Quinoa is the seed of a plant known scientifically as Chenopodium quinoa. It is more nutritious than many grains and is often marketed as a “superfood”. Although quinoa is prepared and eaten as a whole grain, it is classified as a pseudocereal, as it does not grow on grasses such as wheat, oats, and rice. Quinoa has the delicious texture and flavor of nuts. It is also gluten-free and can therefore be enjoyed by people who are gluten sensitive or wheat.
Quinoa seeds are flat, oval in shape, and are usually light yellow, or color can range from pink to black. Its taste can vary from bitter to sweet. It is usually boiled in salads, used in soups, or eaten as a side dish or breakfast porridge. The seeds can also germinate, be processed, and be used as flour or appear as popcorn. Quinoa is good food for children. Although quinoa is technically not a grain, it is still considered a whole grain food. This article tells you everything you need to know about Quinoa Nutrition.
Cooked quinoa contains-
- 71.6% water
- 21.3% carbohydrates
- 4.4% protein
- 1.92% fat
One cup (185 grams) of cooked quinoa contains 222 calories.
The nutritional facts of 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of cooked quinoa are:
- Calories: 120
- Water: 72%
- Protein: 4.4 grams
- Carbs: 21.3 grams
- Sugar: 0.9 grams
- Thread: 2.8 grams
- Fat: 1.9 grams
Carbs make up 21% of cooked quinoa, compared to barley and rice.
About 83% of carbs can be stacked. Some are high in fiber and low in sugar (4%), such as maltose, galactose, and ribose.
Quinoa has a very low glycemic index (GI) of 53, which means it should not cause a rapid rise in blood sugar.
GI is a measure of how fast blood sugar levels rise after a meal. High-glycemic diets are associated with obesity and various diseases.
Cooked quinoa is a good source of fiber, beating brown rice and yellow corn.
Fabrics make up 10% of the weight of dried quinoa, 80-90% of which are insoluble fibers such as cellulose.
Non-insoluble fabrics have been associated with a lower risk of diabetes.
Also, some undigested fiber can be excreted in your gut as soluble fibers, nourishing your friendly bacteria and promoting better overall health.
Quinoa also provides resistant starch, which nourishes beneficial bacteria in your stomach, promoting the formation of fatty chain acids (SCFAs), improving intestinal health, and reducing the risk of infection.
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and proteins are the building blocks of all the tissues in your body.
Some amino acids are considered essential, as your body is unable to produce them, making it necessary for them to be absorbed into your diet.
At dry weight, quinoa provides 16% protein, which is higher than most cereals, such as barley, rice, and corn.
Quinoa is considered a complete source of protein, which means that it provides nine essential amino acids.
It is very high in the amino acid lysine, which is often lacking in plants. It also contains methionine and histidine, making it an excellent source of plant-based proteins.
The protein quality of quinoa is similar to that of casein, a high-protein protein in dairy products.
Quinoa is gluten-free and therefore suitable for people who are sensitive or allergic to gluten.
The 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of cooked quinoa provides about 2 grams of fat.
Like other grains, quinoa oil is mainly composed of palmitic acid, oleic acid, and linoleic acid.
Vitamins and minerals
Quinoa is an excellent source of antioxidants and minerals, providing more magnesium, iron, fiber, and zinc than most common grains.
Here are the great vitamins and minerals in quinoa:
Manganese: Found in high quantities in whole grains, this mineral trace is essential for body composition, growth, and development.
Phosphorus: Usually found in protein-rich foods, this mineral is essential for bone health and the maintenance of various tissues.
Copper: A common mineral in Western diets, copper is essential for heart health.
Folate: One of the B vitamins, folate is essential for cell function and tissue growth and is considered to be very important for pregnant women.
Iron: This essential mineral performs many important functions in your body, such as transporting oxygen to red blood cells.
Magnesium: Essential for many processes in your body, magnesium is often deficient in Western diets.
Zinc: This mineral is essential for life and contributes to the response of many chemicals in your body.
More Reading: Low-Calorie High Protein Foods Your Daily Needs
Why Quinoa is bad for you?
Most people replace rice and pasta with healthy quinoa, a superfood that contains twice as much fiber as other grains. But as with anything, too much quinoa can lead to less than good side effects! Eating too much quinoa will lead to too much fiber intake, which reduces your body's ability to absorb key nutrients.