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 Benefits of Quinoa

  Last Updated : Feb 07,2019

9 Super benefits of quinoa

Quinoa has been termed as the superfood of the era. Unlike most grains, this super protein rich ingredient has all the nine essential amino acids including the lysine, thus being a boon to vegetarians. When we refer to as quinoa, it’s the seeds that are the edible part of the plant which we consume. These are gluten-free, thus can be included as a substitute to wheat for those suffering from gluten intolerance. It has many nutrients to its credit and so are its health benefits enormous too. Let’s study its nutrient profile in detail first.

Health Benefits of Quinoa

B vitamins, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, fiber and so on…. The list is enormous – more than a dozen of nutrients is what quinoa has to offer. Name a nutrient and quinoa is brimming with it. Consequently, the list of health benefits too are numerous. Let’s browse through them…..

1. Achieve Weight Loss : The high fiber count of quinoa is the prime nutrient which assist in weight loss. The fiber it possess is almost double than any other grain – 19.9 g per cup. This much fiber is enough to increase the feeling of fullness or give a feeling of satiety and consume fewer calories from junk foods. It’s high protein additionally aids to boost your metabolism and reduce appetite. A decent weight loss is achieved by eating quinoa on a regular basis, probably at least twice to thrice a week. 

2. Manage Diabetes : With a low glycemic index of 53, quinoa qualifies to be a part of a diabetic meal plan. A low glycemic index category food will not tend to raise the blood sugar levels rapidly, thus helping to manage diabetes. Also being naturally high in fiber, it gets slowly digested and so helps to handle sugar levels better. However, it’s also important to keep its carbs in mind. Hence it is advisable to not consume only quinoa. Pair it with other high protein foods or high fiber veggies. And if you have been suggested an absolutely low-carb diet, this isn’t a very good choice for you. 

3. Quinoa  Lowers Cholesterol & Heart Diseases : The soluble fibre in this grain gains the credit of reducing the total blood cholesterol and LDL (bad cholesterol) levels in our body. This means a reduced risk of atherosclerosis, clogged arteries and other heart diseases. Furthermore, quinoa has a considerable amount of oleic acid and alpha-linoleic acid (a type of omega-3 fatty acids) which is known to decrease inflammation and reduce the death due to strokes. 

4. Facilitate Bone Health : Milk is known to all to help build bones. But there are many lactose intolerant who can’t handle dairy, while there are others who don’t have a liking for milk. For them, quinoa is a boon to build strong bones. Harnessed with nutrients like protein, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium, quinoa has been considered as the bone-building power grain. If you are 30+ and consider popping a calcium tablet daily, do consider this natural healthy grain too to enhance your bone building nutrient count. 

5. Quinoa  Keeps Gut Clean : Again it’s the fiber from quinoa which stimulates the process of digestion and helps in the better absorption of nutrients along with keeping you free of constipation. Besides fiber, it’s the B vitamins also which help to keep the digestive system running effectively. Vitamin B1 helps in the production of hydrochloric acid (stomach acid) to assist in digestion and vitamin B2 helps to secrete mucous in the membranes of the gut. Low levels of B vitamins can cause disruption in the digestion and lead to bloating. 

6. Contribute to Skin Health : The antioxidants like quercetin, vitamin E, kaempferol, saponins, zinc etc. contribute to fight the free radicals which are quite a few times responsible for early ageing as well as early onset of many chronic diseases. The protein, zinc and these antioxidants will help to give the necessary elasticity to the skin and provide smooth and radiant skin which you have always yearned for. 

7. Quinoa  Controls Blood Pressure : Quinoa has potassium and magnesium – the two key nutrients which help to lower high blood pressure. Accompanied by a low sodium count, it is indeed a fabulous addition to diet to keep hypertension at bay. 

8. Prevent & Treat Anaemia : A cup of quinoa fulfills 35% of iron requirement, good enough to build your iron reserves and prevent anaemia and overcome existing low iron levels if any. Iron is the key nutrient for supplying oxygen and other nutrients via blood to each and every organ, tissue and cell of our body. A deficiency of iron shows beginning signs of fatigue and tiredness. Avoid this and stay fresh and active with quinoa. 

9. Strengthens Hair Follicles : The protein content of quinoa helps to nourish the hair follicles from its root. Vitamin E and zinc in quinoa are 2 other key nutrients that nourish the scalp, prevent hair breakage and promote hair growth.

Nutritive Information for Quinoa:

½ cup of raw quinoa is about 100 grams

RDA stands for Recommended Daily Allowance.

Energy - 345 calories

Protein – 13.2 g

Carbohydrate – 67.9 g

Fat – 5.9 g

Fiber – 19.9 g

See full nutritional details of quinoa in Quinoa glossary click here.

