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The 5 Major Benefits of Quinoa

Over the years, many “superfoods” have come and gone out of favor, but quinoa has reigned as one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. There is a lot to love about this little gluten-free, whole grain, which has made such an impact on the food culture in America. Despite its popularity as quinoa has found its way into restaurants and homes across the country, many people may still be unfamiliar with what it actually is, the nutrition facts, the overall health benefits, and how you can incorporate quinoa into your diet with The Roots Lab delicious quinoa-based snacks!

What is Quinoa?

As we mentioned above, quinoa is a gluten-free grain. You might be wondering, “gluten-free whole grain… how is that possible?” Well, that’s because quinoa is technically a seed that derives from the same plant family as beets, chard, and spinach. This tiny seed packs a punch, as it’s high in protein and contains all nine amino acids, making it what nutritionists call a “complete protein.” It’s also a carbohydrate and is a great alternative to other starchy carbohydrates like rice or bread.

The Nutrition Facts

You really can’t get a more holistically complete or well-rounded nutrient profile than quinoa. It’s what is referred to as a “nutrient-dense” food. When compared to other refined grains, quinoa boasts higher levels of key nutrients like fiber, protein, B vitamins, and iron, according to the Mayo Clinic. But, perhaps the most impressive aspect of quinoa’s statistics is its protein content, as protein makes up 15 percent of the grain! This makes quinoa a high-protein, low-fat grain option that is a wonderful addition to those looking to build a healthy, nutrient-rich plate.

According to the nutrition facts stated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), 1 cup of cooked quinoa amounts to:

  • 222 calories
  • 39 grams (g) of carbs
  • 8g of protein
  • 6g of fat
  • 5g of fiber
  • 1g of sugar

Health Benefits

Very Nutrient Dense

We’ve gone over the basic nutrition profile of quinoa, but in addition to its macronutrients, it’s also packed with the micronutrients, vitamins, and minerals that are essential for proper functioning.

So we are clear, this is the nutrient content in 1 cup (185 grams) of cooked quinoa:

  • Protein: 8 grams.
  • Fiber: 5 grams.
  • Manganese: 58% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA).
  • Magnesium: 30% of the RDA.
  • Phosphorus: 28% of the RDA.
  • Folate: 19% of the RDA.
  • Copper: 18% of the RDA.
  • Iron: 15% of the RDA.
  • Zinc: 13% of the RDA.
  • Potassium is 9% of the RDA.
  • Over 10% of the RDA for vitamins B1, B2, and B6.
  • Small amounts of calcium, B3 (niacin), and vitamin E.
  • Small amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids

Quinoa Contains Flavinoids

In addition to those nutrients, quinoa keeps getting better because it contains thousands of trace nutrients. These include antioxidants that occur naturally in plants called flavonoids which have recently incurred much attention from the scientific community as they continue to study their positive health effects. Quercetin and kaempferol are two of the most researched flavonoids that have the potential to be anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-cancer, and anti-depressant agents within the body. It shouldn’t come as a shock that quinoa is rich in these flavonoids.

High in Fiber

Quinoa is high in fiber, especially when compared to many other refined grains. The soluble fiber content in quinoa is 2.5 grams per cup or 1.5 grams per 100 grams. Many who are looking to reduce blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol, increase fullness, and help with weight loss have turned to fiber as a tool to aid in their efforts. This makes quinoa an excellent addition to those in pursuit of a healthy lifestyle bolstered by a diet rich in fiber.

Gluten-Free Grain Option

There are many health conditions that might require you to avoid gluten, but this can be difficult to manage as gluten is found in so many staple dietary items. But of course, quinoa comes to the rescue again. This means that incorporating quinoa into your diet as a substitute for many, of the traditional less nutritious gluten-free ingredients, can help those maintain their gluten-free lifestyle with ease.

Purchase the Most Delicious Quinoa-Based Snacks from The Roots Lab!

If you are looking for an exciting and easy way to incorporate this superfood into your diet, check out The Roots Labs’ full range of Crunchy Quinoa snacks! Crafted from pure, whole ingredients like quinoa, raw cacao, cashews, vanilla, and more, you will be getting a snack that you can feel good about. Developed with the principle of using real ingredients and the correct proportions, The Roots Lab Crunchy Quinoa delivers holistic goodness wrapped in robust flavor. Available in six different flavors, grab a bag (or two) and start snacking the healthy way. Shop our collection today!

Image Source: Andrii Horulko / Shutterstock

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