Quinoa has been touted as one of the world’s most incredible superfoods for a few years now, and the once trendy food has found a permanent place in many people’s kitchens. This ancient grain can be traced back a few thousands years to the Incas, who discovered that the quinoa seed was not only edible but a great food to eat when extra stamina was needed. It became a go-to staple for the warriors of the tribe because it was such an incredible energy source. If you are wondering why you should make quinoa part of your healthy diet, take a look at the following benefits of eating this satisfying grain:
High in Protein
Boasting a whopping 8 grams of protein per cup, quinoa can fuel your body to help you power through the day. It is one of the few plant-derived foods that provides the body with all of the nine essential amino acids that together make up a complete protein. The human body is not able to produce these amino acids on its own, which is why it is so important to eat a diet rich in them. Typically, they are found in animal products such as eggs and meats, so quinoa is a truly remarkable, protein-packed plant food!
Packed with Dietary Fiber
Considering quinoa provides nearly twice as much fiber as many other grains out there, it is a great addition to a healthy diet. Fiber offers a number of health-related benefits including lowering cholesterol, decreasing glucose levels, helping alleviate constipation, and preventing heart disease by lowering high blood pressure. It can even contribute to weight loss, since foods high in fiber take longer to eat and leave you feeling full for a longer period of time.
Rich in Iron
One cup of cooked quinoa provides 15% of the recommended daily intake of iron, which aids in maintaining optimal health in red blood cells. It can also help the body regulate its temperature, boost the metabolism, and is essential to the formation of hemoglobin. Thanks to iron, oxygen can be carried from one cell to another, and to muscles in order to help them contract. Since the brain requires roughly 20% of the body’s blood oxygen, iron also maximizes brain function.
Contains many other Nutrients
Quinoa contains lysine, which is important for proper tissue repair and growth; magnesium, which can help relieve migraine symptoms, reduce Type 2 diabetes and increase energy levels; manganese, which is an antioxidant that protects red blood cells from damage caused by free radicals; and riboflavin (vitamin B2), which boosts the energy metabolism of the cells in the brain and muscles.
If you haven’t yet jumped on the quinoa bandwagon, why not give it a try and fuel your body with one of the healthiest natural foods around?