Quinoa is a vegetable seed that has become very popular in recent years. The popularity of quinoa could be attributed to its overall nutrient richness. Namely, it is abundant in protein, gluten-free, as well as one of the few plant foods, which possesses all nine essential amino acids.
The Best Health and Nutrition Benefits of Quinoa:
People believe that beans and rice are a complete protein since only when consumed together they actually deliver all 9 essential amino acids. Moreover, most grains do not contain the amino acids, such as isoleucine and lysine. They should be consumed together with a legume to become complete.
On the other hand, quinoa is not only a gluten-free grain, but a vegetable seed low in fat, high in minerals, vitamins, fiber, and nutrients, and super high in protein.
Although it is technically not a grain, but it is known as the mother of all grains. Quinoa contains a greater fat amount than wheat and other grasses. Plus, it is an excellent source of oleic acid, i.e., a heart-healthy monounsaturated fat also present in olive oil. Also, quinoa contains alpha-linolenic acid that is omega-3 fatty acid, which promotes good heart health. What’s more important, unlike most other fats, all these beneficial fats present in quinoa do not become oxidized from cooking.
Furthermore, it possesses almost twice as much fiber as any other grain. According to researchers, quinoa abounds in potent antioxidants that offer various health-promoting properties. In addition, it is packed with polyphenols; and flavonoids such as quercetin; and alpha, beta and gamma types of vitamin E, which extend its shelf life as well as protect the seed from rancidity when heated.
It also a type of food that has low-glycemic index, so that it puts little blood sugar stress on the body. However, its fiber richness has an ability to slow the absorption of any other sugars from the digestive tract into the bloodstream. According to the Satiating Efficiency Index, although quinoa can keep healthy blood sugar levels, but it provides greater satisfaction, fullness, and satiety after the meal in comparison that rice or wheat.
That’s not all, quinoa is also rich in B-vitamins, folate, potassium, magnesium, manganese, calcium, zinc, iron, copper, and phosphorus. Therefore, the regular consumption of this food can maintain optimal blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
Additionally, quinoa has powerful antioxidant substances, which can neutralize free radicals and help fight aging and prevent various ailments. It can also act as a fantastic anti-inflammatory agent, so that it prevents and reduces inflammation in the body.
How to Use Quinoa:
- It is advisable to wash away the quinoa seed’s skin because it has a bitter flavor. For this purpose, you should use a fine strainer.
- Next, you should mix a cup of quinoa with 2 cups of water and boil the resulted mixture.
- Afterwards, cover it, reduce the heat, and let it simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Strain it again since quinoa holds plenty of water.
- Finally, place the strained quinoa to a warm pot and leave it to sit without heat for another 15 minutes. In this way, you can prepare fluffy and light quinoa, instead of wet, clumpy quinoa.