Five Reasons to Add Quinoa to Your Diet
What is this weird “super grain” that no one seems to be able to pronounce? It’s quinoa! (pronounced KEEN – wa)
Though it’s considered a grain due to its carbohydrate content, quinoa is actually a seed. Its origin dates back to the Inca population, but the high nutrient qualities of quinoa have made it increasingly popular as a healthy substitute for rice and other refined grains. Here are five reasons to consider adding quinoa to your diet:
1. Quinoa has almost two times the protein of other grains. It is also the only grain that supplies all amino acids the body needs (making it a complete protein). This makes it a perfect addition for vegans and vegetarians. Compare quinoa’s protein content to other grains below:
- 1 cup of Brown Rice = 5g of protein
- 1 cup of Traditional Pasta = 3g of protein
- 1 cup of Mashed Potatoes = 4g of protein
- 1 cup of Quinoa = 8g of protein
2. Quinoa has more fiber than other grains.
- 1 cup of Brown Rice = 4g of fiber
- 1 cup of Traditional Pasta = 3g of fiber
- 1 cup of Mashed Potatoes = 3g of fiber
- 1 cup of Quinoa = 5g of fiber
3. Eating quinoa in place of traditional grains can have positive health effects. This super food has been shown to lower your risk for heart disease and diabetes. It is also a gluten-free product, making it a perfect choice for those with Celiac’s Disease.
4. Quinoa provides significantly more antioxidants compared to common forms of wheat and pasta products. It also contains plenty of zinc, vitamin E and selenium.
5. Quinoa can be used in a variety of different ways, and is one of the most convenient foods to cook! It goes great with sweet, savory, or spicy dishes, and cooks in 15-20 minutes just like rice. We usually cook quinoa in the rice cooker with water and a single bullion cube. Check out these other great ways to enjoy quinoa…
- As a sweet breakfast scramble with cinnamon, nuts and chopped apples. http://theblog.jessikerbakes.com/cinnamon-apple-maple-quinoa/
- As a savory base to chicken and veggies. http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Chicken-with-Quinoa-and-Veggies/Detail.aspx?evt19=1
- As a salty dinner to curry dishes. http://www.cbc.ca/inthekitchen/2013/03/chickpea-quinoa-and-sweet-potato-curry.html
About the Author: Coach T. is an ACE Certified Health Coach and an NSCA Certified Personal Trainer. Follow Coach T. and TD Fitness on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.