What is Quinoa?
Quinoa, part of the amaranth family, is a plant of the goosefoot genus aka Chenopodium Quinoa. Since it is not a part of the true family of grasses, it is more of a pseudocereal rather than a true cereal. It has roots in species such as tumbleweeds, spinach, beetroots. The seeds of quinoa are first processed after harvesting, to remove bitter-tasting coating.
Nutritional value of Quinoa
FAO has declared 2013 as the International Year of Quinoa. It has similar nutritional value as compared to other cereals and grains. It is one of the world’s most known health foods which is a high source of fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals. It has similar levels of protein as found in milk and offers all the essential amino acids. Being gluten-free, Quinoa is a very good option for people who prefer a gluten-free diet. Quinoa has gained popularity as Superfood because of its rich nutritional value.
Some health benefits of Quinoa
- As it is high in fiber content, it improves digestion and helps in reducing LDL(bad cholesterol).
- Good for people with gluten intolerance
- Good for blood sugar control as it has a low glycemic index
- Beneficial for metabolic health
- Helps in fighting many diseases as it is rich in antioxidants.
- Helps in reducing weight.
A few different ways it is cooked
- Seeds are cooked like rice
- Consumed as whole or made into flakes or flour
- It is also used in the preparations of pasta and bread
- The leaves are used to make leafy vegetables
- Perfect for breakfast and is consumed like oats
How does it help in reducing weight?
Vegetarians are often confused with what source of protein they should consume. Quinoa is a perfect food for them to include in their diet as it is a rich source of plant-based protein. It helps in weight loss by increasing metabolism and reducing appetite. Significant levels of protein advance satiety and controls the hunger hormone ghrelin to suppress cravings. This makes sure that you’re full for longer and less binge. Besides protein, quinoa is also a significant source of fiber. Fiber takes a long time to break down and digest; it keeps you full for a long time and prevents you from overeating. Quinoa provides a larger volume of fiber than most other grains. Fiber facilitates digestion by adding bulk to the stool. Good digestion is an essential component of any loss of weight journey. Low digestion impacts your metabolism, which may further delay your weight loss goal.