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Quinoa is that one superfood the world cannot praise enough. You may have come across several studies and posts hailing it as the grain of the future! However, if you are on a gluten-free diet, you may be wondering if you can use it as a wheat replacement. You may wonder is quinoa gluten-free, or does it contain traces of gluten that may trigger your allergies? Even if you can have quinoa, how much of it is enough? Are there any associated risks with quinoa consumption?
In this post, we will address all these burning questions, starting with the most important one – is quinoa gluten-free?
Before diving into the properties of quinoa, and is quinoa gluten-free, let’s quickly understand what gluten is in the first place.
Gluten is a kind of protein that is typically found in grains like wheat, barley, and rye. Normally, the human digestive system has no issue breaking down gluten. However, those who are gluten intolerant or sensitive, the introduction of gluten in their digestive tract can lead to issues like gas, bloating, and fatigue.
Furthermore, those suffering from a condition known as the Coeliac disease will experience a strong allergic response where the immune system attacks the healthy cells within their bodies. As such, it could have serious repercussions, such as unintended weight loss, nutritional deficiency, and diarrhoea.
Thus, those with gluten sensitivity look for alternatives to gluten-rich grains and makes them consider questions, such as, is quinoa gluten-free?
Now, back to the main question – is quinoa gluten-free?
The short answer is: Yes, quinoa is gluten-free.
One of the primary reasons for this quality is that quinoa is not technically a grain. It is, in fact, a seed that is closely related to spinach, Swiss chard, and beets. Thus, as a pseudocereal, it is free from gluten.
In addition to being naturally gluten-free, quinoa is also well tolerated by those with coeliac disease. A six-week study conducted on 19 subjects with coeliac disease discovered that the consumption of about 50 grams of quinoa daily was not only well tolerated, but it also minimised any side effects.
Thus, quinoa is gluten-free and safe for consumption.
For starters, when you have gluten sensitivity, your food options are rather limited. As such, quinoa emerges as a rich source of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and antioxidants that help repair and maintain your bodily functions.
It is also worth mentioning that the highly nutritious nature of quinoa makes it an excellent and highly recommended addition to a gluten-free diet. A 2009 study published in the Journal of Human Nutritional Diet suggested that incorporating quinoa to a gluten-free diet could improve the diet’s overall nutrient profile.
In addition to the above health benefits, quinoa is also advantageous in the following ways:
While the answer to the question, “is quinoa gluten-free?” is a clear yes, we need to consider other potential risks.
Even though quinoa is inherently gluten-free, it is often processed in facilities that also process glutinous grains. As a result, cross-contamination is a serious issue that could affect your health. Thus, you should always purchase organic and certified gluten-free quinoa.
Furthermore, gluten comprises of two main prolamins (a type of protein present in cereals) – gliadin and glutenin. Considering that quinoa also contains prolamins, in very specific cases, the body may potentially trigger mild symptoms of coeliac disease. However, as stated previously, consuming 50 grams of quinoa per day falls within the permissible limit and shall not hamper with the digestive system. Eventually, you can increase your quinoa consumption to ensure that you can tolerate it without any side effects.
Even if the answer to the question, is quinoa gluten-free would have been a no, here are a few gluten-free alternatives that you can consider:
Hopefully, this post has succeeded in answering your question is quinoa gluten-free? To sum it up, quinoa is a gluten-free pseudocereal that does not contain gluten. It offers a host of health benefits and caters to the body’s nutritional requirement. However, quinoa is susceptible to cross-contamination, and you should, therefore purchase certified gluten-free and organic quinoa. With the regular consumption of organic quinoa, you will notice a drastic improvement in your diet and your health!
Try 24 Mantra Organic’s Quinoa and savour the taste of organic goodness.
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