Quinoa: everything you need to know about this superfood

Today it seems that everyone is talking about quinoa. Everywhere salad of quinoa, fried rice with quinoa and even a protein shake with quinoa. Growing up in South America thousands of years ago by the Incas called “the mother grain”, quinoa today is still considered a great “superfood” – especially after the UN declared 2013 “International year of quinoa”. When and why quinoa has become so popular product? And what makes this a priceless substitute of rice with low content of carbohydrates in the nutrition world? Let’s deal!

What is quinoa?

Quinoa is gluten-free carbohydratethat consists of whole grain and a complete protein (which means that quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids). Most of this information is well known.

Why is quinoa so popular?

According to a nutritionist and blogger Abbey sharp, a big surge in the popularity of quinoa fell in 2014 because it is a natural grain without gluten, which is important for gluten-free dietary trend. And in addition, due to the high protein content of quinoa base suitable for vegetarians.

What is the nutritional value of quinoa?

Quinoa have incredible nutrient. According to the Mayo clinic, quinoa is considered the best source of fiber, protein, b vitamins and iron, compared with refined grain. Because quinoa seeds are so rich in nutrients, they are an excellent choice for healthy diet fans.

1 Cup of cooked quinoa contains only 222 calories, including 39 g carbohydrates, 8 g protein, 6 g fat, 5 g fiber, 1 g sugar.

Better than rice?

Nutritional profile of quinoa is different from the food profile of Fig. Cup cooked long grain brown rice contains about 200 calories, including 43 grams of carbohydrates, 4 g protein, 3 g fat, 3 g fiber, 0 g sugar.

Nutritionists advise to eat varied, but in fairness it should be noted that quinoa contains more fiber and protein with a complete amino acid spectrum.

What types of quinoa are there?

There are over 120 different types of quinoa. Although the grain itself can be of different colors (including purple). The most common colors are white (also called ivory), red and black.

Interestingly, all three of these types of quinoa are cooked differently and have different flavor characteristics. The white cooked quinoa soft texture, but red and black quinoa better retain their shape and color. In addition, red quinoa more intense taste and firmer texture compared to the muted bitter taste of the white quinoa. Finally, black quinoa is a bit more crunchy and sweet taste.

At the peak of his popularity, which peaked in 2014, quinoa is mostly sold in physical form – in the form of a seed. However, since this product began to appear in many other types. Now you can find the flour of quinoa for cooking alternative to baking, and cereal quinoa in every supermarket. But that’s not all. For the truly obsessed with this product, there are chips, pasta and even chocolate with quinoa.

What are the benefits of quinoa for your health?

Whole grains such as quinoa, are considered preventive for certain types of cancer due to the high level of fiber content. In one study published in the scientific journal The Journal of Nutrition says that dietary fiber contained in whole grains can help lower “bad” cholesterol, improve digestion and reduce the risk of developing certain cancers of the gastrointestinal tract, e.g., colon cancer.

Another study showed that men who consume a lot of magnesium rich foods, have a reduced risk of stroke (a Cup of cooked quinoa contains about one-third of the recommended daily intake).

Can you lose weight by eating quinoa?

Rich in protein and fiber, quinoa can certainly contribute to the feeling of fullness. Quinoa is a carbohydrate with a low glycemic index because it is very rich in fiber and protein. This means that you will feel full longer. In the end, it will help you eat less. But we should not forget that losing weight will depend on your level of consumption and portion sizes.

Are there any side effects of consuming quinoa?

Quinoa is really a incredibly healthy product, as we used to hear about him, especially if you control the portion size. The only likely side effect is a common irritation of the stomach due to the consumption of saponin (natural coating) of the grains. To reduce the chance of irritation, make sure you thoroughly rinse the quinoa before eating.

How do you cook quinoa?

All depends on the form of quinoa you want to cook. Natural grain itself is cooked about 15 minutes, and you may need a little more time for the black quinoa. On the other hand, cooking quinoa flakes is not more than a minute, making them a great option for Breakfast or snack.

How best to use quinoa?

Quinoa is fine in itself, as a substitute for rice or in combination with other products. Delicate flavor profile of this product is extremely tasty and rich aromas. Thanks to its mild taste, it can be served salty or sweet.

Quinoa flakes are much thinner than grains, so they give a crunchy texture when cooked and a creamy smooth texture when cooked. Overall, they are great as a quick substitute for the oatmeal, source thin crust on chicken or fish, or alternatives to oats in baked goods.

Quinoa, of course, should be part of your diet, but do not forget about the classic sources of carbohydrates, such as pasta. Surprisingly, recent studies show that this product can even help you lose weight.