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Health benefits of a superfood, Quinoa

Chenopodium quinoa, Quinoa, Peru, Bolivia, cereal

Health

Health benefits of a superfood, Quinoa

Quinoa is an annual herbaceous flowering plant, known scientifically as Chenopodium quinoa. Its plant is very similar to spinach leaves.  It is cultivated as an annual crop for its edible seeds.  The tiny seeds are round or oval in shape. As a result of cooking, the seeds are about four times the size and transparent like many sabudana.

The United Nations declared 2013 “The International Year of Quinoa” due to the seeds’ potential to contribute to food security worldwide

Although quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is prepared and consumed like a cereal grain, it’s categorized as a pseudo-cereal, as it doesn’t grow on grass like wheat, oats, and rice.

It was introduced as human food about four thousand years ago, in Peru and Bolivia.

After 5 years of research at Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University, this nutritious crop is being cultivated in Bangladesh at field level (Lalmonirhat, Kurigram and Patuakhali).

Amount of various nutrients in 100 g of quinoa:

120 calories,

Water 72%,

4.4 grams of protein,

21.3 grams of carbohydrates,

Fiber dietary fiber 2.8

Fat 1.9

Sugar 0.9.

One cup of 185 grams of cooked quinoa contains 222 calories.

Quinoa is a good source of antioxidants and minerals, providing more magnesium, iron, fiber, and zinc than many common grains.

Here are the main vitamins and minerals in quinoa:

Manganese. Found in high amounts in whole grains, this trace mineral is essential for metabolism, growth, and development.

Phosphorus. Often found in protein-rich foods, this mineral is essential for bone health and maintenance of various body tissues.

Copper. A mineral that is often lacking in the Western diet, copper is important for heart health.

Folate. One of the B vitamins, folate is essential for cell function and tissue growth and considered particularly important for pregnant women.

Iron. This essential mineral performs many important functions in your body, such as transporting oxygen in red blood cells.

Magnesium. Important for many processes in your body, magnesium is often lacking in the Western diet.

Zinc. This mineral is important for overall health and participates in many chemical reactions in your body.

In quinoa, vitamins, minerals like iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, folate, copper etc. are found in more quantity than common grains. Quinoa is also an excellent source of fiber And rich in adequate antioxidants and high protein. That is why it is called a superfood.

The health Benefits of quinoa:

Body composition

Quinoa contains essential amino acids which are one of the building blocks of our body.  Quinoa is great for body building food. The health role of vitamins and minerals found in quinoa,

Manganese plays a helpful role in metabolism and physical growth,

Phosphorus plays a vital role in maintaining bone health and other tissues,

Copper keeps the heart healthy,

One of the B vitamins is folate, which is essential for cell activity and tissue growth and is especially important for pregnant women,

Iron works to transport oxygen to the blood cells in the human body.Other minerals are also used in various physiological functions. Weight loss will be followed by fatigue and constant tiredness.

The low glycemic index of carbohydrates present in quinoa does not cause a sudden rise in blood glucose.  Which prevents obesity.  In fact, quinoa is high in fiber and high in protein compared to whole grain foods, which gives the feeling of a full meal, resulting in less food which helps in weight loss.

Eliminates constipation

Quinoa is high in fiber, which increases stool volume and relieves constipation.

Gluten-free healthy diet

The quinoa diet provides adequate nutrition and antioxidants for patients with gluten intolerance (such as celiac disease) or gluten allergy. So, wheat may be an excellent alternative for gluten intolerant patients.

Heart disease and diabetes

Some studies have shown that the nutrients in quinoa help lower blood sugar and triglycerides.

Insulin is not used effectively in the body of a person with type 2 diabetes, resulting in rapid rise in blood sugar levels and various complications.

Refined carbohydrate foods quickly raise blood sugar levels, while quinoa, being a raw food grain, slowly raises blood glucose levels.  (In a high-fructose diet, studies on rats have shown that taking quinoa significantly lowers blood glucose, cholesterol, and triglycerides. Quinoa lowers blood free fatty acids.)

As a result, quinoa can play a significant role in controlling type 2 diabetes.

For all these health benefits, quinoa can be a nutritious addition to our diet.

Warning

There are some ingredients in quinoa that affect its taste and health:

Saponin is responsible for the bitter taste in quinoa.  Due to its presence, quinoa seeds are protected from insect attack.  If you soak it for a long time, wash it well and cook it, then the bitter taste is removed.

Like other cereals, quinoa contains some oxalate which inhibits the absorption of minerals like iron, zinc, calcium etc. So, by adding some vitamin C vegetables, iron absorption can be increased.

Quinoa contains high levels of oxide oxalate, which can cause kidney stones, which can be reduced by washing and soaking well before cooking.

Raisa Mehzabeen is a contributor to Blitz and a undergraduate student at the Department of Food and Nutrition, College of Applied Human Science in Bangladesh

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