Quinoa is a superfood, and for good reasons. It contains so many vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Quinoa is usually considered to be a grain (similar to rice and barley), however, it’s actually a seed. Even though it’s a seed, you still cook and eat quinoa the same way as you would any other grain. Here are 10 reasons why quinoa is considered to be a superfood:
• High in Iron – Quinoa is full of iron, containing 1.4 milligrams per 100 grams of quinoa. Iron is an essential element for blood production.
• High in Manganese – Manganese is a trace mineral. Just 0.75 cups of cooked quinoa has 1.17 milligrams of manganese (59% of the daily recommended value). Manganese helps form connective tissue, sex hormones, and bones in the body.
• High in Protein – Quinoa is the perfect food for vegetarians and vegans because of its high protein content. Just 1 cup of cooked quinoa contains 8.14 grams of protein. It’s considered to be a complete protein because it contains all nine essential amino acids.
• High in Magnesium – Without magnesium, our body wouldn’t be able to produce energy and our muscles would be permanently contracted. Magnesium also aids with healthy bone and teeth formation. 100 grams of cooked quinoa has 64 milligrams of magnesium (16% of the recommended daily value).
• High in Fiber – Fiber is necessary for good digestion and regular bowel movements. Quinoa is a great source of fiber. 1 cup of cooked quinoa contains 5 grams of fiber. Fiber also keeps us full for longer periods of time, so it helps with weight loss.
• High in Phosphorus – Quinoa is full of phosphorus, just one cup of cooked quinoa contains 28% of the recommended daily value. Phosphorus is an essential mineral that is mostly used for growth and repair of cells and tissues in the body.
• Contains Lysine – Lysine is an essential amino acid. Our body uses it for growth and maintenance. It also plays an important role in calcium absorption and building muscle protein.
• High in Folate – Folate is one of the B vitamins. One cup of cooked quinoa contains 19% of the daily recommended value of folate. Folate is necessary for fertility in both men and women. Our bodies also use folate to make DNA and other genetic material.
• High in Vitamin B2 – Another B vitamin that quinoa contains is vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin. 3/4 cup of cooked quinoa contains 0.2 milligrams of riboflavin. This is 15% of the daily recommended value. Riboflavin is necessary for energy production, and it also works as an antioxidant, fighting free radicals in the body.
• High in Copper – Copper is an essential trace mineral that quinoa is very high in. 3/4 cup of cooked quinoa contains 0.36 milligrams of copper, which is 40% of the daily recommended value. Copper works together with iron to form red blood cells.
These are only a few of the health benefits of quinoa. It is one of the most nutritionally dense foods on earth, and definitely a food that you should try incorporating into your diet.