Several studies have demonstrated that quinoa may help manage diabetes. It is rich in protein and fiber that help you stay full for longer. This helps in regulating the calorie intake and managing weight, which are essential in managing diabetes. It is also high in several antioxidants that may help reduce the complications of diabetes such as diabetic eye disease, heart disease, and kidney diseases. The extent to which a particular food increases your blood sugar after it is eaten (glycemic index) is around 53, which is lower than both white rice (around 74) and brown rice (around 68). Thus, quinoa causes a relatively slower increase in blood sugar than rice and wheat. This is particularly beneficial in individuals with diabetes where spikes in blood sugar may be dangerous.
What is quinoa?
Quinoa (pronounced as keen-wah) or Chenopodium quinoa is an annual herb of the goosefoot family. The herb is known for its edible starchy seeds. It is native to the Andean highlands and is popular over the world for its health benefits. Quinoa seeds may be used as cooked grains or grounded into flour. These are gluten-free and rich in protein, fiber, minerals, and other nutrients. Gluten is the general name given to the protein found in grains such as wheat, barley, and rye, which may not be tolerated by some people because of health conditions such as gluten allergy or celiac disease. Quinoa is one of the few plant sources that are considered a complete protein. The seeds contain all the nine essential amino acids needed for good health. Quinoa seeds come in the category of pseudocereals (not true cereals; includes plants such as amaranth, quinoa, and buckwheat that produce fruits and seeds but are not a part of the grass family). Quinoa is considered a superfood because of its rich nutrient profile packed with antioxidants, protein, minerals, vitamins, and fiber.
What are the health benefits of quinoa?
Quinoa seeds are considered a superfood because they are rich in various nutrients including protein, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. The various health benefits of quinoa are as follows:
- Weight management: Quinoa is rich in fiber and protein. Both these ingredients help you stay full for longer, thus helping in limiting the calorie intake.
- Healthy muscles: Being a source of complete protein (all essential amino acids are present), quinoa may help maintain muscle health. They may also provide comfort to the sore muscles after a workout.
- Diabetes-friendly: Quinoa is a whole grain, rich in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and proteins. They help in managing diabetes and preventing the complications of the disease.
- Maintaining cardiovascular health: Quinoa helps maintain heart health and regulate blood pressure. Potassium present in quinoa is essential in maintaining a healthy heartbeat and lowering the blood pressure. Vitamins in this grain are also needed for overall health.
- Healthy immune system: Studies have reported that quinoa helps boost immunity. It can also reduce swelling and inflammation in the body.
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