Quinoa – The Superfood of Superfoods
It is difficult to find 100% natural food that will bring you benefits in every way, and that will also help you lose those extra pounds. And that can even be part of your diet if you have diabetes or do not tolerate wheat.
Quinoa is an integral seed that provides you with all the nutrients your body needs and is suitable for everyone, without exception.
Quinoa is a superfood with so many properties that the year 2013 was declared by the FAO as the International Year of Quinoa, to recognize the work of the indigenous peoples of the Andes. They have sustained and preserved this plant as food.
Quinoa is a grain that is prepared and consumed in the same way as a cereal, although technically it is not a cereal.
Its name means ‘mother grain’ and comes from the Quechua language, derived from the word kinwa, and its meaning is clear since, for the Indians, it was a source of food and medicine. Also, the Incas used it in ceremonies and sacred medicines.
In the FAO, it is considered as the only food of vegetal origin that contributes all the essential amino acids, being its balance superior to the one of the wheat, the barley, and the soybean.
Some researchers compare it in terms of nutritional value to the protein in meat, eggs, and dairy products, so it may be of interest to introduce Quinoa in vegetarian diets or in those where the supply of essential amino acids is compromised. Besides, the absence of gluten makes Quinoa an option for coeliacs.
Its fats are predominantly unsaturated. Approximately half of Quinoa’s fat is composed of Omega 6 linoleic acid. The rest is distributed among saturated fats, Omega 3 alpha-linolenic acid, and other lipids.
Its proportion of fatty acids and the absence of cholesterol, as it is a vegetable food, make Quinoa another alternative for controlling the increase in blood cholesterol and reducing the risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases.
Fiber is an essential component of Quinoa, being higher in this food than in most cereals, but lower than in legumes. Therefore, the consumption of Quinoa is another way to increase the contribution of fiber in our diet.
The nutritional composition of Quinoa has a higher content of calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, and zinc than many kinds of cereal, doubling and tripling the amounts present in wheat and rice.
In terms of vitamins, Quinoa is a good source of vitamin E, riboflavin B2, and folic acid B9. Regarding the content of thiamin B1, it is quite similar to that of cereals.
Quinoa contains many antioxidants that neutralize free radicals and help fight aging and many diseases.
In a study aimed at analyzing the antioxidants present in 10 foods: five kinds of cereal, three pseudocereals and two legumes, Quinoa turned out to have the highest antioxidant content of all.
Quinoa has several properties that make it helpful to lose weight. To lose weight, you need to consume fewer calories than you burn. And it is known that some food features can facilitate the process, both by speeding up the metabolism and decreasing the appetite.
Quinoa is high in protein, which can both raise the metabolism and significantly reduce appetite. Its high fiber content, meanwhile, helps to increase the feeling of satiety by causing fewer calories to be consumed.
Besides, the fact that Quinoa has a low glycemic level is essential, since choosing that type of food has been associated with reduced calorie intake.
It is easy to incorporate Quinoa into our diet. Just rinse it and boil it for 15 or 20 minutes to use it as a base for an infinite number of recipes.
One 185-gram serving of Quinoa (about one cup) contains the following nutrients:
8 grams of protein
5 grams of fiber
58% of the RDA for manganese
28% of the RDA for phosphorus
19% of the RDA for folate
18% of the RDA for copper
15% of the RDA for iron
13% of the RDA for zinc
9% of the RDA for potassium
10% of the RDA for vitamins B1, B2 and B6
Small amounts of calcium, vitamin B3 niacin, and vitamin E
It also contains a minimum quantity of omega-3 fatty acids