Healthy Cooking with Quinoa

A. Salads 

1. Quinoa Paneer Carrot Peppers Salad

2. Quinoa Corn and Capsicum Salad

3. Quinoa with Roasted Vegetables and Tahini Dressing 

4. Quinoa Avocado Salad

5. Quinoa Brown Rice Vegetable Salad with Balsamic Dressing 

6. Quinoa Feta and Mixed Veg Salad

7. Black Bean Quinoa Salad

B. Snacks
1. Quinoa Patty, Veg Patty with Eggs and Oats

2. Quinoa Veg Upma, Vegan Breakfast

Must Read…
All About Quinoa Flour

Explore Cooking with Quinoa Flour

1. Mini Quinoa Pancakes

2. Quinoa Muthia

3. Quinoa Kale Khakhra

4. Quinoa Dosa

5. Quinoa Pancakes with Beet Cheese Sauce

benefits of quinoa

Salads like this make a wonderful meal! With peppy flavours and a plethora of textures, the Quinoa Paneer Carrot Pepper Salad is ideal for lunch or dinner. It has a good mix of food groups, which makes it filling and nourishing. Make sure you cool the cooked quinoa and sautéed paneer well before mixing it with the other ingredients. Pack the lemony dressing in a separate container, and mix it with the salad ingredients just before eating, to relish the bright flavour and fresh textures of this salad. Quinoa is a complete protein, and together with paneer it caters to your protein requirements for the day. Carrots are wonderful for your eyesight, while lettuce is a low-cal ingredient that abounds in nutrients like calcium , iron , folate, and vitamins A and C . All together, these nutritious ingredients make the salad a complete meal!
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 by Tarla Dalal
Bask in the goodness of the ‘wonder grain’ with this fantastic Quinoa, Corn and Capsicum Salad. The unique texture of cooked quinoa is a perfect match for succulent sweet corn and crunchy capsicum. The dressing adds lemony, herby and spicy accents to the salad, making it a holistic treat for the taste buds. Make sure you cool the cooked quinoa completely before tossing the salad, so that the grains separate and do not clump together. Serve as a side dish with a Main Course or with a bowl of one of your favorite Soups and Crispy Bread .
Quinoa with Roasted Vegetables and Tahini Dressing is an amazing culinary treat, which combines multiple textures and flavours in a very apt way. Here, cooked quinoa is bathed in the famous Lebanese Tahini and topped with roasted veggies, which add an amazing flavour and a splash of colours to the quinoa. The Tahini sauce too, with the tang of curds and lemon juice, and the peppy aroma of sesame seeds, adds more fun and flavour to the dish. Prepare the roasted vegetables just before serving because it will lose its crispness and flavour. In specific, if you have added salt and prepared the veggies before, it will release water and make the recipe runny – and funny! While making the Tahini too, use thick hung curds or Greek yoghurt only, so that you are assured of a creamy and luscious mouth-feel! You will also enjoy other quinoa recipes like Quinoa, Corn and Capsicum Salad and Coconut Quinoa with Coconut Curry .
Here’s one more mind-blowing way to include healthy quinoa in your diet. A lunch salad made of cooked quinoa, sprouts, avocado, yummy veggies and mushroom, this salad has a scrumptious mouth-feel and a colourful, attractive appearance. Tossed with a lemon and garlic dressing, it also has a vibrant flavour that takes it beyond the plane of commonness. What’s more, this extraordinary Quinoa Avocado Veg Healthy Office Salad is also bursting with good health! Quinoa is rich in fibre and protein . Being a whole grain, it keeps you full and does not cause your blood sugar levels to surge. Avocado is loaded with good healthy fat, while other ingredients are rich in antioxidants that prevent major diseases. Keep the dressing in a separate box, and mix it together with the salad just before eating your lunch.
This scrumptious salad is so sumptuous that you can have it as a quick meal or a filling snack! It is marked by an off-beat combination of ingredients, which is sure to pick everybody’s curiosity and earn their praise. Quinoa, brown rice and a selection of vibrant veggies are dressed in a tongue-tickling dressing that combines balsamic vinegar with sesame seeds and other ingredients. The dressing gives the salad a tangy and pungent taste, not to forget a strong aroma that can be attributed to the sesame. Make sure you serve the Quinoa, Brown Rice and Vegetable Salad with Balsamic Dressing immediately after tossing, to enjoy the crisp freshness and bubbly taste. Try other quinoa recipes like Quinoa, Corn and Capsicum Salad and Coconut Quinoa with Coconut Curry .
 by Tarla Dalal
Here is another fabulous way to include quinoa in your diet. The Quinoa, Feta and Mixed Veg Salad is sumptuous and tasty, with a good blend of quinoa, fresh veggies and feta cheese. The unique taste and mouth-feel of feta cheese goes very well with the juicy veggies. The combination of veggies is also good – some being crunchy, some juicy, and also a bit of creaminess from avocadoes. The dressing is easy but well balanced with honey for sweetness, lemon for tang and pepper for spice! Indeed, this amazing salad is a well-rounded treat for your palate and you will enjoy every mouthful. Try other quinoa recipes like Quinoa, Corn and Capsicum Salad or Coconut Quinoa with Coconut Curry .
 by Tarla Dalal
