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The World’s Healthiest Food and Why You Should Eat More of It
4. Contains Powerful Bioactive Compounds
If you think foods are all about their vitamin and mineral content, you don’t know half of the story! The health effects of organic, natural whole foods include trace nutrients and other types of compounds that do so much more for our health than we ever realize. There are some fascinating compounds called flavonoids, which are antioxidants in plants that have been proven to have super beneficial effects on our health. Two of these flavonoids in particular, kaempferol and quercetin, have been well studied and are known to have anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant, and anti-cancer effects. Both of these flavonoids are found in super high amounts in quinoa. So adding quinoa to your diet will give your body significantly more of these powerful and important bioactive substances.
5. High in Minerals Most People are Deficient In
Our modern day diets leave us lacking in many important nutrients. Even natural foods are low in common minerals due to the depletion of our soils. Most people are deficient in some very common minerals including zinc, potassium, magnesium, and iron. The good news here is that quinoa is rich in all four of these minerals.
In fact, quinoa is particularly high in magnesium, with one cup having about 30 percent of your recommended daily intake. Quinoa also contains a compound called phytic acid, which binds minerals together, making it a bit harder for the body to absorb them. You can get around this problem, however, by soaking the grains before cooking. This will reduce the phytic acid in the quinoa.
6. Higher in Fiber than Most Other Grains
Quinoa is high in fiber, which is important because studies show that people who consume high fiber diets have much lower rates of stomach and colorectal cancer. Quinoa has between 17 and 27 grams of fiber per cup, which is twice as high as most grains. What’s the reason for the difference? It’s all a matter of the way it’s consumed. Boiled quinoa has much less fiber. Soluble fiber can help reduce cholesterol levels, increase feelings of fullness which can help you lose weight and it lowers blood sugar levels.
7. Quinoa is a Complete Source of Protein
You have probably heard the term “essential amino acid” before. They are called essential because although our bodies need them. We cannot make them on our own and therefore must get them from the foods we eat. If a food contains all of the essential amino acids, then it is referred to as a complete protein. Quinoa is a complete source of protein because it not only contains all essential amino acids, but because it has very high amounts of them. One cup of cooked quinoa has 8 grams of complete protein. This is especially important for those eating a vegan diet.
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