Quinoa for health and weight loss

Quinoa is rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals, which leaves you feeling satisfied, not deprived, making it the perfect diet food.

The reason is due to the nutrient dense package. Picture a nutrition powerhouse packed into a tiny seed. Because of this, quinoa is becoming popular as a grain alternative and weight loss food. Let's take a look at why quinoa seems to have been specifically designed for people who want to eat healthier and simpler at the same time.

Nutritious

Just like spinach, quinoa seeds are rich in all the essential amino acids, making it a complex protein. You'll also find quinoa to be a good source of magnesium and calcium. Quinoa is also high in iron and vitamin B 12 which are essential for energy production and weight loss. The family of B vitamins control your body's ability to synthesize nutrients efficiently, meaning if you lack vitamin B you will actually work against your body's own natural weight loss mechanisms.

Satisfying

If you have ever tried to lose weight conventionally, you quickly understand how empty you feel most of the day. This feeling of never being satisfied is one of the biggest hurdles to overcome when you are trying to lose weight. If you know what I am talking about, then quinoa just may be the answer to your dilemma. Protein and dietary fiber are known to help the body feel full and satisfied. Quinoa is rich in both, helping the dieter feel full while still maintaining weight loss goals.

Low glycemic index value

Quinoa is low on the glycemic index which means quinoa doesn't cause a sharp jump in blood sugar. Your blood sugar levels control cravings. What does that mean? It means that when you eat a food high on the glycemic index, your blood sugars are elevated quickly, and then crash. Then your body sends messages to your brain to eat more sugar and carbohydrates to bring your blood sugar back up again. Eating foods on the low glycemic index (slow and steady blood sugar) means instead of craving bread and candy, you can go about your day eating normally. Again, slow and steady blood sugar levels are important for so many reasons. And quinoa fits the bill.

Low calorie

Quinoa is also low in calories. One serving of cooked quinoa contains about 170 calories, which may seem like a lot, but one serving of quinoa is also an impressive amount of food. You could eat three servings of quinoa and still have fewer calories than one serving of pasta. This is a great thing if you are on a diet because you don't have to worry about over-eating your quinoa and blowing your entire day's worth of calories on one meal.

If you have not tried quinoa yet, and are trying to stick with your weight loss goals, then this may be the perfect food to add to your diet. Because of the high amounts of protein and fiber, as well as the low glycemic index and low calories, you will feel full while reaching your healthy weight loss goals.

Protein

Quinoa is packed with protein, containing all 9 essential amino acids. It is also believed to be easier for the body to digest quinoa than most other plant-based proteins. Milk has a similar protein structure, which the body is designed to utilize. The intolerance that some people have for milk is actually caused by the difficulty breaking down the lactose in the milk, not the protein structures. Giving your body a bunch of fuel to run on throughout your day requires protein, and quinoa is the way to go, and keep going.

Essential fats and vitamins

Quinoa is a good source of Omega 3 and Omega 6, the essential fatty acids our body and brain needs to function correctly. You'll also find quinoa to be a rich source of Vitamin E. You'll recognize these healthy components in just about every age-reducing cream you see in the drugstore. Add to the list the all important antioxidants, folate, and B vitamins that you'll get and you have a healthy powerhouse in quinoa. Eating gluten-free certainly doesn't mean you have to miss out on any nutrition when you add quinoa to your diet.

Minerals

Quinoa is particularly high in manganese and is also a good source of magnesium. These two minerals combined helps support a healthy immune system and synthesize fatty acids and cholesterol. Quinoa also has increased levels of iron and copper which are basic necessities for healthy blood supply. You'll also find phosphorus, zinc, and even a little calcium thrown into the mix. Eating quinoa as a regular part of your gluten-free diet can certainly replace and boost your nutrition.

Lower carbs

Diets usually come with their own challenges. One of those challenges is finding a way to reduce your intake of carbohydrates. This will lead to using rice more often. However, a cup of cooked white rice has about 44 net grams of carbs (that's total carbs minus dietary fiber.) A cup of cooked brown rice has about 41 net grams of carbs. Compared to a cup of cooked quinoa at about 34 net grams of carbs, the choice to eat quinoa could make sense. Now, eating quinoa doesn't save extreme amounts of carbs, but if you replace rice with quinoa in your favorite recipes routinely, over time you will be saving quite a bit. If you are looking for ways to lower your carb intake while eating gluten-free, substituting quinoa for some of the rice you use is probably a wise decision.