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Quinoa. The super food, the healthy wonder grain. You may have seen it featured by the foodies on Instagram, or the recipes pinned on Pinterest, or you may have heard about it from your health nut friends. What in the world is it and what is all the craze about? Well, it turns out there is a lot of health benefits to eating it and you may want to consider incorporating it into your diet.
If you haven’t switched out your white bread for wheat, or your white rice for brown, you may just be living under a rock, or gaining weight. The brown version, or grains like quinoa burn long and slow in your system. The blend of fiber and protein makes for a powerful food. You can toss it in salads, bake it in casseroles, or serve it as a side.
There are multiple types of quinoa, or the “ancient grain,” but you can buy red, white, or black in stores.
Vitamins and minerals found in quinoa include flavonoids, omega-3 fatty acids, copper, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, iron, zinc, selenium, zinc, vitamin B-complex, vitamin E, and fiber just to name a few.
Here are a few ways the nutrients benefit you:
The lysine in quinoa can help you fight off colds or other illnesses. When everyone in the office or in your family is getting sick, serve it at lunch or dinner to help protect yourself and build your immune system. If you kids are a little picky at the dinner table, slip it into some meatloaf or even burgers.
Since the grain is known for being high in fiber, it helps to lower cholesterol. It’s also a healthy alternative for animal protein for vegetarians. Above all other grains, it has the highest level of potassium. Potassium helps to control blood pressure. The magnesium in quinoa also helps in maintaining a low blood pressure.
The fiber and protein can help people lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, since it keeps you feeling full and curbs appetite. Your even-keeled blood pressure will also help you reduce crazy cravings. The fiber can also keep you regular in the bathroom, relieving constipation, and lowering the risk of hemorrhoids.
Even though quinoa keeps your blood pressure stable, it does help to increase energy and improve your metabolism due to it’s riboflavin and vitamin B2.
So, what can it hurt? Give it a try.
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