- MOST RECENT
8 Proven Health Benefits of Quinoa
Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd) was believed to be a sacred grain. It is a pseudo cereal and has been around for about 5000 years. It has been used as a food grain and also for medicinal purposes (1).
Health benefits of quinoa
In recent times quinoa has become very well known for its health benefits and is being cultivated in more than 95 countries. It is being consumed for health purposes in countries such as North America, Europe, Australia, Japan and India (1).
- Quinoa is a source of complete protein
Quinoa has about 14 % protein which is more than any of the cereals (2). Quinoa protein quality is on par with milk protein and therefore superior to proteins from cereals such as rice and wheat (1, 3). It contains all the essential amino acids and therefore is a complete protein.
Quinoa is a good source of complete protein.
- Quinoa is gluten free, safe for people with celiac disease
Celiac Disease is also known as Celiac Sprue which is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the small intestine. This is caused when gluten containing products are consumed by susceptible people (4).
Quinoa protein is gluten free unlike wheat. Therefore, it is safe for people with gluten intolerance and those with celiac disease. Compared to alternatives such as rice and corn quinoa is more nutritious and its antioxidant content is also more (1).
- Quinoa is a good source of antioxidants
Antioxidants help us to keep free radicals in control and protect us by fighting against free radical activity that can lead to chronic and degenerative diseases.
Quinoa is a good source of phenolics, majorly ferulic acid and quercetin. Quercetin in quinoa is more than what is present in cranberries which is considered to be a rich source of quercetin. These phenolic compounds exhibit antioxidant activity which prevents damage by free radicals (1).
- Quinoa is a low glycaemic index food
The glycaemic index (GI) of quinoa differs based on its cooking time, it ranges from 35 to 53. Quinoa can be considered as a low GI food. Because of low glycaemic index quinoa can be beneficial to people with diabetes because it can help manage their blood glucose levels.
Also, quinoa is a good source of dietary fiber therefore is it good for people with diabetes (3).
- Quinoa has favourable effect on serum lipid profile
In a study conducted, it was seen that by consuming 50 grams of quinoa per day for 12 weeks reduced serum triglycerides levels in over weight and obese people (5).
Quinoa is a good source of fiber and it has been proven that dietary fiber helps in managing serum cholesterol levels (6).
- Quinoa is a good source of important minerals
Quinoa is a good source of minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and zinc (1). These minerals are important as they perform several functions in our body and quinoa helps us not become deficient in these minerals.
Quinoa also contains phytic acid which can reduce the absorption of these minerals. Soaking, sprouting and cooking reduce phytic acid content (1).
Quinoa also contains oxalates which reduce calcium and magnesium absorption. They may also be responsible for recurring kidney stone problem in a few individuals but cooking reduces oxalate content (1).
- Quinoa is a good source of dietary fiber
Compared to most other grains, quinoa is a better source of dietary fiber about which is about 7 % (2). Dietary fiber prevents constipation and in general helps us maintain our gut health. Fiber also helps in managing blood glucose and cholesterol levels (6).
- Quinoa can help in weight management
Two nutrients that help in weight management and weight loss are protein and dietary fiber. Quinoa compared to other grains is a good source of protein and fiber (2).
There is evidence which states that increasing the proportion of protein moderately in the diet, lowering total energy intake, may improve body composition, assist in fat loss and improve body weight maintenance after losing weight (7). According to a study fibre supplementation may have the ability to contribute to weight loss by reducing the energy intake (8).
Quinoa is a grain with good amount of complete protein, several minerals and dietary fiber. Because of the nutrients it contributes towards several health benefits and can be included in our balanced diet regularly.
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- Singh, S., Singh, R. and Singh, K.V. (2016) Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd), functional superfood for today’s world: A Review, World Scientific News. Vol. 58.http://psjd.icm.edu.pl/psjd/element/bwmeta1.element.psjd-e765ee65-4f8c-413f-9b30-e02c2b6c9172
- United States Department of Agriculture, National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Legacy Release, Basic Report: 20035, Quinoa, uncooked.https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/20035?fgcd=&manu=&format=&count=&max=25&offset=&sort=default&order=asc&qlookup=quinoa&ds=&qt=&qp=&qa=&qn=&q=&ing=
- Bastidas, G.E., Rizzolo, D., Roura, E., Massanés, T. and Gomis, R. (2016) Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd), from Nutritional Value to Potential Health Benefits: An Integrative Review, J Nutr Food Sci. Vol. 6 (3).https://www.researchgate.net/publication/303845280_Quinoa_Chenopodium_quinoa_Willd_from_Nutritional_Value_to_Potential_Health_Benefits_An_Integrative_Review
- Parzanese, I., Qehajaj, D., Patrinicola, F., Aralica, M., Chiriva-Internati, M., Stifter, S. and Grizzi, F. (2017) Celiac disease: From pathophysiology to treatment, World journal of gastrointestinal pathophysiology. Vol.8 (2).https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5437500/
- Navarro-Perez, D., Radcliffe, J., Tierney, A. and Jois, M. (2017) Quinoa Seed Lowers Serum Triglycerides in Overweight and Obese Subjects: A Dose-Response Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial, Current developments in nutrition. 1 (9).https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5998774/
- Dhingra, D., Michael, M., Rajput, H. and Patil, R.T. (2011) Dietary fibre in foods: A Review. Journal of food science and technology, 49 (3).https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23729846
- Paddon-Jones, D.,Westman, E., Mattes, R.D., Wolfe, R.R., Astrup , A. and Westerterp-Plantenga, M. (2008) Protein, weight management and satiety, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Vol. 87(5).https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/87/5/1558S/4650426
- Solah, V. A., Kerr, D. A., Hunt, W. J., Johnson, S. K., Boushey, C. J., Delp, E. J. and Wood, S. (2017)Effect of Fibre Supplementation on Body Weight and Composition, Frequency of Eating and Dietary Choice in Overweight Individuals, Nutrients . Vol. 9 (2). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28212353