5 Quinoa Nutrition Facts that Account for the Health Benefits of Quinoa

This superfood was recently declared a superfood by no less than the United Nations. Why, you ask?

Well, although quinoa is native to Peru, Bolivia, Chili, Ecuador and Columbia, its ability to grow in arid conditions and high altitudes means that this little seed could be the key to feeding the planet – and feeding it well

Currently there are over 70 countries producing this little seed and it’s not only because it’s easy to grow. Quinoa has a lot going for it when it comes to nutrition and health perks…

5 Quinoa Nutrition Facts responsible for the Health Benefits of Quinoa

Is the United Nations right? Is quinoa a superfood? Get the facts on the nutritional benefits of quinoa and what they mean for you!

Quinoa is Deliciously Rich in Protein

Quinoa comes in a rainbow of varieties that are all deliciously high in protein! 

So, how much protein is in quinoa, you ask?

Well, for every cup of prepared quinoa you get 8 grams of protein! The same amount of white rice only has 4.2 grams of protein, and the same amount of potato only has 3!

This makes quinoa a great source for vegetarians and vegans who have a hard time finding quick and easy ways to incorporate protein into their diet.​

Quinoa is a High Fiber Food 

It’s pretty common knowledge these days that a diet high in fiber helps reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Once again, quinoa earns top marks among grains for being a great source of dietary fiber.

Quinoa nutrition is bursting with vitamins and minerals

Quinoa isn’t a cereal or grass, it’s a pseudocereal (it’s a real word, I promise.) So what is quinoa, you ask? Technically it’s a grain that’s more closely related to beetroot or spinach.

Maybe that’s why, like its cousins, quinoa is so high in vitamins and minerals –compared to other cereals and pseudocereals. So what’s this little seed packing?

A cup of cooked quinoa contains…

  • 58% of your daily recommended dose (RDA) of manganese
  • 30% of your RDA of magnesium
  • 28% of your phosphorus
  • 19% of your folate
  • 18% of your copper
  • 15% of your daily iron requirements
  • and over 10% your daily recommended intake of Vitamins B1, B2, and B6

It’s even got a little something for the lactose intolerant crowd: 3% of your daily calcium needs are met in that same cup of cooked quinoa.

Does Quinoa Have Gluten?

Some sources say yes, some say no. Which has led many to wonder…is quinoa gluten free?

Well, ‘though technically not completely gluten-free (it has a similar protein that activates the immune system of people with celiac disease) – quinoa is so low in gluten, it’s a great substitute for those who are gluten-intolerant. 

Plus, people with celiac frequently have low iron, so quinoa’s higher-than-average iron content is a great nutritional boost for many sufferers.

In fact, because quinoa can be turned into low-gluten flour, quinoa flour a nutrient rich alternative to other gluten-free flours like rice, potato, corn and tapioca.

Fun fact: because of it’s almost gluten-free and is easy to digest, it’s being considered a possible crop for NASA’s Controlled Ecological Life-Support System, which would support astronauts on long-duration flights.

Many quinoa benefits come from its Flavonoid content

Quinoa has some pretty powerful tricks up its sleeve. Along with fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals, it also a tiny powerhouse that contains traces of flavanoids, plant antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-cancer effects!

Kaempferol, one of the flavanoids found in quinoa, is actually being studied as a treatment for several types of cancer.

Pretty impressive set of nutritional benefits, right? Not bad for a little seed, huh?

Well thankfully quinoa is easy to cook, delicious, and can be incorporated into all kinds of recipes. From muffins, to salads, casseroles and side dishes, quinoa has got you covered.

Try one of the thousands of quinoa recipes available and get in on the goodness of quinoa.​

About the Author Jessica

After growing up a perpetually pudgy kid, Jessica discovered real food - and her waistline shortly afterward. When she's not crafting concoctions in the kitchen, she spends her free time writing about food, making her own deodorant, watching sci-fi, doing headstands, and looking for gluten free food that doesn't suck.

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