10 Wonderful health benefits of quinoa

Quinoa, pronounced keen-wa, is a grain crop that is grown, primarily for the edible seeds. It’s not actually a cereal, because it does not come from the grass family and is strangely, actually related to the beetroot and spinach family of plants. It’s nutritional benefits, however, are very like that of a true cereal in that the seeds contain essential amino acids, protein, calcium, minerals and vitamins. Here are ten of the health benefits of quinoa:

1. Quinoa is high in fibre

If you’ve been looking for a way to increase the fibre in your diet, then quinoa could be the answer. Just a single cup of quinoa contains one fifth of all the fibre that you need in a single day.

2. Quinoa is high in iron

Quinoa can be a big help if you are iron deficient. We all need iron to maintain a healthy brain and muscles and a single serving of quinoa contains 15% of you daily requirement. That’s a good boost of iron in anyone’s diet.

3. It helps with weight loss

Health benefits of quinoa include weight loss. If you are on a diet, then you will be ok with quinoa, even on a no-grain diet. Quinoa is high in protein and vitamins and its high fibre, low calorie content will fill you up and give you energy, without wrecking your weight loss plans.

4. Quinoa contains all the essential amino acids

As well as all the protein that it contains, quinoa also provides you with all eight of the essential amino acids that your body needs to function properly. This makes it great alternative to meat, if you are following a vegetarian diet and removes the need to take supplements.

5. It contains lysine

Quinoa is a natural source of the amino acid, lysine, which is usually found in supplements made for people who are trying to build lean muscle mass. The same amino acid is believed to strengthen the immune system and help to protect against disease.

6. It helps to balance blood sugar levels

Health benefits of quinoa also include balanced blood sugar levels. Eating quinoa is known to help the body stabilise blood sugar. Adding quinoa to food, even sugary food, will help to even out the peaks and troughs in blood sugar levels that can affect your energy levels and your mood.

7. Quinoa is loaded with antioxidants

Quinoa is brimming with antioxidants which neutralize free radicals and are believed to help fight ageing and many diseases. In a study made of five different cereals and legumes, quinoa had the highest antioxidant content of all of them.

8. Quinoa is high in magnesium and other minerals

Magnesium balances high blood pressure and can also help to protect against osteoporosis and heart disease. You can obtain one third of your recommended daily allowance of magnesium for a single serving of quinoa. Quinoa also contains calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium.

9. It is gluten free

Even though it’s not a grain, quinoa does still meet the requirements of a wholegrain food, in terms of nutritional content and fibre. That makes it a great alternative to wheat products, if you are following a gluten free diet.

10. It contains flavonoids

Quinoa is a good source of the flavonoids that you would usually find in berries. Flavonoids help keep the cardiovascular system working in good order and help to reduce the risk of heart disease.

What other health benefits of quinoa do you know?

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