Last Updated : Dec 20,2023

What is Quinoa? Glossary | Benefits, Uses + Recipes with Quinoa
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What is 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.

Cooked quinoa

Culinary uses of quinoa

Quinoa used in Indian Breakfast recipes

Yes, quinoa works really well for Indian food. Traditional Indian upma recipe is made of semolina and not healthy as rava is used. Read is rava healthy? Try this Quinoa upma recipe which is made with onions, green peas and carrots to add more fibre and is gluten free

Quinoa used in Indian Snack recipes

We have made the traditional Indian khakhra recipe even healthier by using quinoa and red chawli leaves in quinoa red chawli leaves khakhra recipe. Quinoa increases your energy levels as it is rich in protein, while red chawli leaves are loaded with ironpotassium and vitamins C and Vitamin E.

7 Health Benefits of Quinoa
1. Protein Rich: One cup of Quinoa contains 8 grams of Protein. Not only that, it is a complete protein which has all the nine essential amino acids. Great source of complete protein for Vegetarians.

2. High in Fibre : Quinoa has twice the amount of fibre than other grains. Once cup of Quinoa has 5 grams of Fibre. Being high in fibre will help relive constipation, keeps you fuller for a longer time resulting in eating healthy and helping weight loss.

3.Rich In Magnesium: Magnesium is required in a body for cellular metabolism. It also aids in formation of bones and teeth.

4. Iron Rich : Iron helps keep our red blood cells healthy. Iron helps our cells "breathe". Iron (“haeme”) works with protein (“globin”) to make the “haemoglobin” in red blood cells.

5. Increases your energy : Quinoa is rich in Vitamin B2. Vitamin B2, also known as Riboflavin, enables you to get usable energy from the foods you eat. It also enables the development and maintenance of red blood cells (RBCs) – another factor that contributes to your energy levels. The more red blood cells you have, the more energy you have. 

6. Rich in Lysine : This is required for tissue growth and repair.

7. Gluten Free : There is a healthy grain for those following a Gluten free diet and also for everyone else. Being devoid of wheat, its a far healthier ingredient to use in snacks, soups, salads and breakfast.

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

0.4 mg of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) = 25% of RDA ( (about 1.2 to 1.6 mg for men)
0.3 mg of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) = 15.7% of RDA (about 1.4 to 1.9 mg for men)
1.5 mg of Vitamin B3 = 12.5 % of RDA (about 12 mg)
184 mcg of Folate (Vitamin B9) = 184% of RDA (about 100 mcg)
2.4 mg of Vitamin E = 24% of RDA (about 10 mg)

80 mg of Calcium = 8% of RDA (about 1000 mg)
7 mg of Iron = 35% of RDA (about 20 mg)
3.1 mg of Zinc = 25.8 of RDA (about 10 to 12 mg)
197 mg of Magnesium = 56.3% of RDA (about 350 mg)
457 mg of Phosphorus = 76.1% of RDA (about 600 mg)
563 mg of Potassium = 12% of RDA (about 4700 g)
7 mg of sodium

Glycemic Index of Quinoa
Quinoa has a Glycemic Index of 53 which is medium. Glycemic Index are for foods you eat, ranks carbohydrate-containing foods by how quickly they digest and raise your blood sugar or glucose levels. Foods rank from 0 to 50 are low GI, 51 to 69 are medium and 70 to 100 are high. Foods that are high in GI are not suitable for weight loss and diabetics. Foods like Quinoa have a GI of 53 but are also high in Fibre and hence don't spike your glucose level as they are absorbed slowly. Great for weight loss and suitable for diabetics.

Related Links

Quinoa flour
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