1. Rich Source Of Protein
Most grains do not fulfill the daily protein requirement as they lack in amino acids, namely, lysine and isoleucine. Due to poor levels of both lysine and isoleucine in grain proteins, they are considered as the limiting amino acids (LAAs), and hence, it prevents grains from becoming a complete source of protein in our diet. However, quinoa has a notably higher amount of lysine and isoleucine making it becomes a good protein source.
2. Rich Source Of Essential Fatty Acids
Quinoa is a rich source of essential fatty acids, which are hardly found in any other grain. It takes only 63 calories’ worth of quinoa to provide 1 gram of fat. Around 28% of quinoa’s fatty acids are in the form of oleic acid, and about 5% are in the form of alpha-linolenic acid, i.e., the omega-3 fatty acid known to reduce the risk of inflammatory diseases.
3. Other Important Nutrients
Quinoa is a great source of tocopherols that are rare in most of the grains. It is a rich source of gamma-tocopherol, a form of vitamin E that has shown to have few anti-inflammatory benefits in health research. Quinoa is great when it comes to providing phytonutrient benefits. The seeds are rich in phytonutrients and provide great amounts of antioxidants like ferulic, coumaric, hydroxybenzoic, and vanillic acid. Quinoa is a great source of flavonoids, such as quercetin and kaempferol, which are in greater concentrations than even cranberry or lingonberry, which are known to be their best sources.
4. Anti-Inflammatory Benefits
Saponins are the bitter nutrients found in the outermost layer of quinoa. They are water-soluble phytonutrients, which have great anti-inflammatory properties. Recent studies have shown that quinoa saponins can be used as functional food components for the prevention and treatment of inflammation.
5. Reduces Diabetes Risk
Quinoa can be a great food that can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, mainly because of its increased fiber and protein content. Quinoa is a very rich source of fiber, which is one of the key macronutrient needed in regulating blood sugar levels. The total dietary content of fiber for quinoa is 10% of which 78% is insoluble and 22% is soluble, which is higher than that found in wheat and maize. Therefore, this great combination of high-protein and äóñfiber content makes it a valuable resource in regulating blood sugar. Furthermore, chronic inflammation, which is a major risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes can be taken care of by a variety of anti-inflammatory nutrients found in quinoa.
6. Reduces Heart Disease Risk
Quinoa can be very beneficial for those who are at a risk of cardiovascular disease. Studies have shown that quinoa helps in lowering total cholesterol and assists in maintaining levels of good cholesterol, .i.e., HDL. Furthermore, the anti-inflammatory nutrients in quinoa can help in protecting blood vessels from inflammatory damage, helping in reducing the risk of atherosclerosis.
7. Anti-Cancer Properties
Studies have shown that the phenolic compounds found in quinoa have anti-carcinogenic properties. Quinoa can be taken as a supplement even by those who are at risk of cancer.
Quinoa is a great alternative for those who are allergic to certain grains, especially in conditions like celiac disease, where the patient is unable to digest gluten found in various grains. The probability of allergy due to quinoa is very low. This is a food of special interest in the diet of children and toddlers.
Quinoa deserves the term superfood because you will hardly find any essential nutrient that is absent in it. It is high time that we include this food in our diets, such as in salads, soups, or in any other way you would like to make the maximum of the health benefits and nutrients it provides.