This Black Bean Quinoa Veg Salad is a super tasty and exciting way to consume power-packed ingredients like quinoa, beans and veggies. It has ingredients of various textures, which gives you a wonderful mouth-feel. The Orange Vinaigrette Dressing, which combines orange juice with honey, herbs and spices causes a burst of flavour when you munch on this salad! This multi-textured, multi-coloured, multi-flavoured salad is a truly appetizing treat that you will want to make and enjoy quite often. It is grand enough to be included in a party menu too. You can also try other interesting recipes using quinoa like Quinoa Muthia , Quinoa and Ragi Pancakes with Beet Cheese Sauce , Coconut Quinoa with Coconut Curry , Blueberry Quinoa Coconut Pancakes with Eggs and Lemony Quinoa and Baby Spinach Soup .
An excitingly unique snack that’s both filling and tasty, the Quinoa Patty is one that is enjoyed by people of all ages. The quinoa is combined with juicy and crunchy veggies, oats, eggs and garlic, to make yummy patties. The off-beat combination of ingredients like quinoa, oats and eggs gives the patty a nice texture. Although it is cooked with minimal oil in a non-stick tava, this patty has an admirable crispiness when it is served hot and fresh. Relish it with your favourite sauce or chutney . You can also try other quinoa recipes like the Quinoa Muthia and Coconut Quinoa with Coconut Curry. Enjoy how to make Quinoa Patty recipe with detailed step by step photos below.
 by Tarla Dalal
Wondering what to make for breakfast today? Go for this healthy, vegan Quinoa Veg Upma. Loaded with the goodness of quinoa and veggies, this upma tastes awesome, is very filling, and nutritious as well. It is quite easy to make too. You just need to temper mustard seeds, sauté the nuts and veggies and cook the quinoa with it. A garnish of coriander and a squeeze of lemon gives the upma an appetizing aroma and flavour. The peanuts and cashews give you a nice crunch, while the veggies treat your palate to a multi-textural extravaganza! Quinoa is high in fibre , gluten free and has a low glycemic index, which makes it suitable for diabetics. Next time you plan to make Rava Upma , go for this healthier alternative instead. You can also try other quinoa recipes like Quinoa Muthia or Quinoa Feta and Mixed Veg Salad .
 by Tarla Dalal
Quinoa, considered by many as a wonder grain, is quite stomach-friendly and suitable for those with IBS . We have made an interesting snack using quinoa and veggies, without spices and with minimal fat. These Mini Quinoa Pancakes have the unique and characteristic taste of quinoa flour, which combines beautifully with the crunch and juiciness of veggies like carrots and spinach. It is important to serve these pancakes immediately before they get dry, because we have not used much oil. Also take care to cook them on a medium flame, otherwise they will not get completely cooked and will retain a raw taste.
 by Tarla Dalal
Muthia is an all-time favourite snack of the Gujaratis. A spiced dough is shaped into cylinders by gripping the dough between the palms, which is what gives it the name ‘muthia’ or fist. These muthias are then steamed and tempered with seeds and curry leaves to get an aromatic and delectably tasty treat. While muthia is traditionally made with besan and rava, here we added quinoa flour to the duo, to make it a stronger team! You are sure to enjoy the homely taste and amazing mouth-feel of the Quinoa Muthia! Serve it hot and fresh with a peppy garnish of coriander. Try other muthia variants like the Methi Muthias or Mooli Muthia .
 by Tarla Dalal
Kale is high in fibre and vitamins. It is a rich source of fibre and a great detox food. Quinoa increases your energy and is high in protein. The combination of these two power packed food creates incredibly nutritious khakhra. The addition of sesame seeds elevate the aroma, while also adds to its crunchiness. The half-cooking of khakhra and then recooking decreases the overall cooking time and gives a crisp texture. These khakhra are bound of all nutrients and an amazing alternative to kill your hunger pangs especially during office hours. Make these khakhras in batches and store them in an air-tight container. Try similar khakhra recipes Mini Oats Khakhra or Whole Wheat and Methi Khakhra
 by Tarla Dalal
It is so easy to cook healthy these days because the supermarket shelves are loaded with healthy ingredients, and it kind of motivates you to make the right choices! In this quick and easy recipe, we show you how to make tasty Quinoa Dosa. Made with a batter that blends quinoa and wheat flour with urad, these dosas are very tasty and have an amazing mouth-feel too. The batter requires no fermentation, so you can make this dosa at any time, although you must provide an hour’s time for the urad to soak before grinding it. Instead of the usual rice dosas, enjoy these healthy Quinoa Dosas for breakfast, with sambhar and chutney. Try other dosa recipes like Dosa or Rava Dosa.
Keep aside some time to prepare this, but worry not, you will be amazed by the results and will look forward to preparing it again! Delicious pancakes made of quinoa and ragi flours are stuffed with a unique filling of mushrooms and water chestnuts, and topped with a pleasantly-coloured, gooey-textured beet cheese sauce. The Quinoa and Ragi Pancakes with Mushroom and Water Chestnut Filling and Beet Sauce looks awesome and tastes outta-this-world! Serve it immediately on preparation.
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