Originally from the heart of South America, quinoa is not a grain; it is a seed. If sprouted and grown, quinoa would resemble plants in the spinach family – dark leafy greens. This ancient food has tons of health benefits that have been passed down from generation to generation; like a plant family heirloom of delicious nutrition.
Quinoa is rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals, which leaves you feeling satisfied, not deprived, making it the perfect diet food with a nutrient dense package. Picture a nutrition powerhouse packed into a tiny seed. Because of this, quinoa is becoming popular as a grain alternative and weight loss food. Let’s take a look at why quinoa seems to have been specifically designed for people who want to eat healthier and simpler at the same time.
Just like spinach, quinoa seeds are rich in all the essential amino acids, making it a complex protein. You’ll also find quinoa to be a good source of magnesium and calcium. Quinoa is also high in iron and vitamin B 12 which are essential for energy production and weight loss. The family of B vitamins control your body’s ability to synthesize nutrients efficiently, meaning if you lack vitamin B you will actually work against your body’s own natural weight loss mechanisms.
If you have ever tried to lose weight conventionally, you quickly understand how empty you feel most of the day. This feeling of never being satisfied is one of the biggest hurdles to overcome when you are trying to lose weight. If this is a familiar feeling, then quinoa just may be the answer to your dilemma. Protein and dietary fiber are known to help the body feel full and satisfied. Quinoa is rich in both, helping you to feel full while still maintaining weight loss goals.
Low Glycemic Index Value
Quinoa is low on the glycemic index which means quinoa doesn’t cause a sharp jump in blood sugar. Your blood sugar levels control cravings. What does that mean? It means that when you eat a food high on the glycemic index, your blood sugars are elevated quickly, and then crash. Then your body sends messages to your brain to eat more sugar and carbohydrates to bring your blood sugar back up again. Eating foods on the low glycemic index (slow and steady blood sugar) means instead of craving bread and candy, you can go about your day eating normally. Again, slow and steady blood sugar levels are important for so many reasons. And quinoa fits the bill.
Quinoa is also low in calories. One serving of cooked quinoa contains about 170 calories, which may seem like a lot, but one serving of quinoa is also an impressive amount of food. You could eat three servings of quinoa and still have fewer calories than one serving of pasta. This is a great thing if you are on a diet because you don’t have to worry about over-eating your quinoa and blowing your entire day’s worth of calories on one meal.
If you have not tried quinoa yet, and are trying to stick with your weight loss goals, then this may be the perfect food to add to your diet. Because of the high amounts of protein and fiber, as well as the low glycemic index and low calories, you will feel full while reaching your healthy weight loss goals.
Check out the HealthyWage Quinoa Recipe Board on Pinterest for lots of recipe inspiration to get you started!