Quinoa Health Benefits: Protein Packed Superfood

The protein-packed grain. 

What is it?
Quinoa is a crop that is grown for its edible seeds. Pronounced KEEN-wah, it is basically see that is prepared and eaten similarly to a grain.

Why is it a superfood?
Quinoa is gluten-free alternative to most other carb-heavy grains. It is high in protein and one of the few plant foods that contain all nine essential amino acids.

What are the other health benefits?
Quinoa is high in fiber, magnesium, B-vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E and various beneficial antioxidants. Studies have been shown it to have anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-cancer and anti-depressant effects. It is also extremely high in fiber.

One study that looked at 4 varieties of quinoa found a range of between 10 and 16 grams of fiber, per every 100 grams, much higher than most grains. Consuming 2-3 servings of whole grain foods per day can reduce the risk of: Cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, colon cancer, and obesity. Many studies have shown that as whole grain intake increases, the risk for all five of these lifestyle-related conditions decreases. Quinoa provides a higher amount of antioxidants than other common grains used in a gluten-free diet.

This super grain is also rich in magnesium. Magnesium helps to relax blood vessels and thereby to alleviate migraines. Magnesium also may reduce Type 2 diabetes by promoting healthy blood sugar control. Other health benefits of magnesium include transmission of nerve impulses, body temperature regulation, detoxification, energy production, and the formation of healthy bones and teeth.