The health benefits of quinoa, and its consumption, date back thousands of years to the civilizations of the Incas. Due to its sustenance and nutrition, quinoa was heavily valued by these civilizations as it helped provide energy and vigor. Largely considered a “super grain” by many health specialists and experts, quinoa has become one of the most popular grains to consume for health conscious individuals. The health benefits of quinoa are quite extensive and offer something for everyone looking to improve their health.
One of these important health benefits of quinoa is found in its high fiber content. Quinoa, compared to other grain alternatives, offers much more fiber per serving. Fiber is important to help with digestion and overall digestive health. As well, dietary fiber can play a role in preventing heart disease and improve heart health. This can be done by reducing and preventing high blood pressure. Quinoa is also high in iron, which can help promote healthy red blood cells and increase overall energy.
Many vegans and/or vegetarians are also well aware of the health benefits of quinoa. As already mentioned, quinoa is high in iron. Also, quinoa is very high in protein, especially as a seed (quinoa is actually a seed, although referred to as a grain often). Quinoa has nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. This means that quinoa is an excellent alternative to meat, fish and diary products for those following vegan diets or even vegetarian diets. Quinoa is also a complex carbohydrate and has a low glycemic index, making this food source an excellent choice for those who are at risk for diabetes or those individuals looking to lose or maintain weight. Another one of the great health benefits of quinoa is that, since it is not a grain or wheat, quinoa is gluten free and can be consumed by those individuals who are sensitive to gluten and gluten products. As if quinoa being high and protein and an excellent carbohydrate source wasn’t enough, quinoa is also low in fat content, which consists mostly of healthy fats.
Lastly, the health benefits of quinoa are also related to its vitamin and mineral content. We have already mentioned that quinoa is a great source of iron. Quinoa is also an excellent source of vitamin B2 (also referred to as riboflavin). Vitamin B2 provides energy within brain and muscle cells. Also, quinoa is an excellent source of manganese, which is an anti-oxidant and can help defend against free radicals. As well, quinoa is low in sodium, again making it a great choice for those with high blood pressure or those who are at risk for high blood pressure.
The health benefits of quinoa cannot be overstated. Quinoa is quickly becoming one of the go to carbohydrate sources for health conscious individuals. Quinoa can be enjoyed a number of different ways. Quinoa can be added to fish and vegetables dishes, or consumed on its own with your favorite spices. A personal favorite is using quinoa in stuffed pepper recipes. No matter which way you eat it, be sure to make this food source a regular addition to your diet in order to obtain the health benefits of quinoa.