What is Quinoa – Health Benefits and Side Effects

What is Quinoa


A lot that has been said and written about quinoa as many health experts regard it to be a very nutritious item. As a matter of fact, it is being considered as one of the highly sought-after super today. Learn more about this very healthy grain and learn the different ways to use it on your daily diet.

What is Quinoa?

Simply described, quinoa is a type of edible seeds. However, it doesn’t come from grasses like wheat, cereal, and oats; but it can be cooked and used in the exact same way. Quinoa is the seeds of a plant that is closely related to .

Quinoa is a very popular health food today because of its many benefits. Considering all the quinoa facts, it can definitely do a lot of wonders to a person’s health. This food item is rich in vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, iron, phosphorus, tryptophan, copper, amino acids, fiber, substantial starch, and protein. Taking it every day is an assurance of living healthy and living longer.

Quinoa Benefits

There are many known benefits that quinoa can provide for the body. The list below enumerates some of the many things that it can do for you:

1. Helps fight diabetes

Because of its high protein content, diabetics will find this wonder food very helpful in managing one’s sugar levels. Both fiber and magnesium can help a lot in burning glucose while improving insulin secretion.

2. Tissue repair

Tissues get damaged from time to time. Quinoa helps in repairing broken tissues to ensure that all organs of the body always work right and always perform at their best.

3. Aids in weight loss

The high levels of fiber in this food item can ultimately help in weight reduction. Eating quinoa makes a person feel full a lot longer than usual, while keeping the body’s sugar level at regular. This gluten-free health food also reduces abdominal fats.

4. Alleviates migraine and hypertension

All people suffering from hypertension or migraine are advised to add quinoa on their daily diet in order to prevent the instances of attack. The high quantities of riboflavin in quinoa relax the blood vessels to reduce instances of constriction.

5. Aids in digestion

Quinoa can help the digestive tract in many ways. First, it helps in food passage, thus preventing constipation. Second, it initiates regular bowel movements. And third, it aids in the breaking down of food during the digestion process.

6. Ensures a healthy heart

Quinoa can keep the heart healthy by assuring that the all arteries and veins do not get clogged. The abundant amounts of magnesium and potassium clear all the passages to the heart. In effect, the heart won’t need extra effort when pumping blood all over the body.

7. Has high levels of antiCan aid in the oxidants

Foods that are rich in antioxidants are very helpful to the body as they can increase immunity, fight off bad cholesterol, and synthesize fatty acids. Quinoa can do all of these and a whole lot more, when taken on a regular basis.

8. Prevents certain kinds of cancer and other diseases

The regular intake of quinoa keeps the body healthy, while reducing the risks of certain diseases like , fibromyalgia, Celiac Disease, ADHD, fertility issue, and heart failures.

Quinoa Benefits

Quinoa Side Effects

No matter how long the list of quinoa nutrition facts can be, it may have side effects on people who would like to use it on a continued basis. These are:

1. Allergies

Some people can be allergic to quinoa. This can be caused by the natural coating of the seed. Saponins, which are found in the seed coating, can cause stomach irritation and upsets. In order to prevent this, quinoa seeds have to be rinsed properly prior to cooking or preparation.

2. Not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding mothers

High amounts of quinoa can’t be taken by pregnant or breastfeeding mothers. Although there is no documentation about its possible side effects, safety precautions are strictly advised. Just to make it clear, pregnant and breastfeeding mothers are not prohibited from eating quinoa. As a matter of fact, it can be a good source protein during this stage. However, they are discouraged from eating too much.

3. May interact with certain drugs

Quinoa is a very nutritious and beneficial food item. However, increased quantities may interfere with certain medications. Quinoa has antioxidant properties and can lower triglyceride levels. The functions and effectiveness of some medicines that does the same thing can get affected.

How to Take: Quinoa Recipes

In order to reap all the nutritional benefits of quinoa, adding it to one’s daily diet is recommended. The following are the most common ways on how this health food can be added to meals:

1. Use quinoa as a rice substitute

When the recipe calls for rice, try switching to quinoa seeds instead. Not only that it is more nutritious, it can be very tasty as well. It can serve as a substitute for pasta, couscous, and millet.

2. Use it as a salad ingredient

Cooked quinoa can also be added into a delicious salad meal like the Black Beans and Quinoa Salad. Simply cook the seeds as usual and add it to the black beans. Do try other recipes and combinations as well.

3. As a meal and dessert topper

Do you know that you can toast quinoa to bring out its nutty flavor? Toasted quinoa is best added to precooked meals and baked goodies to add a different twist to its taste.


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6 thoughts on “What is Quinoa – Health Benefits and Side Effects

  1. I have been eating quinoa as a subs for rice and I really like it. I believe it helped to reduce abdominal fats. I feel lighter and I loss 3 lbs . I will continue eating it because of a lots of benefits. I love my invented recipes and share it to my mom and she loves it too.

  2. If u have had gastric bypass surgery can we eat this? I haven’t had rice or pasta in 8 years would like something different…

    • Hi Kim: You’ll want to check with your surgeon or primary doctor before adding any new ingredients to a weight loss plan, especially if you have any allergies or if you’ve had problems adding ingredients in the past. Currently, there are no major contraindications to eating quinoa after gastric bypass, so long as you are at least 6 weeks post surgery. Before that, diet should be restricted to what your doctor’s office provides for postoperative food lists. If you are post 6 weeks, quinoa is a great addition to a weight loss plan. It’s tasty and gives you more wiggle room with recipes.

  3. How much quinoa should one eat on a daily basis? Can one eat too much daily? What is daily recommended amount of quinoa taken to help diabetes 2 and constipation?

    • As for how much quinoa per day/meal, for adults, I found a recommendation of ½-1 cup per meal cooked. Please keep in mind the following: A 1/2-cup portion of cooked quinoa contains 111 calories. In comparison, 1/2 cup of brown rice contains 109 calories, and a 1/2-cup portion of cooked whole-wheat spaghetti contains 87 calories.

  4. I have been having stomach issues for some time now and have found that I’m unable to eat most carbs. So I have been eating a lot of quinoa for most meals. However, last week I had a small amount for dinner and I ended up in excruciating stomach pain, which resulted in throwing up, which tasted like I’d consumed chemicals. It was so toxic. I tried eating the quinoa again a few times but ended up with stomach pains again, luckily not as bad as the first time, but still bad enough to stop eating it. I washed the quinoa as it instructs on the packet, so I’m unsure as to why I’ve had this reaction. I am going to try another new packet in case maybe I got a bad batch?? I’m hoping it will be ok because I can’t eat so many things and quinoa is so healthy and tasty that I really don’t want to give it up.

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