Often referred to as a ‘superfood’, Quinoa is a rich source of fiber and protein. In fact, it is known to contain more protein than most of the other grains, while also being rich in iron and potassium.
Classified as a whole grain, Quinoa is also gluten free which is another plus point of the grain (read more about whole grains and gluten, here). It is a tiny grain that fluffs up like rice on cooking, has a mild, nutty sort of flavour, and a light, fluffy texture, similar to that of couscous.
Quinoa is often termed as a ‘Superfood’ due to its multiple benefits. It has an all-round positive effect on the body, starting from being rich in nutrients, to curbing obesity, to fighting various diseases.
Superfoods are normally those foods
that offer multiple benefits to the body,
and protect us from a host
Quinoa perfectly fits this bill, along with being low in calories and fat, hence making it the perfect low fat Superfood.
Pros of Quinoa- The Superfood
A rich source of proteins
A study conducted at the University of Chile in the year 2009 had discovered that 15 percent of the total content of Quinoa is protein, which is more than double the standard amount found in most of the grains.
The results of the study also showed that Quinoa contained in it all the nine essential amino acids, which are the building blocks to synthesizing protein in the body.
Helps prevent diabetes and hypertension
In the year 2009, the Universidade de São Paulo of Brazil had also conducted a research on Quinoa, and found out that it possesses the capability to single-handedly lower the glucose levels of the blood of individuals suffering from diabetes.
The study also revealed that regular consumption of the Quinoa seeds resulted in lowered blood pressure levels in people suffering from hypertension.
The scientists have discovered the presence of quercetin derivatives in the grain which is credited with positive results for the blood glucose and cardiovascular system.
A natural appetite suppressant
A study conducted in 2005 in the University of Milan discovered that quinoa was a highly effective appetite suppressant.
It helped the participants of the study consume lesser food then they normally do by lulling their brain into feeling full, and hence cutting down on the portion size consumed.
The Superfood was hence recommended to all those people who were trying to lose weight since it already has a low glycemic index, which means it is extremely low on calories.
It is also rich in proteins and suppresses the appetite naturally which makes it a perfect grain substitute for all people looking to lose weight in a healthy manner.
Anti-ageing properties of Quinoa
The University of Foggia conducted a study in 2012, the result of which was released very recently, on the anti-oxidative properties of quinoa. It was discovered that Quinoa is an excellent source of free phenols, known to destroy the free radicals in the bloodstream.
As a result of this destruction, the ageing process of the body is slowed, while the risk of cancer is also decreased. The slowing of the ageing process also means that the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on the face is delayed.
Other health benefits
Quinoa is rich in riboflavins, which help reduce the frequency of migraine attacks by boosting the energy metabolism in the muscle and brain cells.
Quinoa is beneficial in the process of alkaline formation.
Quinoa is completely gluten free and hence aids weight loss.
Cons of Quinoa
The biggest con of Quinoa is its price.
Although nothing is wrong with the grain itself and it does not have any negative effects on the health of a person, due to greater demand of Quinoa in the entire world, its prices have gone up tremendously.
Hence the poor Bolivians, whose staple diet is Quinoa, are unable to afford the grain any longer.
This has created a major issue in the world about the rising demand for Quinoa. Although the prices of the grain are rising, the benefit does not really trickle down to the farmers since it is eaten up by the middlemen. Consequently the Bolivians are losing out on their staple diet.
In fact, the prices of Quinoa have gone so high that it is considered an expensive grain even by normal middle class standards.