quinoa

Is quinoa a “superfood”?

I think up to this day everyone has heard about quinoa. Particularly about its beneficial properties and the importance of it in our daily diet. I was curious and decided to do my own digging on the subject. As the result of it this article was written.

So quinoa is a flowering plant originated from South America. Cultivation of it started about 7000 years ago (source: The National Center for Biotechnology Information [1]). Ancient Incas used it in their ceremonies and called it “the mother grain”. During invasion Spanish conquistadors prohibited farming quinoa. It was forgotten for a while but not long time ago people returned to its cultivation. Currently quinoa produced on massive scale in Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador.

Quinoa by itself is very rich in vitamins, minerals and also it is gluten-free. There are over 100 different types of quinoa. The most popular one are white, red and black. Also you can check down bellow main benefits that I found in scientific articles.

Main benefits:

  • reduces cholesterol (source: The National Center for Biotechnology Information [2])
  • contains higher nutritive value than traditional cereals (source: The National Center for Biotechnology Information [3]).
  • rich in zinc which protects against UV radiation, enhances wound healing, it also contributes to immune and neuropsychiatric functions and decreases the relative risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease (source: The National Center for Biotechnology Information [4])
  • good source of dietary fiber (source: The Scientific Electronic Library [5]).
  • taking part in prevention of diabetes (source: The National Center for Biotechnology Information [6]).
  • improves gluten-free diet (source: The National Center for Biotechnology Information [7]).
  • rich in potassium that lowers blood pressure in individuals with raised blood pressure, is important for managing hypercalciuria and kidney stones and is likely to decrease the risk of osteoporosis (source: The National Center for Biotechnology Information [8]).
  • contains 25% more and better protein than refined grains (source: FAO [9]).
  • rich in magnesium which balancing blood pressure helps body to prevent osteoporosis and heart disease (source: The National Center for Biotechnology Information [10]).
  • rich in iron that is essential for brain function and your muscles as well for preventing anemia (source: The National Center for Biotechnology Information [11]).

Nutritional value

100g of cooked quinoa (120kcal):

  • water: 71.61g
  • carbohydrates: 21.30g
    • dietary fibre 2.8g
  • protein: 4.40g
  • fat: 1.92g
  • sugars: 0.87g
  • vitamins(Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B-6, Folate, Vitamin A, Vitamin E)
  • minerals(Magnesium, Phosphorus,  Potassium, Sodium, Zinc)

source: USDA Nutrient Database [12]

If you are interested in more details please visit the source.

F.A.Q.

1. How to cook quinoa?

Well. You can follow instructions on the package or use this short tutorial.

2. Is quinoa good for weight loss?

Maybe. Officially I couldn’t find any study or research backed by science about it therefore it’s impossible to say. But thinking logically I wouldn’t be surprised if it was. Quinoa is high in fiber, protein and contains a lot of vitamins and minerals. But it is my personal opinion for professional you should contact your dietitian or a doctor.

3. Can dogs eat quinoa?

You can find answer here. http://canigivemydog.com/quinoa

Conclusion

Quinoa is very unique plant that has a lot to offer. Can we call it a “superfood”? Without a doubt. Should you include it in your daily diet? Well, it is up to you but it would be foolish just to ignore all healthy benefits that quinoa provides.

Personally I added it to my daily routine and I eat it every week. I created few easy recipes with it (salad with quinoa, soup with quinoa and pancakes with quinoa) that I encourage you to check. Constantly I experiment and look for new ways how to improve my own daily diet.

Pablo Web
I am a software engineer in Warsaw. I'm passionate about Informatics. I like taking photos, making videos and cooking.

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