#WellnessWednesday Know your Quinoa?!


Quinoa is a flowering plant in the amaranth family. Though it’s not an Indian grain, we all have tasted / heard of it sometime or the other.
It was first used to feed livestock 5.2–7.0 thousand years ago, and for human consumption 3–4 thousand years ago in the Lake Titicaca basin of Peru and Bolivia. Its cultivation has spread to more than 70 countries, including Kenya, India, the United States, and several European countries.

There are different varieties of Quinoa available like white, red, black etc.

Nutritional Facts:
Cooked Quinoa [100 grms] contains, 72 grams of water & 120 kcalories.
For nutrients it has 21.3 gms carbs, 2.8 gms fibre, 1.29 gms fats, 4.4 gms protein. Also contains Vitamin B, Vitamin E & minerals like Calcium, copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc.

Health Benefits:
1] Quinoa includes plant antioxidants called flavonoids, which have been shown to offer various health benefits.
Two flavonoids that have been particularly well studied are quercetin and kaempferol, both found in high amounts in quinoa. These important molecules have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-cancer and anti-depressant effects
2] The soluble fiber content in quinoa is 1.5 grams per 100 grams.
Numerous studies show that soluble fiber can help reduce blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol, increase fullness and help with weight loss.
3] Quinoa is on top of the list of gluten free foods. Many researchers have been looking at quinoa as a suitable ingredient in gluten-free diets for people who don’t want to give up staples like bread and pasta.
4] Quinoa is high in protein compared to most plant foods. It also contains all the essential amino acids, making it an excellent complete protein source for vegetarians and vegans.
5] Quinoa has a glycemic index of 53, which is considered low. The glycemic index is a measure of how quickly foods raise your blood sugar levels. Low glycemic index foods are very good to many of the common, chronic, Western diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
6] Two studies, in humans and rats respectively, show that quinoa can improve metabolic health, by reducing blood sugar, insulin and triglyceride levels.
7] Quinoa is high in fiber, protein and has a low glycemic index. These properties have all been linked to weight loss and improved health.

Cooking instructions:
Quinoa is very high in antioxidants. Sprouting increases their antioxidant levels even further. Soaking or sprouting degrades most of the phytic acid which can partly prevent minerals from being absorbed.
So enjoy this not so Indian but now adopted pseudo-cereal for its health benefits.