The benefits of Quinoa
Quinoa is one of the few plant-based foods that contains all nine essential amino acids. There are twenty amino acids that the body needs to function and can only produce eleven of them. The other nine, which are the ‘essential’ amino acids, must come from food or supplements. Quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids, which includes: isoleucine, leucine, lysine, phenylalanine, tyrosine, cysteine, methionine, threonine, histidine, tryptophan and valine and is far superior to other common cereals and grains.
Quinoa is recommended as a gluten-free alternative for those with coeliac disease, and most recently non-coeliac gluten sensitivity. Already, several public organisations have recommended quinoa as a substitute for wheat. The low-allergy potential of quinoa, coupled with its relatively high digestibility, has made it a food of special interest in the diet of children. A recent study claims quinoa is the closest thing to mothers milk and highly recommended as a first solid for babies.
Quinoa is an excellent source of energy being a complex carbohydrate. These act as the body’s fuel, contributing significantly to energy production. This type of carbohydrate is digested and released slowly into the body. It means that you will have sustained energy throughout the day and will not cause blood sugar and insulin levels to spike.
Vitamins & Minerals
Quinoa is a nutrient-dense grain and is said to have more calcium than cow’s milk. A serving of quinoa supplies the body with an excellent source of vitamins and minerals including iron, copper, calcium, zinc, potassium, manganese, magnesium and vitamin B2. These nutrients help treat migraines, control diabetes and decrease the risk of heart disease. Quinoa also contains phytonutrients which are chemical compounds that help reduce the risk of some forms of cancer.
Quinoa supplies the body with superoxide dismutase. This antioxidant helps fight oxidative damage caused by the release of free radicals in the body. Antioxidants protect and preserve your cell mitochondria and red blood cells. The antioxidants work with manganese and copper to help prevent cell damage and disease. Altogether, these compounds act as powerful anti-oxidants by removing harmful free radicals from the body thus protect from cancers, infection, aging and degenerative neurological diseases.
Quinoa provides the body with the recommended daily intake of fibre. It contains soluble and insoluble fibre which decreases the amount of food you eat by allowing your body to feel full after a smaller meal. Fibre may also decrease your risk of heart disease and increase weight loss.
It helps keeps the body regular, reduces the risk for certain types of cancer (especially colon and breast cancer), and lowers cholesterol.
The anti-inflammatory nutrients in quinoa help protect human blood vessels from inflammatory damage. Protection of this kind would also provide reduced risk of many cardiovascular diseases, including atherosclerosis. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients in quinoa make it a likely candidate for cancer risk reduction in humans.
Quinoa has an impressive fatty acid content of Omega 3, 6 & 9 that provide a range of health benefits from fat loss, and weight management, a healthy heart and cardiovascular system. Quinoa provides you the ‘good’ fats needed to maintain a healthy diet.