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Top 10 Reasons Why You Should be Eating More Quinoa
Quinoa, that delicious alternative to rice that everyone loves. Oh, you haven’t tried it yet? You don’t’ know what you’re missing! Although quinoa is native to the Andean mountains South America, it’s now known and eaten all around the globe. The leaves can be eaten much the same way spinach can but it’s mainly grown for its seeds. Quinoa is cooked like rice and comes in red, white, and black colors. In fact quinoa is so popular that the United Nations proclaimed it “The International Year of Quinoa” in 2013. Quinoa is super nutritious and helps to provide vital nutrients to the world’s poor.
Quinoa is gluten free, yet packed with fiber, minerals, and protein. Take a look at the top 10 proven health benefits of quinoa.
1. It’s Weight Loss Friendly
If you are looking to lose weight, you need to consume fewer calories than your body burns. Certain foods are known to make this process easier by boosting your metabolism or by reducing your appetite. The good news here is that quinoa has both of these properties! Quinoa is high in protein, which can both reduce your appetite while increasing your metabolism and its high fiber content will make you feel fuller, so you should eat less overall. Quinoa also has a low glycemic index and studies show that those who eat these types of foods generally have a lower caloric intake.
2. Quinoa is a True Superfood
Quinoa is so packed full of nutrition, it was once called the “mother of all grains.” This nutritious grain has been eaten for thousands of years in South America and was a very important crop for the Inca’s. It was virtually unheard of in American until about a decade ago. These days you can find quinoa all over the globe because it packs so much nutrition into one little grain.
Just one cup of cooked quinoa has 8 grams of protein! 5 grams of fiber, 39 grams of carbs, with only 4 grams of fat and 222 calories. It also contains tons of vitamins and minerals including manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, folate, copper, zinc, iron, potassium, and calcium. It’s a non-GMO food and even though it’s a seed, it’s classified as a whole grain food.
3. Packed with Antioxidants
Antioxidants are very important to our health as these compounds kill free radicals that cause aging and many other diseases such as arthritis, Alzheimer’s and even cancer. In one study completed in 2009, scientists look at 10 Andean grains; 5 cereals, 3 pseudo-cereals, and 2 legumes. Quinoa had the highest antioxidant levels of any of the 10 substances studied. Sprouted quinoa seeds have even more antioxidant power, so you might want to consider adding a few quinoa sprouts to your next salad.
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