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5 Health Benefits of Quinoa

Filed Under: Health Foods,Nutrition,Supplements at 5:30 pm | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
QuinoaQuinoa offers a variety of health benefits as this popular superfood is incredibly nutritious. Technically a seed, quinoa can be served with brown sugar and fruit as a hot breakfast cereal, or added to soups or salads. If you are looking for a good reason to add this gluten-free food to your diet, we present you 5 health benefits of quinoa.

1. Protein

One of the best vegetarian sources of protein, quinoa contains more than 8 grams of protein per cup including all nine essential amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own. These essential amino acids are needed for tissue growth and repair and quinoa has all of them, plus more and better protein than most grains.

2. Minerals

Quinoa is high in minerals particularly four important ones that people often do not get enough from their diet: magnesium, iron, zinc, and potassium. However, quinoa contains phytic acid that can partly prevent minerals from being absorbed but soaking or sprouting quinoa degrades most of the phytic acid.

3. Fiber

Quinoa contains almost twice as much fiber as most other grains and can be an excellent supplement to relieve constipation as well as prevent heart disease by reducing high blood pressure and diabetes. Fiber lowers cholesterol and glucose levels and may help you lose weight, as it takes a longer time to chew than does other foods, making you feel fuller for longer. It is also less energy dense, which means it has fewer calories for the same volume of food.

4. Quercetin

Quinoa also contains very large amounts of quercetin, an important flavonoids that has been shown to have all sorts of beneficial effects on health. In fact, the quercetin content of quinoa is even higher than typical high-quercetin foods like cranberries. These important molecules have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-cancer, and anti-depressant effects.

5. Antioxidants

Another reason to add quinoa to your diet: antioxidants. These substances help neutralize free radicals and are believed to help fight aging as well as a variety of diseases. Quinoa has one of the highest antioxidant content among grains and cereals, and if you allow its seeds to sprout, the amount of antioxidants increase ever further.

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