5 Healthy Reasons to Eat Quinoa
The United Nations named 2013 ‘The International Year of Quinoa’. In this way the grain’s nutritional potential and its raising worldwide popularity was recognized once again. Quinoa is the magic grain of South America. It was the staple food of the Incas and the Andean peoples before the Incas, so it holds the character of the ancients. It is very nutritious and contains all of the amino acids your body needs and it has amazing health benefits.
Originally, quinoa was roasted and made into flour, which served as a basis for traditional types of bread. These days, the sky is the limit when it comes to all the different creative uses of quinoa in the kitchen – it’s used in salads, added to soups, eaten as a cereal, made into pasta, and more.
Here are great reasons why eating quinoa is a good idea:
Quinoa is high in antioxidants
Antioxidant-rich foods protect you from many chronic and degenerative diseases (including cancer) by destroying free radicals, which can injure and kill healthy cells.
When researchers analyzed different Andean indigenous grains, it emerged that quinoa had the highest antioxidant activity. The study was published in the Journal of Medicinal Food. It also pointed out the potential Andean grains have for managing type 2 diabetes (there are other foods to control diabetes) and associated hypertension. The antioxidant power is increased further if quinoa is allowed to sprout, as documented by Food Chemistry in 2009.
Quinoa is a complete source of protein
This characteristic made quinoa so popular among vegans and vegetarians. Quinoa contains all eight essential amino acids, which is rare in plant-based proteins. One cup of cooked quinoa contains 16% of our recommended daily allowance (RDA).
If you are looking for other vegetarian sources of protein – read my post about the following 13 surprising sources of protein that are completely meat free.
Quinoa is rich in fiber
One cup of quinoa also contains 21% of the RDA of fiber. This makes it ideal for our digestive process. The grain creates a feeling of fullness and lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. It also acts as a natural laxative and as such it can be used as a natural remedy for constipation (there are also other 10 natural remedies for constipation). Increasing your fiber intake is also one of the 70 habits featured in my e-book 70 Powerful Habits For A Great Health which will guide you how to take positive steps to improve your wellness and overall health.
Quinoa has a low glycemic index
The food’s glycemic index tells us how fast the food gets absorbed into the blood as glucose, therefore the effect it has on our blood sugar and insulin levels. Quinoa has a glycemic load of 53, which makes it suitable for diabetics and people struggling with insulin resistance.
Quinoa is gluten-free
More and more people are requesting a gluten-free diet. According to The NPD Group, a leading global information company, more than 200 million restaurant visits in the US now include a gluten-free order. Quinoa is naturally gluten-free and it’s ideal for people suffering from gluten intolerance and celiac disease.
Sensitivity to gluten is a serious issue in modern health. People suffering from it have difficulty digesting gluten and are consequently deprived of essential nutrients. There are 10 symptoms of Gluten sensitivity you probably didn’t know about.
Quinoa is praised as a super food and shipped across the globe. But as its consumption soars, so do the problems some of the native communities are experiencing growing this crop. Land feuds over prime quinoa-growing territory are not uncommon, and the cultivation has caused the collapse of the traditional relationship between llama herding and soil fertilization. It would be sad to see the Andean communities destroyed by the greed and nutritional demands of the first world. So consume your quinoa sustainably.
I have already written an article on how to buy, store and cook quinoa. This article also has a recipe for a delicious quinoa fritters: