Quinoa, what’s the big deal? To simply describe it, it is a healthier version of rice. It is a versatile grain that originated around Peru and Bolivia and is now popular in many parts of the world, especially in the United States. It can be used just as rice would be in dishes but is better known for being a healthy substitute and great addition to diets due to its high nutrient and vitamin content.
Quinoa is also very easy to cook and incorporate into your diet. It can be added to just about any meal and doesn’t noticeably change the taste. Check out these delicious Banana Peanut Butter Quinoa Muffins! They are delicious for breakfast or snack! The fiber in it helps keep you full longer, and the protein is liked to a better metabolism which will also aid in a healthier lifestyle.
How to cook Quinoa
To cook Quinoa, simply bring 1 cup Quinoa and 2 cups water to a boil. Use a 1:2 ratio of Quinoa to water for larger amounts. Once boiling, cover it and let it simmer for a while. It will take roughly 25 minutes to cook to the correct consistency.
Check out these fantastic health benefits of Quinoa!
•Antioxidants to the rescue! Quinoa contains some great antioxidants including Quercetin and Kaempferol (typically called flavonoids) which are beneficial for many reasons such as; being an anti-inflammatory, an anti-depressant, boosting immunity and preventing cancer.
•It’s extremely rich in protein. For this reason, it’s one of the best foods to eat if you get hungry often and want to curb that hunger for a longer period of time. Many people have done things such as making Quinoa Cakes similar to rice cakes, to eat on the go for a snack. Don’t worry, you can flavor them! It’s also great by itself with some good seasonings just as you would eat noodles or regular rice.
•It’s low on the glycemic index. Although it is high in carbs and shouldn’t be primarily eaten on a low carb diet, it’s one of the better foods to eat for those looking for lower glycemic foods. It has a number of just 53, which is very low compared to white rice which is between 110 and 120 and noodles at 58 depending on how they are cooked.
•It’s been known to aid in lowering blood sugar and triglycerides. This is helpful to many diets that require keeping these levels down. If you are borderline diabetic, Quinoa can aid in reducing your chances of needing insulin.
•Gluten Free! Quinoa doesn’t contain gluten! This is fantastic for those who cannot or choose not to consume gluten for health reasons. Because it is so versatile in cooking, it’s a good option to add to many meal choices over other gluten filled foods.
•Many people do not consume enough Magnesium in their daily diets. Quinoa can help with that! It is very high in Magnesium as well as potassium, iron and zinc. However, the oxalates that it also contains can block the absorption of these nutrients. You can sprout or soak your quinoa before eating and cooking it to allow your body to better absorb the beneficial nutrients that it needs from Quinoa.
•Double up on Fiber! Uncooked Quinoa contains up to 27 grams of fiber per cup! Boiling it can reduce that number due to the amount of water that it absorbs during the process, but it still contains more fiber than most other foods. With Quinoa being so easy to add into your diet, it’s a great option to choose.
•There have been studies done about Quinoa and metabolic rates in both humans and rats. The outcomes both proved to be beneficial. It does need to be studied more, but it has been said to lower blood sugar and triglycerides as mentioned above. It also contains high amounts of protein which have been linked to improving metabolism. It will also keep you full longer so that you are not getting hungry and tempted to skip meals during the day which will severely slow metabolism down.