About Quinoa – Health benefits
WHAT IS QUINOA?
First of all, quinoa is a seed of an edible plant considered one of the world’s healthiest and most nutritious foods.
It is naturally gluten-free and contains a lot of protein. When it comes to protein, this grain is a winner. Quinoa contains a higher protein content than other grains. This superstar is one of the few grains that contain adequate amounts of all nine essential amino acids that our bodies need to maintain good health and normal function. When a person eats protein, the digestive system breaks down the protein into amino acids.
Quinoa is a good source of protein for people who eat a plant-based diet or people like me who want to cut back on their meat consumption.
Quinoa is a pseudocereal that is prepared and eaten much like a grain. Quinoa is considered the “mother of all grains” and was an important crop in INCA’s empire. It is also known as ancient wheat.
The most common varieties of quinoa are white, red, and black quinoa.
White quinoa is by far my favorite. When it comes to baking, white quinoa is the go-to choice for a gluten-free sweet treat. A delicious quinoa cake is a true craving killer. It has the best texture – light and fluffy – and the mildest flavor. Of the quinoa plant itself, you can eat both the seeds and the leaves.
Quinoa flour is a healthy alternative for people with gluten intolerance. It has a distinct earthy flavor. I use strong natural flavors like lemon, orange, vanilla, cinnamon, etc. Some people use tons of sugar to get rid of the flavor, but I prefer to bake low in sugar and add healthy flavors.
Since quinoa flour is expensive, I use cooked quinoa for my cakes. Some people grind quinoa in a coffee grinder or food processor to get quinoa flour.
Let’s have a look at the nutritional content of quinoa and the evidence-based health benefits.
Because of its impressive nutritional value, NASA (ntrs.nasa.gov – Quinoa, an emerging crop with potential for CELSS) has considered using quinoa as a healthy and easy-to-grow crop for long-term space missions.
Quinoa is rich in fiber, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, folic acid, copper, iron, zinc, potassium, small amounts of calcium, B3, and vitamin E. 185 grams of cooked quinoa contains 10% of the RDA for vitamins B1, B2, and B6.
Research suggests that taking 50-80 mg of B6 daily may help with mood swings, anxiety, irritability, and depression. Most perimenopausal and menopausal women struggle with all of these uncomfortable symptoms daily. Many women suffer from estrogen dominance, a type of hormonal imbalance that is the cause of numerous health problems such as uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, endometriosis, PCOS, breast cancer, etc.
I suffered from endometriosis for five years. It was the worst time of my life. It took me two years to find the right healing path: a healthy diet, some magic herbs, and B6. I chose the holistic approach to healing. And now I am back on the right track! Maybe one day, I will write about my experience with endometriosis.
Estrogen dominance can also lead to weight gain (especially around the hips, thighs, and midsection), heavy periods, bloating, sleep disturbances, fertility issues, hot flashes, night sweats, etc. The liver requires vitamin B6 to metabolize and break down estrogen, so vitamin B6 helps increase progesterone levels and decrease estrogen dominance.
A few simple changes in your diet will help you improve your health and feel better than ever. Be sure to include this great grain in your diet.
Let us get back to our quinoa topic.
IMPRESSIVE REASONS TO ADD QUINOA TO YOUR DIET
- Naturally gluten-free grain and nutritious
Quinoa can be beneficial for people who need to follow a gluten-free diet. I do not have a problem with gluten. I have included quinoa in my diet because of its high nutritional profile and gut health benefits. Studies suggest that one serving of quinoa (about 40 grams) provides the body with a substantial portion of the daily recommendations (RDA) for essential nutrients.
- Consuming quinoa is safe for people with celiac disease.
If you are looking for gluten-free grains, consider adding quinoa to your diet. It’s filling and nutritious.
- Quinoa is a good carb.
This super grain is a complex carbohydrate that digests more slowly and keeps you full longer.
One cup (185 grams) of cooked quinoa contains only 34 grams of carbohydrates.
I am sure you are already tired of all these discussions about not eating carbs, etc. Do not be fooled by all the talk about carb avoidance. Our bodies need carbohydrates as a primary source of energy for our organs. They are important for our gut health and hormone stability. They can prevent cravings.
