7 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Quinoa

Along with increasing human awareness of the importance of a healthy lifestyle, various food products that are claimed to be healthy are also emerging. One product that is predicted to provide many benefits is quinoa.

Quinoa nutritional content

Quinoa is a grain that comes from the Chenopodium quinoa plant. This plant has existed since approximately 5,000 years ago in the Andean plains of Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Colombia.

There are many different types of quinoa, including white, red, purple, brown, and black quinoa. Quinoa circulating in Indonesia is usually a type of white and red. The dark-colored seeds have a stronger taste than the light-colored variants.

Known as a fiber-rich seed, quinoa actually stores many other nutrients that are beneficial for health. One glass of cooked quinoa weighing 100 grams contains the following energy and nutrients.

1. Energy: 120 kcal
2. Protein: 4.4 grams
3. Fat: 1.92 grams
4. Carbohydrates: 21.3 grams
5. Fiber: 2.8 grams
6. Thiamine (vitamin B1): 0.1 milligram
7. Riboflavin ( vitamin B2 ): 0.1 milligrams
8. Niacin (vitamin B3): 0.4 milligrams
9. Calcium: 17 milligrams
10. Iron: 1.5 milligrams
11. Magnesium: 64 milligrams
12. Phosphorus: 152 milligrams
13. Zinc: 1.1 milligrams

Quinoa seeds also contain a number of antioxidants and phytochemicals, chemicals that are naturally found in plants. These substances include quercetin, kaempferol, and flavonoids.

Health benefits of quinoa

Seeing the high nutritional content of quinoa and its potential in maintaining world food security, the United Nations even made 2013 the International Year of Quinoa.

Not surprisingly, considering the consumption of quinoa can provide the following properties.

1. Reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome

Consumption of quinoa has the potential to protect the body from health problems due to high body fat and cholesterol. This was found in a study published in the journal Current Developments in Nutrition on 50 obese people.

Researchers found a decrease in triglycerides after participants regularly consumed quinoa. Lowering triglycerides also reduces the risk of metabolic syndrome, a variety of conditions that increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.

2. A powerful diet companion

One of the biggest ingredients in quinoa is fiber. The amount of fiber is even higher than similar grains. For those of you who are losing weight, the fiber in quinoa can help you achieve your ideal weight.

Fiber foods keep you full longer, preventing the urge to overeat. In addition, fiber can also reduce fat deposits in the body and prevent inflammation associated with obesity.

3. Protects the body from infection

Who would have thought, the intake of a few grams of quinoa in a day turned out to have benefits for the immune system. A 2017 study showed that quinoa contains bioactive polysaccharides, a type of carbohydrate that is a natural antioxidant.

These bioactive carbohydrates also increase the activity of immune cells called macrophages. Macrophages detect and ‘eat’ bacteria and trigger an inflammatory reaction that will protect your body from infection.

4. Control blood sugar

In the same year, a team of researchers in Spain divided 30 diabetics into two groups. One group received quinoa intake for a month, while the other group received a placebo (a product containing sugar without any effect).

The result, diabetics in the first group experienced a decrease in HbA1C which indicates that their blood sugar is more controlled. This may be related to the benefits of quinoa fiber which can slow the absorption of sugar in the body.

5. Reduces the risk of liver disease and cancer

According to an animal study, quinoa powder has a deleterious effect on liver cancer cells. This product also has the potential to reduce the risk of fatty liver disease, a condition that can lead to liver cancer if left untreated.

Other studies have also shown that intake of quinoa can help prevent fat accumulation in the livers of obese mice. To get these properties, just consume a small bowl of quinoa every day.

6. Benefits of quinoa for cancer

Quinoa seeds contain a variety of substances that are naturally antioxidant and anticancer. For example, as many as 17 types of amino acids in quinoa can inhibit the growth of colon cancer cells in laboratory experiments.

Other reports say that certain ingredients in quinoa can damage liver cancer cells. Meanwhile, in a recent study, it was found that seeds such as quinoa contain proteins that can fight cancer cells, free radicals, and inflammation.

7. Good food for people with celiac disease

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that causes damage to the small intestine when the sufferer digests gluten. Meanwhile, gluten is a protein found in wheat and most flour products.

Unlike most grains, quinoa is free of gluten. Experts believe that by consuming these seeds, celiac sufferers can get the benefits of grains that usually contain gluten without experiencing digestive disorders.

Pay attention to this when taking quinoa

Quinoa is indeed rich in benefits, but there are some things you need to pay attention to before consuming it.

These foods are very high in fiber. People who are not used to eating high-fiber foods are likely to experience indigestion. To prevent this, you should not immediately consume large amounts of quinoa.

The size of the quinoa is also so small that you may encounter unsorted stones. Therefore, before cooking quinoa, spread the seeds out on a tray so you can separate out any remaining stones and debris.

Quinoa is also sometimes bitter because it has a layer of saponins (a type of chemical compound that is abundant in plants). Don’t worry, you can get rid of the bitter taste by washing the quinoa thoroughly before cooking it.

Despite these shortcomings, quinoa is a food ingredient with rich content and benefits. So, try adding these seeds to your daily diet so you don’t miss out on its benefits.

Leave a Comment