The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) highlights that quinoa held a sacred status among the Inca people, the largest pre-Columbian American empire. In recent years, these edible seeds have been gaining prominence.
Dr. Ushakiran Sisodia, a Registered Dietician and Clinical Nutritionist at Nanavati Max Super Speciality Hospital in Mumbai, emphasizes that quinoa is emerging as a nutritional powerhouse in the Indian diet.
Consuming quinoa during the monsoon season can be particularly beneficial for your health. The monsoon often brings about a surge in infections and digestive issues in India. Quinoa, rich in fiber, can contribute to a healthy digestive system. Additionally, its high protein content can be advantageous during the monsoon, as stated by Dr. Sisodia.
Let’s delve into the various health benefits of quinoa.
Quinoa’s Nutritional Profile (per 100 grams of cooked quinoa), according to Dr. Sisodia:
- Calories: 120
- Protein: 4.1g
- Fat: 1.9g
- Carbohydrates: 21.3g
- Fiber: 2.8g
- Sugars: 0.9g
- Iron: 1.5mg
- Magnesium: 64mg
- Phosphorus: 152mg
- Zinc: 1.1mg
Health Benefits of Quinoa, as per Dr. Sisodia:
- Assists in weight management.
- Promotes healthy digestion and alleviates constipation due to its high fiber content, which is particularly advantageous given the spiciness of Indian cuisine.
- Enhances heart health by potentially lowering LDL cholesterol levels.
- Supports metabolic health due to its low glycemic index.
- Contains smaller amounts of vitamins such as vitamin E, B-vitamins, and various antioxidants.
Quinoa for Diabetics: Individuals with diabetes can consider incorporating quinoa into their diet due to its low glycemic index, which ensures a gradual release of sugar into the bloodstream. Nevertheless, it is advisable to consult with a diabetologist or nutritionist for personalized guidance.
Quinoa for Pregnant Women: Pregnant women in India can benefit from adding quinoa to their diet because it provides:
- Essential amino acids crucial for fetal growth and development.
- Iron, which helps prevent anemia, a common issue during pregnancy.
- High fiber content, which can alleviate constipation, a common pregnancy complaint.
- B vitamins essential for meeting energy needs during pregnancy.
Key Considerations: When consuming quinoa, it is essential to bear in mind a few points, according to Dr. Sisodia:
- Thoroughly wash quinoa to remove bitter saponins, which can cause stomach irritation.
- Integrate quinoa into a balanced diet, complementing it with vegetables, proteins, and fats.
Dispelling Common Myths About Quinoa: Dr. Sisodia debunks a prevalent myth:
- Myth: Quinoa is a grain. Fact: Quinoa is, in fact, a seed but is frequently prepared and consumed like grains.
Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Atlas Story journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.