What Is So Great About Quinoa?
Tara’s Tuesday Tips:
Health Benefits of Quinoa:
Tara’s Top 10 Reasons To Eat Quinoa
- Fiber: yes, quinoa is classified as a grain BUT unlike white bread, white pasta, and white rice, quinoa has NOT been ‘refined’ and stripped of its grain seeds.
- What does this mean? Quinoa isn’t processed to create a finer texture and therefore it takes longer to digest, does not spike your blood sugar, and keeps you feeling fuller longer. 5 grams of fiber per one cup serving compared to not even one gram in one cup of white pasta!!
- Protein: quinoa is one of the only plant-based-foods that is a complete protein.
- What does this mean? It contains all of the essential amino acids. Our bodies cannot produce these, and we need to consume them in our food. 8 grams of protein per one cup serving!
- Iron: this is great for vegetarians and vegans! One of the most common questions I get is if my family is anemic … no … thanks to foods such as quinoa.
- What does this mean? Iron helps us form hemoglobin –> hemoglobin carries oxygen to our cells –> our cells need oxygen for energy, metabolism, growth, and repair –> more iron = more hemoglobin = feel better, do more, less headaches, less fatigue, less disease … simple enough 😉
- Wheat Free: there is no wheat or wheat germ in quinoa.
- What does this mean? People with gluten intolerance, Celiac Disease, wheat allergy, gluten allergy can all enjoy this great grain without worry. No wheat makes quinoa a better grain for diabetics too.
- Low Calorie: less calories in any given food means we can eat more of it, sounds good to me.
- What does this mean? Quinoa is not dense in calories, about 200 calories per cup, and one cup of cooked quinoa mixed with beans or veggies and all of that fiber will fill you up quicker than a grain stripped of its fiber and you will not feel hungry as quickly.
- Great replacement food: breakfast bowls, stir-fry, in soups, sauces, as a side dish, as a main dish. Replace pasta, rice, orzo, barley, farina with quinoa.
- What does this mean? You can slash the calories, lower the glycemic index, increase the fiber, and you will feel fuller with the same serving size.
- Reduces Inflammation: quinoa contains phytonutrients that help the body fight inflammation.
- What does this mean? Fueling our bodies with nutrients that fight inflammation in it (quinoa, spinach, almonds, blueberries, olive oil) instead of foods that worsen inflammation (mayonnaise, alcohol, fast foods, refined flour, artificial sweeteners) allows our bodies to function more efficiently, heal better, and fight diseases such as obesity, heart and cardiovascular disease, and cancers.
- High in monounsaturated fat (the good one): the fats in quinoa come in the form of oleic acid and omega-3.
- What does this mean? Eating quinoa will help protect your heart and blood vessels leading to less chance for stroke and heart attack.
- Can help with your weight loss efforts: quinoa is a low glycemic food, high in fiber, low in fat and calories … perfect for weight loss.
- Glycemic Index? What does that mean? Foods with a lower glycemic index don’t raise your blood sugar as quickly and therefore you don’t get the ‘high’ of eating and the low that comes later with your blood sugar dropping. With a more stable blood sugar, you get less cravings, you aren’t as hungry, and you eat less calories and you lose weight. Get it?
- Easy to cook: quinoa can be cooked in a rice cooker, instant pot, or stove-top. It takes on the flavor of whatever spices and sauces you combine it with. Never cooked quinoa before? Try this recipe for Mexican Quinoa!
- What does this mean? you can add it to just about anything you use other grains in. BUT you MUST rinse it first! Rinsing it washes away the coating called saponin. If you don’t wash it … it will taste like soap and you will never eat it again. Wash it 😊!!!
What is your favorite way to eat quinoa? Do you have any other health benefits of quinoa to share? Leave a comment below …
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Want to learn more about quinoa? Here are the resources I used: