Quinoa is a nutrient-rich food that has gained popularity in recent years as a healthy and versatile ingredient. But is quinoa good for weight loss? Let’s take a closer look.
What is Quinoa?
Quinoa is a seed from the plant goosefoot, even though it acts as a wholegrain. But technically it’s not a grain. It’s a pseudo-cereal which is prepared and consumed in a similar way. It is a great source of protein, vitamins, fiber, and minerals, which is why it finds itself to be a dietitian’s top pick. It is grown primarily in South America and has been a staple food of Inca civilization for thousands of years. It’s a popular choice for vegetarians and vegans.
Quinoa can be consumed as flakes, flour, loaves of bread, and pasta.
Quinoa is a seed that comes in colors like white, red, black, purple, green, yellow, grey, orange, pink, etc. The most commonly harvested out of the lot are white, red, and black seeds.
Amongst these, the most common variety is white quinoa. It has the shortest preparation time and has a relatively milder flavor and crunchy texture, as opposed to red quinoa. Black quinoa is the richest in flavor and crunch, thereby requiring the longest cooking time.
Is Quinoa a millet or multigrain seed?
While quinoa poses as a multigrain, it is NOT a millet. What’s interesting about quinoa is its protein value. Quinoa contains all 9 essential amino acids making it a complete protein. Millets, on the other hand, lack a protein component.
In cooking terms, quinoa takes a shorter time than millets do.
Now about their similarity, both these grains are a great source of fibre and antioxidants that fight free radicals.
Quinoa nutritional value
- Quinoa is a gluten-free, pseudo-cereal that is rich in carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, and minerals.
- It contains all 9 essential amino acids making it a great choice for vegans, vegetarians, and people trying to cut down on meat.
- Quinoa is also high in B vitamins that contribute to the metabolic reactions in the body, converting food into fuel for energy.
- Eating quinoa also lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, thereby reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
- Furthermore, quinoa is considered to be the best alternative to rice due to its nutrient-dense characteristics and can thus be inculcated into a diet that meets all fitness and health goals.
Health Benefits of Quinoa
How effective is Quinoa for weight loss?
Quinoa is low in calories as compared to other grains. 1 cup of quinoa contains 222 calories. It is high In protein which keeps you full for long. It also contains insoluble fiber, thereby providing a feeling of satiety and aiding weight loss.
Being low on the glycemic index (GI) and gluten-free means that quinoa is diabetic-friendly.
How to Boil Quinoa Seeds?
Quinoa is to be cooked in double the quantity of water. First soak quinoa for 1 hour. Then durian the water and take a pan with double the quantity of water with a little salt. Add quinoa and let the water come to a boil. Check if it’s cooked and fluffy. Drain the water and use it in salads or other dishes.
Always remember to wash quinoa thoroughly before soaking because of its bitter outer covering which contains saponin, an anti nutrient.
Quinoa Recipes from Fitness with Nidhi’s Kitchen
I am going to share with you a few of my favourite and healthy recipes. Since, I love quinoa so these are a part of my regular eating routine. You can include them in your weight loss diet plan. So, I have
5 Healthy Quinoa Recipes for Weight Loss
- Quinoa Black Bean Salad: Let’s try making Quinoa Bean Salad, which is highly nutritious and so easy to make and high in protein. This recipe can be used both in weight loss and weight gain diet routine.
- Quinoa Spinach Scramble: What could be a better option than this. This meal is high in protein and low in calories. You should definitely make it your lunch and dinner option.
- Chinese Fried Quinoa: How many of you like eating chinese but can’t enjoy it as you are on a weight loss plan. Let me give you this recipe of quinoa with a chinese touch. I am sure it’s going to become your next favorite.
- Quinoa Tikki: One of the quick and easy snacking options for people who binge eat and spoil their diet plan by the time they reach home from the office in the evening. All you need to do is keep boiled quinoa with you and within 10 minutes these tikkis will be ready.
- Pomegranate and Quinoa Bowl: Quinoa pomegranate meal is my personal favorite. It can be enjoyed at any time. It can be the best go-to option for weight watchers.
- Quinoa Chocolate Balls: Who doesn’t crave for something “meetha” on their weight loss journey and who on Earth doesn’t like chocolate. I am a huge chocolate lover and thought of making something really healthy, chocolaty which can satisfy my sweet tooth and not binge eat on “bazaar wali mithai” Quinoa chocolate oats balls are my clients favorite too.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does quinoa last in fridge?
Once boiled, quinoa can stay in fridge for 3-4 days and after that its advisable to make fresh.
Is it okay to consume quinoa during weight loss?
Quinoa is very healthy and full of nutrition. Infact, it contains all 9 amino acids. It can become one of the good protein option for vegetarians and vegans who find it difficult to add more protein to their diet.
Take Away Message
Quinoa is a nutrient dense food that can be a great addition to a weight loss diet. Its high protein and fibre content can keep you full and satisfied, while its low glycemic index can help to prevent overeating. Incorporating quinoa into your diet is easy and can add a delicious and healthy twist to your favorite meals.