Quinoa (KEEN-wah) is a “new” super food that is becoming more prevalent in mainstream grocery stores. In fact, the quinoa boom is so great, the United Nations General Assembly declared the year 2013 as the “International Year of Quinoa.” The declaration is made to honor the Andean people who have preserved quinoa over thousands of years. The other point is to make others aware of quinoa health benefits. So, I have to do my part to get you sold on a good thing!
Quinoa Health Benefits
The most notable characteristic quinoa health benefit is the protein content of the food. Considering most should eat 1 gram per kilogram of body weight of protein per day, quinoa contains 8 grams of protein per cup. Eight grams is more than 10% of the daily need of the average man! Americans focus too much on using meat as the primary protein source (guilty!). Instead, we should be focusing on diversifying our protein food sources and quinoa is a good start.
Next, quinoa health benefits also include a notable source of fiber. In that same cup, you can get 5 grams of dietary fiber, which is 21% of your daily need. Really? You can seriously get almost 1/4 of your daily fiber from a cup of quinoa! YES! Fiber is great for controlling blood sugar, preventing constipation and helping digestion. This quinoa health benefit is more convincing evidence to trade white rice for this healthy “rice-like” grain.
Finally, quinoa is also a gluten-free source of calcium and iron. So if you are at risk for osteoporosis or iron-deficient and are gluten-sensitive or have Celiac disease, quinoa is perfect for you. Another quinoa health benefit includes a rich source of phosphorus and magnesium.
So step outside of your comfort zone and enjoy the quinoa health benefits! Try mixing with different seasonings or herbs and create your own favorite quinoa recipe!