Quinoa: properties and health benefits

The quinoa It is considered a pseudocereal, composed of complex carbohydrates. It is known to be rich in proteins and unsaturated fats, ideal to replace certain foods in the basic diet for a healthier option. In addition to its health benefits, it can also be used in different culinary ways.

What is quinoa?

Quinoa is a seed but also has characteristics of cereals, which is why it is called a pseudocereal. Its seeds are grown mainly in the Andes mountain range, but with its popularization in the last ten years, it is produced in different parts of the world.


Quinoa stands out for its high fiber content, up to 15 grams for every 100 grams used. In addition, it contains magnesium, iron, zinc, calcium, phosphorus and potassium, as well as vitamins belonging to group B, and vitamin E.

Quinoa properties

Some of its most relevant properties are:

  • Its high protein level
  • Its function as an antioxidant due to the presence of amino acids and vitamin E
  • Its rich content in Omega 6
  • It has a low glycemic index

By integrating 1 cup of quinoa into the diet, we would be consuming the following nutrients:

  • 5 grams of fiber
  • 58% of the recommended daily allowance for magnesium
  • 18% copper CDR
  • 19% RDA of folate
  • 8 grams of protein
  • 28% CDR phosphorus
  • 13% RDA zinc
  • 4 grams of fat
  • Minimum amount of fatty acids
  • Small amounts of vitamin B3
  • 9% RDA for potassium

Benefits of consuming quinoa

Provides a large amount of protein

The vegetable proteins it contains are quite healthy, in addition to encapsulating a large number of amino acids that are essential for humans when consumed in proportional quantities.

An ideal food supplement for vegans

Precisely because of its rich content of vegetable proteins, quinoa is an ideal ingredient for the vegan diet. A bonus is that it can be frozen and prepared later, it can last up to a week in the fridge in perfect condition.

Control cholesterol levels

It is an excellent companion for people with high cholesterol, as it helps control its levels due to the unsaturated lipids within its composition. Being careful with the fats that pass in our blood is something that we sometimes overlook on a day-to-day basis. Quinoa helps prevent cardiovascular problems.

Strengthens the immune system

It strengthens the immune system to fight common viruses and infections, but it also helps prevent diseases such as type II diabetes, tuberculosis, breast cancer, and gonorrhea.

Speeds up the healing process in sprains

Its composition, enriched with calcium and trace elements, makes it a natural cure for sprained joints and sprains. Formerly, it was used to accelerate the healing process in minor bone fractures.

Helps with diabetes

Due to its organic composition and low in sugars, quinoa turns out to be a nutritional option for diabetics. In addition, this pseudocereal has no flavor so it can serve as a side to salads with the appropriate dressing, at breakfast, even in desserts.

Natural antioxidant

The flavonoids in the composition of quinoa, such as kaempferol and quecertine, convert its seeds into a powerful antioxidant that fights free radicals in the body caused by pollution to which we are exposed in our day to day. Including it in the diet helps to purify the body and enhance body well-being.

Helps with migraine discomforts

It is rich in magnesium, an important mineral in the relaxation process of cerebral blood vessels. When blood pressure is high, acute headaches begin, which can be alleviated with regular consumption of quinoa, either at breakfast or lunch.

Relax levels of stress and anxiety

Infusions with quinoa grains? Yes, they are just as effective as their solid consumption in culinary recipes. This seed regulates stress and calms the bodyTherefore, if we are subjected to high levels of stress and anxiety in our routine, preparing a quinoa infusion before going to sleep, accompanied by mint for flavor, will ensure a calmer night.

Helps maintain figure

Quinoa produces a feeling of satiety because it has absorption properties and stays longer in the stomach. If we want to maintain the figure while we complement with a balanced diet and exercise, it is ideal to control weight without losing energy in the process, precisely because it provides vegetable proteins.

How to include it in the diet?

Quinoa has multiple properties and health benefits, and being a seed with a neutral flavor, it provides adaptability in healthy routine recipes. To take advantage of its benefits correctly, the seeds must be washed before consumption. To do this, you can gently rub it with your hands with water to make it easier to remove its cover. The saponins cover the quinoa seeds and if they are left for a long time they provide a bitter and unpleasant taste.

The process does not consist of soaking, as could be considered with other cereals, it is enough to rinse three times under water, discarding the liquid. After cleaning, we proceed to cook as if it were rice. The seed takes approximately 15-20 minutes to open, and once the estimated time passes, we just strain and it is ready to prepare in any recipe!

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