QUINOA HEALTH BENEFITS – WHY YOU SHOULD INCLUDE THIS SUPERFOOD IN YOUR DIET!
No one can deny that the food you eat has an enormous impact on your overall health and well being. Food can give you energy and some foods may even have the ability to help your body prevent and heal disease. These power foods, often called “super foods”, are something we should all try to incorporate into our diets on a regular basis.
Many people are resistant to this idea, thinking that healthy foods are synonymous with bland and boring foods. Who cares how healthy it is – if it tastes terrible chances are you aren’t going to make it a regular part of your diet for long!
The truth is that properly prepared, healthy foods can be just as delicious as they are nutritious. A good first step is to center your diet around seasonal produce, whole grains and lean protein. Stick with foods that are high in vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, fiber and essential fatty acids. Stay away from overly processed chemically enhanced foods and chances are you soon start to notice an improvement in the way you feel. Along with changes in your body you may find you have increased vitality and an improved overall sense of well being.
An example of a super food that you may wish to try is quinoa (KEEN –wah). You will often see it grouped together with grains, but it is actually a seed of a plant that is a relative of spinach and chard. It contains twice the protein that rice does, but what makes quinoa even more nutritionally important is the quality of the protein. We often hear that meat proteins are superior to plants because only meats provide the body with all of the nine amino acids necessary for health. While this is true with most plant based proteins, this is not the case with quinoa, which provides an abundant supply of all nine of the essential amino acids. This makes it one of just a few vegetarian sources of complete protein.
Migraine suffers should especially consider making quinoa a regular part of their diets, because it has riboflavin (vitamin B2) and magnesium, both of which have been shown in studies to help reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines. It is also believed that magnesium can be helpful in preventing both osteoporosis and high blood pressure. Quinoa is also rich in Vitamin E, B6, iron and zinc. A single serving of one cooked cup has 220 calories, 8 grams of protein and 5.2 grams of fiber. Those with gluten sensitivities will be happy to know that since it is not a grain, quinoa is naturally gluten free.
These days, quinoa recipes are very easy to find with a simple search on the web. You can buy it in most grocery stores, although natural food stores who offer bulk foods may be a cheaper alternative. A 12 ounce package of quinoa can cost close to $6 as compared to a pound of bulk quinoa for less that $3 at stores like Whole Foods. Quinoa is also available in flakes and flour, both of which are excellent alternatives for those looking to reduce their intake of white carbohydrates.