What is quinoa and how healthy is it?

Quinoa is a versatile foodstuff that is becoming increasingly popular. Quinoa is also a widely used alternative to rice and pasta and you can make a nutritious breakfast with.

But what is actually quinoa and how healthy is it really? Quinoa is a temporary hype or should it occupy a permanent place in the Dutch diet?

Time to find out this out to the bottom and get the truth.

What is quinoa?

The quinoa plant comes from in South American Andes and grows among others in Colombia, Peru and Ecuador. The quinoa plant is only one year old.

What you can eat the quinoa plant the seeds and we call for convenience including quinoa. Depending on the quinoa breed these seeds have a white, red or black color. White quinoa is the most common and therefore most easily available.

Quinoa seeds have a nutty taste and they look a little like grain. The preparation is similar to that of rice and couscous.

Quinoa is not among the cereals, but because it is also called a pseudo grain very similar to quinoa is.

Moreover quinoa, unlike many cereals, gluten. Therefore it is a good alternative for anyone who is sensitive or allergic to gluten.

Nutritional quinoa

Quinoa is very nutritious, it contains vitamins B1, B2, B3 and E, adequate dietary fiber and several important minerals. Further you can read more about the health benefits that brings.

The nutritional values ​​per 100 grams of quinoa (cooked):

calories: 120
proteins: 4.5 grams
carbohydrates: 21.3 grams
Fat: 1.9 grams
Of which saturated: 0.23 grams
fibers: 2.8 grams
Iron: 1.5 milligrams of
Potassium: 172 milligrams
Phosphorus: 152 milligrams
Magnesium: 64 milligrams

Quinoa and carbohydrates

As you can see quinoa contains quite a lot of carbohydrates. I get why regularly whether quinoa fits into a low carbohydrate diet .

It sure does!

This is partly due to the many fibers contained in quinoa. As many as 10% of the dry weight of quinoa is made up of fibers. And ensure that the carbohydrates are absorbed slowly by the body.

This quinoa scores high on the glycemic index. This is an index that indicates how quickly blood sugar rises after a meal.

High glycemic index foods is associated with a rapid rise in blood sugar. Fluctuating blood sugar levels can lead to overweight, obesity and different ones disease [1].

Quinoa has a score of 53 meaning that blood sugar does not rise quickly after eating it. Therefore quinoa fits in a healthy, low-carb diet.

Besides, there is another reason why quinoa keeps blood sugar levels stable, which is the large amount of protein.

Quinoa and proteins

Quinoa is very high in protein. The dry weight of quinoa is composed 16% of proteins, and which is far more than most grains.

Proteins are a very good fuel for our bodies. The energy from proteins is namely absorbed slowly. Much slower than the energy from carbohydrates.

This allows your blood sugar remains stable. That is healthy for your body and supports weight loss. You also have much longer satiety and thus less hungry. And that’s very nice if you want to lose weight.

Proteins indeed offer us much more than just energy. That is, the amino acids with which have been made by proteins. Amino acids are very important building blocks of our body.

They are essential for maintaining a healthy body all cells. Amino acids cells namely repaired and if necessary even replaced.

Some amino acids can not be produced by our body. We must consume through food. These amino acids are also known as ‘essential amino acids’.

The special thing about quinoa is that it is a complete source of protein because it contains all the essential proteins [2].

Moreover quinoa contains much lysine. This amino acid is missing in most vegetable proteins. Quinoa is therefore an excellent vegetable protein source [3].

Want to know more about protein? Read also this article .

Other healthy nutrients Quinoa

Quinoa is a good source of antioxidants and minerals, with magnesium, iron, zinc and fiber than many common types of grain. [4] Moreover quinoa consists of various flat materials that have a healthy effect on us.

The most important I mention below.

Quinoa contains 19% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of iron. * This mineral plays a very important role in the body, such as transporting oxygen through our blood.

The mineral phosphorus is often in protein foods. It is essential for healthy bones and tissues. In quinoa is 22% of our daily requirement of phosphorus *.

Magnesium is important for many different body processes. A Western diet is known for a magnesium deficiency. But with quinoa you get 16% of your RDA inside *. 

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
This vitamin is essential for the energy of our body. The nervous system and the heart muscle need vitamin B1. In quinoa is 9% of the RDA *.

The quinoa plant has its own natural defense mechanism against insects and other pests. This substance called saponin which ensures that no pesticides are needed. Quinoa is usually a completely organic product. It is important to quinoa before cooking to rinse.

This is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the body against various diseases such as heart disease, osteoporosis and certain cancers [5,6].

* The percentages of RDA (recommended daily allowance) are based on 100 grams of cooked quinoa.

Conclusion: quinoa is healthy and helps you lose weight

We now know that quinoa is very nutritious and healthy.

And given all the information that you have read above, it will be no surprise that quinoa is also a good choice if you want to lose weight.

This is because quinoa contains a lot more protein than similar food products such as rice and whole grain products.

Eating enough protein is one of the most important factors for weight loss. They stimulate the digestive system and provide satiety.

The fiber in quinoa promote weight loss. Fibers ensure that is slowly absorbed the energy from carbohydrates. This also contributes to satiety.

But perhaps the most important feature of quinoa is to stabilize blood sugar.

A stable blood glucose levels namely, results in less weight gain. Also, your body is better able to burn body fat.

If you want to lose weight you huge benefits from foods that keep your blood sugar stable. Quinoa is such a foodstuff. And it is additionally also super healthy.

For me quinoa so no food hype, but a good replacement of cereal and a keeper in the Dutch kitchen.

What is the next step?

Would you like to meet with quinoa but you do not know how? Then download 2 free recipes .

Want to know which foods stabilize your blood sugar levels even more if you want to get serious with improving your health? See here our program offerings .

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