Quinoa is the seed of a plant known scientifically as Chenopodium quinoa. There is a high number of carbs in quinoa. It is high in many nutrients, and is often referred to as a “superfood.” Quinoa is actually not a grain, but a pseudo-cereal, a seed that is prepared and consumed like a grain. However, quinoa is higher in nutrients than most grains. Quinoa has a crunchy texture and nutty flavor. It is also gluten-free, soindividuals who are sensitive to gluten or wheat can enjoy it.
Carbs In Quinoa
Carbohydrates make up 21% of cooked quinoa, which is comparable to barley and rice.
About 83% of the carbs are starches. The rest consists mostly of fiber, but also a small amount of sugars (4%), such as maltose, galactose and ribose.
The glycemic index is a measure of how fast blood sugar levels rise after a meal, and it is known that high-glycemic foods are linked to obesity and various diseases.
Quinoa has a relatively low glycemic index score of 53, which means that it should not cause a rapid spike in blood sugar after consumption.
Cooked quinoa is a relatively good source of fiber (2.8%), beating both brown rice (1.8%) and yellow corn (2.4%). Fibers occupy 10% of the dry weight of cooked quinoa, mostly consisting of insoluble fibers (80-90%), such as cellulose.
Insoluble fibers are helpful to reduce the risk of diabetes. However, some of the insoluble fiber may be fermented in the gut like the soluble fibers, feeding the friendly bacteria and promoting better overall health.
Quinoa also provides some resistant starch, which feeds the beneficial bacteria in the gut, promoting the formation of short-chain fatty acids, improving gut health, and cutting the risk of disease
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, and proteins are the building blocks of all tissues in our body. Some of the amino acids are “essential” because of our body’s inability to produce them, making it essential to acquire them from the diet.
By dry weight, quinoa provides 16% protein, which is higher than most cereal grains, such as barley, rice and corn. you can consider Quinoa to be a “complete” protein source, which means that it provides all the essential amino acids.
It is exceptionally high in the amino acid lysine, which is usually lacking in the plant kingdom. It is also high in methionine and histidine, making it an excellent plant-based protein source.
The protein quality of quinoa is comparable to casein, the high-quality protein from dairy products. Quinoa does not contain gluten, and is therefore a suitable alternative for those who are sensitive or allergic to gluten.
Vitamins and Minerals
Quinoa is a good source of antioxidants and minerals, providing more magnesium, iron, fiber and zinc than many common grains.
Listed below are the main vitamins and minerals in quinoa:
- Manganese: Found in high amounts in whole grains, this trace mineral is essential for metabolism, growth and development.
- Phosphorus: Often found in protein-rich foods, this mineral is essential for bone health and maintenance of various body tissues.
- Copper: A mineral that is often lacking in the Western diet, important for heart health.
- Folate: One of the B-vitamins, essential for cell function and tissue growth. Folate is particularly very important for pregnant women.
- Iron: An essential mineral that performs many important functions in the body, such as transporting oxygen in red blood cells.
- Magnesium: Important for many processes in the body and is often insufficient in our daily diet.
- Zinc: A mineral that is important for overall health, and participates in many chemical reactions in the body.