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Some call it a grain and others say it is actually a seed. It is considered to be one of the healthiest foods you can add to your diet. It is believed to contain plenty of minerals, vitamins and fiber. Low in calories, it is safe for weight watchers to consume daily without exceeding their calorie limit. So what is quinoa?
What is Quinoa?
Quinoa is classified as a whole grain, much like brown rice. Foods that qualify as whole grains are those that have not been processed. Brown rice, for instance, is a whole grain. However, when it is processed into white rice, it is refined. There are in fact many types of quinoa, but you are more likely to find red, white and black quinoa in stores. Packed with a wide variety of nutrients, it is often a recommended item for healthy meal plans.
What is Quinoa Good For?
From fiber to potassium, quinoa contains many nutrients that benefit your health. It provides dietary fiber, which is necessary for healthy digestion and keeping your bowel movements regular. It is also a great source of iron, which assists in the transportation of oxygen throughout the body. Other nutrients include magnesium and calcium, both of which strengthen bones and muscle. Vitamin B and E can be found in all types of quinoa. These vitamins are essential for metabolizing foods, improving nerve function and shielding the body against harmful bacteria.
What is Quinoa’s Benefit on Weight Loss?
Quinoa is a recommended replacement for refined pasta, bread and rice because of its fiber content. Soluble fiber, when ingested, becomes a gel-like substance in the stomach. When you eat, the gel works to slow down digestion to suppress hunger for longer periods of time. It serves as a sort of appetite suppressant. Feeling full for longer means you are likely to eat less and therefore decrease calories.
What is Quinoa’s Effect on Diabetes?
A good diabetic diet always consists of foods that slow down the release of glucose into the body. Simple carbohydrates from refined rice, pastas and breads cause blood sugar to spike. The result is either hyperglycemia (high glucose levels) or hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Quinoa is a slow-releasing food and will help you control the amount and rate at which glucose is released into the system.
What is Quinoa’s Effect on Chronic Conditions?
One of the nutrients that quinoa provides is omega 3 fatty acids. Omega fats are effective at reducing inflammation usually associated with arthritis, heart disease, kidney conditions, colon cancer and high blood pressure. While short-term inflammation can be a sign of recovery, long-term inflammation can be problematic to your health and can cause existing conditions to worsen.
How is Quinoa Cooked?
Quinoa naturally comes with a bitter coat that needs to be washed off before eating. It is therefore advisable to rinse it thoroughly. After rinsing, you can either boil it like rice or bake it. Quinoa is a healthy alternative to rice and cereals, and can also be used in main and side dishes.
If you’ve always wondered what is quinoa good for, you should keep in mind the array of vitamins, minerals, fiber and fats encapsulated in a single grain. Like rice, it can be cooked in less than 15 minutes, making it easy to add to your balanced diet.