Considered as the “mother of all grains” by the Incas Empire four thousand years ago, quinoa was believed to be sacred as it increased the stamina of the warriors. Quinoa is packed with protein, minerals, fiber and it is gluten-free.

Quinoa is a grain crop, which is grown for its seeds that are edible – it is not a cereal grain. However, it is a pseudo- grain which means although it is a seed; it is prepared and consumed like any other grain.

People in South America have been eating it for thousands of years, but it became popular as a superfood only a few years ago.

High in fiber and protein

Quinoa can be found in three main types, white, black and red. It is incredibly rich in fiber and has a good amount of soluble fiber in it as well.

Studies show that soluble fiber help lower cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels, and sugar cravings. It also increases your feeling of fullness and satiation and helps with weight loss.

In addition, it comprises of all essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. Essential amino acids cannot be made in the human body and should thus, be taken from your diet.

Many foods aren’t complete protein sources and do not contain all essential amino acids like lysine. Quinoa, however, is rich in all essential amino acids and is, therefore, an excellent protein source. It contains far more protein than most grains. Its fiber content beats many other grains too.

One cup of cooked quinoa will give you 8 grams of protein, making it an excellent vegetarian protein source for vegans and vegetarians who cannot consume animal protein.

Low glycemic index

The Glycemic index (GI) is a measure of how fast the food you consume can raise your blood sugar levels. It is especially useful for diabetics who have to keep track of the sugar content of foods they eat.

However, non-diabetics can benefit from knowing the GI of certain foods too. Foods that have a high glycemic index stimulate hunger which can cause weight gain and obesity. High GI foods are therefore, major contributors to chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease.

Quinoa has a very low glycemic index and since it is high in fiber, it is super filling and you won’t need much of it during your meals.

High mineral content

The modern diet does not provide people with enough minerals, especially magnesium, zinc, potassium, and iron. Quinoa has all of these minerals and its magnesium content is about 30 percent of your recommended daily intake.

Make sure you soak or sprout your quinoa before cooking as this will reduce the phytic acid content in it. Phytic acid binds with the minerals in quinoa making them less bioavailable.

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