I have to say that not all carbs are good for us. When talking about bad carbs, keep in mind that refined carbs are not good ones. When it comes to processed foods, white bread, cakes, etc., you should avoid them because they are the BAD CARBS!!!!
On the other hand, unrefined carbs like whole grains are excellent choices for a healthy diet. Make sure you eat 1-2 servings of whole grains daily, such as quinoa, amaranth, oats, millet, etc. For optimal health, choose complex carbohydrates found in whole foods.
- Supports bone health
Quinoa is a bone-building powerhouse rich in manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus. It can help prevent osteoporosis. Bone loss that occurs during menopause can lead to osteoporosis. The drop in estrogen levels during menopause leads to increased bone loss. Including quinoa in your diet can support your bone health.
- Helps with diabetes
Quinoa is a safe option for people with diabetes.
You already know that the rise in blood sugar levels causes diabetes. Sometimes, it becomes a life-threatening condition.
Since quinoa has a low glycemic index, it will not spike your blood sugar. Whole grains like quinoa can help people with diabetes better control their blood sugar levels.
Quinoa can help balance blood sugar levels by slowing the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. This happens because quinoa contains a hearty dose of fiber in each serving.
Since quinoa is an excellent source of magnesium, it could lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. One cup (about 185 grams) of cooked quinoa provides the body with about 30 percent of the magnesium it needs daily.
- Helps with weight loss
Quinoa is rich in protein and fiber and has a low glycemic index. These properties are associated with weight loss. Thanks to its protein and fiber content, including quinoa in your diet can help you feel fuller for longer.
Quinoa can help you maintain a healthy weight because it contains a relatively high amount of protein, and protein makes you feel full longer. One cup (185 grams) of cooked quinoa contains 8.1 grams of protein.
- May help fight cancer
Quinoa is an excellent source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds to prevent health conditions like cancer and heart disease. LUNASIN and QUERCITIN are the two of them. “ Lunasin is particularly special because, in both lab and animal tests, it kills only cancer cells while leaving healthy cells untouched,” – according to dr. Axe’s article on Quinoa and top 9 health benefits.
- Can relieve allergies
Quinoa contains a natural antihistamine and antioxidant called QUERCITIN.
I take quercetin to help relieve my allergies. Studies suggest that this compound can relieve allergy symptoms such as watery eyes, hives, runny nose, etc.
In conclusion, including more quercetin-rich foods in your diet can relieve your allergies.
- It helps your heart health.
You already know that potassium and magnesium play an important role in heart health. Potassium helps lower blood pressure. Studies have linked magnesium to a lower risk of stroke.
Quinoa contains small amounts of healthy fats such as ALA, a type of omega-3 fatty acid found in plants. Increased consumption of ALA may reduce the risk of heart disease. In conclusion, quinoa in your diet can help keep your heart strong and healthy.
- Quinoa helps your intestines to stay healthy.
The physician Hippocrates Ancient Greek said almost 2500 years ago, “All diseases begin in the gut.”
Today, studies have shown that nearly 70 percent of our immune system is located in the gut. So if we take care of it, we will stay healthy.
Along with amaranth, quinoa was assessed for its function as a prebiotic in a study from 2016. Prebiotics are “fuel” for the beneficial bacteria that live in your gut. Studies suggest that quinoa can improve gastrointestinal health by balancing the levels of good gut bacteria.
- Keeps your bowel movements regular
Quinoa is an excellent source of fiber, which is important for a healthy digestive system and regular bowel movements. One cup of cooked quinoa (about 185 grams) contains 5.2 grams of fiber. Studies have shown that an increased fiber intake can protect against gastro-reflux, hemorrhoids, stomach ulcers, etc. The fiber in your diet also helps with constipation. The recommended daily intake for women is between 21 and 25 grams (depending on age). Some dietary fibers are soluble in water, while others are not. Both soluble and insoluble fiber have their benefits. Soluble fiber slows digestion and aids in the absorption of nutrients from food. The soluble fiber content in quinoa is still quite high at about 2.5 grams per cup. The soluble fiber can help with weight loss, increase feelings of fullness, lower cholesterol and reduce blood sugar levels. The insoluble fiber softens the stool, making it easier to eliminate. Be careful when increasing your fiber intake. Some people get stomach cramps and bloating. Change your diet gradually, and be sure to drink enough water. Please keep it simple and swap out some refined carbohydrates for whole grains. This unique grain should be at the top of your shopping list.
