to cancer-fighting foods, quinoa can possibly stop premature death from cancer.
- Apart from the seed itself, the leaf extracts have anticancer properties.
- The huge amount of antioxidant content gives a good fight against free radicals and cancer-causing elements.
10. Lowers blood pressure
- Did you know that during ancient times, quinoa was given to warriors to keep them strong and energized?
- The warrior food is one of the most protein-rich in the world and contains almost twice as much fiber as other grains.
- Loaded with heart-smart potassium and muscle strengthening magnesium, quinoa not just normalizes blood pressure but being naturally gluten-free, everyone can have it!
- This combination of potassium and magnesium relaxes the blood vessels and brings down the blood pressure while getting rid of annoying migraines as well.
11. Increases brain function
- Your brain loves glucose and fat, which makes sense since it’s made up of 60% fat.
- This doesn’t mean any type of fat will do, the right kind of brain-friendly fat is found in foods like nuts, fatty fish, olive oil, avocado, and of course quinoa.
- The nutrients and minerals found in this super grain keep the memory intact and fights age-related dementia.
- The best brain-protecting compounds are flavonoids and iron that keep oxygen-carrying red blood cells healthy.
- Brain, heart, digestion, skin, and hypertension, quinoa is a one-stop solution to a lot of problems.
- Naturally gluten-free, high in protein, packed with antioxidants, essential amino acids, and B vitamins among a plethora of other nutrients, quinoa is the perfect food for a healthy lifestyle.