You have probably heard by now how important whole grains are and why you should choose them over highly processed grains.
However, chances are you’re limiting yourself to just a few grains — brown rice, whole wheat pasta — and missing out on some great options.
close up on a quinoa seeds
One of the grains you probably haven’t tried is Quinoa.
Technically, Quinoa is a seed, not a grain, and it’s commonly used to replace rice or corn in recipes — and it’s consistency makes it feel like a grain. Quinoa has a nutty flavor and is a powerhouse of nutrients, including manganese, folate and magnesium. Need to know more? Here are some of the benefits of this unique seed.
That’s right. Quinoa is a must for people trying to control their carb intake. Because it feels and looks like a grain, Quinoa is ideal if you want to keep your diet varied without adding too many carbs to it. Even better, Quinoa is a complete protein — very rare in the vegetable world — and contains all essential amino acids.
Because of its high fiber content, Quinoa is absorbed slowly into the bloodstream, preventing sugar highs (and sugar crashes) that affect your energy levels and cause cravings. The high-fiber and high-protein content also make you feel fuller for longer periods of time, making Quinoa an ideal choice if you’re trying to lose weight.
While a number of vegetables — most notably, spinach — contain iron, plant-based iron is harder to absorb. That’s why many people prefer red meat and other animal-based sources of iron when they’re fighting anemia or simply need to increase their intake of iron. Quinoa contains the highly absorbable form of iron, putting it in the same playfield as meat and making it an excellent choice for vegetarians.
Finally, Quinoa has an added benefit
It’s a great diet food. It’s lower in calories than other grains, but it contains more fiber. It’s also lower in fat than basically all other sources of protein, so you don’t have to worry about the added cholesterol you’d be getting from meat or dairy products.
Quinoa has so many benefits, it may benefit you or someone you know. So the next time you think of grabbing a bag of rice, grab a bag of Quinoa instead.