Medically reviewed by Katherine Marengo LDN, R.D., Nutrition — Written by Megan Ware, RDN, L.D. On November 15, 2019

Although people can cook & eat quinoa seeds in a similar way to lớn most grains, the quinoa plant itself is more similar khổng lồ beetroots & spinach. People can eat both the seeds & leaves of this versatile, nutritious plant.

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Farmers cultivate over 120 different types of quinoa. However, the most common versions available in grocery stores are white, red, and black quinoa.

In this article, we explain the evidence-based health benefits of quinoa. We also look at the nutritional nội dung of quinoa & how to địa chỉ cửa hàng it lớn the diet.


Benefits

Below are some of the health benefits of regularly consuming quinoa.

A plant-based source of protein


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Share on PinterestQuinoa is a good source of protein for people following a plant-based diet.
People following a plant-based diet need khổng lồ find nonanimal sources of protein khổng lồ ensure they are getting enough.

One cup of cooked quinoa weighing 185 grams (g) provides 8.14 g of protein.

The proteins in quinoa offer a wide range of amino acids. Amino acids are vital for supporting muscle development and immune activity, among other essential functions.

This makes quinoa an excellent dietary choice for people following a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Quinoa, unlike many other grains, is also an excellent source of lysine. This is an essential amino acid. Lysine is vital for the synthesis of proteins. Although deficiency is rare, it can cause a range of medical issues, as lysine plays a role in processes such as growth và development.

High fiber content

Quinoa has a high fiber content compared with other grains, providing 5.18 g in a single 185 g cup. This equates lớn at least 15.42% of a person’s daily requirement, depending on their age và sex.

According to the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics, consuming enough fiber can help reduce the risk of several health conditions, including constipation, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diverticulosis.

Diets rich in fiber may also promote a healthy weight. This is because foods high in fiber help people feel fuller for longer, potentially reducing their overall intake of food.

Here, learn more about why people need dietary fiber.

A source of antioxidants

Quinoa is a good source of antioxidants compared with other common grains in a gluten-free diet. Most gluten-free products consist of corn, rice, or potato flour. These generally provide fewer nutrients than products using quinoa, such as quinoa flour.

Quinoa provides vi-ta-min E. This is an antioxidant compound that may help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, certain cancers, and several eye disorders.

New studies regularly emerge that confirm the health benefits of adequate whole grain intake & their antioxidant capacity.

Helps meet manganese requirements

One cup of cooked quinoa contains 1.17 milligrams (mg) of manganese. This accounts for around 27.43% of the adequate intake of manganese for males & 35.05% for females.

Manganese is essential for development and metabolism. This element also works alongside many enzymes in the body toàn thân to tư vấn their function.

Good source of iron

One cup of quinoa supplies 2.76 mg of iron, providing 34.5% of the recommended intake for males & 15.33% for females. Maintaining adequate levels of iron is essential for good health.

Iron is necessary for a range of processes in the human body. It is, for example, an essential part of hemoglobin. This compound carries oxygen in the blood, supporting energy và cell function throughout the body.

Adequate iron intake also supports healthy connective tissue and muscle metabolism.

Read more on the role of iron in the body.

A source of folate

Folate is an essential B vitamin that plays a key role in the formation of DNA. It is particularly important that women obtain enough folate during pregnancy to lớn reduce the chance of neural tube defects in their babies, according to lớn the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS).

Getting enough dietary folate might also reduce the risk of several cancers and depression.

One cup of cooked quinoa contains 77.7 micrograms (mcg) of folate, or 19.43% of the daily requirement.

Pregnant women may only be able khổng lồ get enough folate by taking folic acid supplements. However, consuming more folate in the diet can reduce the risk of deficiency. Quinoa provides a good proportion of a person’s daily folate value.

Provides magnesium

One cup of cooked quinoa contains 118 mg of magnesium. Although the daily recommended amount increases with age, quinoa is a good source of the mineral.

Magnesium is essential for the function of more than 300 enzymatic reactions & is present in every cell of the body.

The ODS suggest that low levels of magnesium have possible link to the following health concerns:

cardiovascular disease

However, more research is necessary khổng lồ confirm the effects of dietary magnesium on these conditions.

Contains quercetin và kaempferol

Quinoa contains the plant compounds quercetin & kaempferol.

These antioxidants may protect against a range of chronic conditions. For example, according to lớn some research, kaempferol may help protect against infection, heart disease, diabetes, & several cancers, including those of the skin và liver.

Quercetin may also help boost the body’s defenses against infection and inflammation.


Plant experts classify quinoa as a pseudocereal, not a grain. This means that it is a nongrassy plant that food producers can use in much the same way as cereals and grains. It also has a similar nutritional profile.

Manufacturers can mill or grind the seeds of pseudograins into flour, as with other grains và cereals.

Nutritionally, quinoa is a whole grain. Whole grains include the entire grain seed without removing any of its parts.

Whole grains provide essential vitamins, minerals, và fiber that might otherwise not be available after removing parts of the grain.

Quinoa is naturally gluten-free.

One cup of cooked quinoa provides:

8.14 g of protein5.18 g of fiber3.55 g of fat, of which 0.42 g is saturated

Quinoa is highly nutritious & can provide a large portion of a person’s daily requirement or adequate intake for several important nutrients, including:

NutrientPercentage of daily requirement for adults
MagnesiumAt least 28.10%, depending on sex & age
Manganese27.43% for males, and 25.05% for females
Folate19.43%
Phosphorus40.14%
Copper39.44%
Iron34.5% for males, và 15.33% for females
Zinc18.36% for males, và 25.25% for females
Potassium6.77%
Vitamin B-116.5%
Riboflavin18.55% for males, & 10% for females
Vitamin B-6Around 17.54%, depending on age

The same amount of quinoa contains traces of vi-ta-min E, vi-ta-min B-3, và calcium.


Quinoa contains bitter tasting compounds called saponins that keep insects away without the need of pesticides. They are especially concentrated in the outer coating of quinoa.

Manufacturers can easily remove saponins by rinsing quinoa with water before consumption.

Although producers of most packaged quinoa have already removed most of the saponins, people may wish to give it an extra rinse before consuming it.

It is easy to incorporate quinoa into the diet. People can use it instead of rice in any recipe. Its small grains cook to lớn tender in as little as 15 minutes.

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Quinoa has a subtle nutty taste that makes it a very versatile ingredient. It can play a role in baking or as a breakfast grain. Quinoa also works well in hot side dishes, cold salads, and burgers.