A study by Harvard Public School of Health stated that eating a bowl of quinoa daily may reduce the chances of early death risk from cancer, heart disease, respiratory ailments, diabetes, and other chronic diseases by 17%.
Studies have reported that consumption of one serving of quinoa (about 40 g) meets an important part of daily recommendations (RDA) for essential nutrients and health-improving compounds. However, caution must be exercised because allergies to the proteins in quinoa have been reported to cause gut swelling and cramping.
There is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate dose of quinoa. Additionally, even if it is a natural product, it should not always be considered safe in any dosage. Therefore, consult your healthcare provider before initiating a quinoa-based diet.
What is quinoa?
Quinoa is a seed of an edible plant. It is known as ancient wheat. It looks similar to grains, comes in various colors (black, red, yellow, and white), and is nutty in taste. However, it is not a true grain. This crop has been cultivated for about 5,000 years, and there are 120 known varieties of quinoa.
It contains a higher amount of protein than true grains. It is also high in fibers and has all the nine essential amino acids that our body requires, which makes quinoa one of the best non-animal food sources of complete protein. It is also known as a nutritional powerhouse because it contains magnesium, copper, and other essential vitamins and minerals. It contains a host of compounds known to fight metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and obesity.
As quinoa has several nutritional values and is gluten-free, quinoa has become one of the most consumed health foods in the world and is known as golden grains.
How to eat quinoa?
There are several ways to eat quinoa. It can be paired with any protein, made into salads, etc. The ways to eat quinoa are as follows:
- Quinoa must be rinsed before cooking to remove a bitter aftertaste.
- It can be prepared like we cook rice, by using two parts of water to one part of quinoa and simmer it for 25-30 minutes till it gets fluffier.
- It can be roasted and can be popped like popcorn. You can use quinoa flakes or flour to prepare delicious dishes.
- It can be added to salads and bread.
- Quinoa can be substituted for rice in stir-fries and sushi.
- There are many recipes from pasta, salads, soups, and deserts in which quinoa can be substituted with other grains.
Can eating quinoa help to lose weight?
Eating quinoa can make a person feel fuller for longer hours. Moreover, its consumption reduces levels of blood fats after a meal called triglycerides. This may promote weight loss. A 2017 study stated that consumption of 50 g of quinoa daily may lower triglycerides in obese individuals and may reduce the occurrence of metabolic syndrome (a group of conditions that increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes).
Because it is relatively high in protein and protein keeps you full for longer, quinoa may help you to keep a healthy weight. However, there is no sufficient evidence to support this.
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WebMD. Quinoa. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-1468/quinoa
WebMD. Why Is Quinoa Good for Me? https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/why-is-quinoa-good-for-me#1
WebMD. Health Benefits, Nutrition Facts, and How to Prepare Quinoa and Quinoa Flakes. https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-quinoa#1
WebMD. Benefits of Quinoa for Low-Carb and GI-Friendly Diets. https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/quinoa-benefits-low-carb-gi-friendly-diets
Varli SN, Sanlier N. Nutritional and Health Benefits of Quinoa (Chenopodium Quinoa Willd.) J Cereal Sci. May 2016;69. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/301933573_Nutritional_and_health_benefits_of_quinoa_Chenopodium_quinoa_Willd