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Benefits of Grains & Dinner Recipe Ideas

What is Quinoa?

Forged in South America thousands of years ago and called “the mother grain" by the Inca, quinoa today is still considered a wonderful “superfood”. According to the Whole Grains Council, quinoa is a gluten-free, whole-grain carbohydrate, as well as a whole protein (meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids).

What are the nutritional facts of Quinoa?

quinoa is a wonderful choice for people on a gluten-free diet or any generally healthy diet due to its incredible nutrition base. Compared with refined grains, whole grains like quinoa are considered better sources of fiber, protein, B vitamins, and iron. But aside from these key nutrients, one of the greatest nutrient profiles quinoa can offer is its level of protein. Because protein makes up 15 percent of the grain, quinoa is a high-protein, low-fat grain option. It’s also naturally gluten free, high in fiber, and provides many key vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B and magnesium.

White Rice vs Quinoa

White rice has a high glycemic index—meaning consuming it can potentially make your blood sugar shoot up quickly - and is a refined starch, making its nutritional benefits extremely limited. In fact, white rice contains 40 more calories and 15 times the carbohydrates per cup than the same amount of quinoa.

In comparison, quinoa is rich in both fiber and protein, and contains much higher amounts of nutrients while allowing for a similar texture. A cup of quinoa will also provide twice the protein and about 5 grams more fiber than the same amount of white rice. Due to this higher quantity of protein and fiber, quinoa is not only the healthier choice, but will also fill you up faster, allowing for smaller portion sizes. Plus, this surplus of fiber can help to lower cholesterol and control blood sugar levels.

Brown Rice vs Quinoa

Quinoa and brown rice contain similar calorie counts and micronutrients per cup serving, and similar amounts of dietary fiber. However, quinoa does have slightly higher amounts of protein and lower carbohydrates per serving, making it narrowly more beneficial to your diet. Additionally, quinoa is a complete protein, unlike brown rice, which only contains a few amino acids. In terms of mineral counts, while quinoa is higher in iron and magnesium than rice, brown rice contains more manganese and selenium. However, in their entirety, quinoa does contain more plentiful nutrients than brown rice, making it the more beneficial choice overall.

Here are 3 deliciously healthy Quinoa recipe for you to try:

1. Spicy cajun chicken quinoa


Serves 4

Nutrition per serving:

386 kcal

7g fat

1g saturates

35g carbs

15g sugars

5g fibre

47g protein

1g salt