- Keeps menopause-induced weight gain at bay
This excellent whole grain is rich in important nutrients but has fewer calories.
Quinoa is a high-fiber food that can help prevent menopausal weight gain. Because metabolism slows down, menopausal women do not need the same calories as in their younger years. This is the time to make a change: quality over quantity—my point. Menopausal women need to consume enough nutrients to prevent health problems like osteoporosis and heart disease. Quinoa can provide your body with all the nutrients you need during menopause. Plus, it can help control weight and even relieve some symptoms of menopause.
I include quinoa in my diet to provide my body with all the necessary nutrients to get through menopause.
Adding quinoa to your diet will be a great help to your health. Whole grains like quinoa and amaranth are part of a healthy diet that can help reduce diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers.
Tips and tricks
- Quinoa is a powerful superfood that is becoming increasingly popular for its health benefits. Quinoa is a nutritional powerhouse because it provides the body with various essential nutrients (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids).
- Quinoa is a superfood rich in beneficial antioxidants and polyphenols that can help reduce inflammation in the body and protect against health problems. This fantastic seed has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Quinoa is a vegan and gluten-free option. It can be a great substitute for rice, which is very high in carbohydrates.
- This nutritious grain is a complete source of protein, including the nine essential amino acids that our bodies cannot produce independently. Quinoa is one of the best plant-based food sources of complete protein.
- Eating quinoa has been linked to lower weight gain.
- This powerhouse of nutrients could be a great addition to your diet due to its high protein content, versatile preparation options, ease of use, and low cost. Take care of your health by including quinoa or other whole grains in your diet.
- Choose complex carbohydrates found in whole foods like quinoa, sweet potatoes, amaranth, etc.
- Quinoa can be paired with any protein and substituted for rice. For a boost of nutrients, you can add quinoa to your favs salads. I like to replace my oat porridge with the quinoa one from time to time.
NOTE: Quinoa is not suitable for all people who suffer from food allergies or sensitivities or is not compatible with certain medications. Although quinoa allergies are relatively rare, some people may experience allergy symptoms after eating quinoa. Please make sure that this grain is appropriate for you and will not cause harm, allergies, or other reactions. Talk to a holistic doctor before adding quinoa to your diet, especially if you suffer from health problems and are taking medication.
How can you eat quinoa?
Quinoa can be combined with any protein and substituted for rice. For a nutritional boost, you can add it to your favorite salads. I like to substitute quinoa for my oatmeal from time to time.
Note: Remember to rinse quinoa before cooking.
How to cook quinoa?
A rule of thumb for perfectly cooked quinoa is two parts water to one part quinoa. It’s best to soak it for at least 20 minutes before cooking to remove the bitterness. Then rinse the quinoa, put the water (according to the ratio) and quinoa in a pot, sprinkle a pinch of salt, bring it to a boil, and cook it over low heat until the quinoa has absorbed all the water. Usually, this takes about 15 minutes. Once the quinoa is cooked, cover it and let it sit for 5 minutes. Ready to eat.
Note: Quinoa will keep well refrigerated for at least five days.
BAKING WITH QUINOA for tip-top health
Quinoa is my favorite gluten-free ingredient when it comes to healthy baking. My first attempt was the quinoa carrot cake, and I was smitten. I loved the flavor, the texture, and the nutritious side. A slice of cake is filling and guilt-free. From that point on, quinoa became a staple in my gluten-free baked goods and diet.
While googling, I noticed that there were not many healthy quinoa cake recipes on the internet. Many of them are very high in sugar, which is not my thing. So I decided to develop my quinoa cake recipes. It will be my great pleasure to share delicious and healthy inspirations through my quinoa cake creations.
Inspired by this little seed, one of the things I created was a fantastic orange chocolate cake. You will love the smell that fills your kitchen when you bake it.
I am in the process of creating an e-book on healthy treats, which includes some delicious quinoa cake recipes. I hope to be done in about a month. Until then, you can enjoy the pictures below.
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HUGS for now,
No content on this blog should ever be used to substitute for medical advice from your practitioner or other qualified doctors.