Diet Information and Well being Advantages

Quinoa is the seed of a plant recognized scientifically as Chenopodium quinoa.

It’s increased in vitamins than most grains and is usually marketed as a “superfood” (1, 2).

Though quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is ready and consumed like a cereal grain, it’s categorized as a pseudocereal, because it doesn’t develop on grass like wheat, oats, and rice.

Quinoa has a crunchy texture and nutty taste. It’s additionally gluten-free and may subsequently be loved by people who find themselves delicate to gluten or wheat.

Quinoa seeds are flat, oval, and often pale yellow, although the colour can vary from pink to black. Its style can differ from bitter to candy (2).

It’s often boiled and may be added to salads, used to thicken soups, or eaten as a facet dish or breakfast porridge.

The seeds will also be sprouted, floor, and used as flour or popped like popcorn. Quinoa is a superb meals for infants (2, 3).

The United Nations declared 2013 “The Worldwide 12 months of Quinoa” because of the seeds’ potential to contribute to worldwide meals safety (4).

Although quinoa technically isn’t a grain, it’s nonetheless thought of a whole-grain meals, in accordance with the Entire Grains Council (5).

This text tells you every part it’s worthwhile to find out about quinoa.

Cooked quinoa contains 71% carbohydrates, 14.6% protein, and 14.2% fats.

One cup (185 grams) of cooked quinoa comprises 222 energy.

The diet details for 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of cooked quinoa are (6):

  • Energy: 120
  • Water: 72%
  • Protein: 4.4 grams
  • Carbs: 21.3 grams
  • Sugar: 0.9 grams
  • Fiber: 2.8 grams
  • Fats: 1.9 grams


Carbs make up 21% of cooked quinoa, corresponding to barley and rice.

About 83% of the carbs are starches. The remainder consists largely of fiber and a small quantity of sugars (4%), corresponding to maltose, galactose, and ribose (6, 7).

Quinoa has a comparatively low glycemic index (GI) rating of 53, which implies it might not trigger a fast spike in blood sugar (8).

The GI is a measure of how briskly blood sugar ranges rise after a meal. Consuming a low-glycemic-index weight-reduction plan could also be linked to a decrease danger of diabetes and heart problems (9, 10).


Cooked quinoa comprises extra fiber than brown rice and yellow corn (11).

Fiber makes up 10% of the dry weight of cooked quinoa, 80% to 90% of that are insoluble fibers like cellulose (11).

Insoluble fibers could also be related to lowered diabetes danger (12, 13).

Plus, some insoluble fiber could also be fermented in your intestine, like soluble fibers, feeding your pleasant micro organism and selling higher general well being (14, 15).

Quinoa additionally offers some resistant starch, which feeds the helpful micro organism in your intestine, selling the formation of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), enhancing intestine well being, and chopping your danger of illness (16, 17).


Amino acids are the constructing blocks of proteins, and proteins are the constructing blocks of all tissues in your physique.

Some amino acids are important, as your physique can not produce them, making it crucial to amass them out of your weight-reduction plan.

By dry weight, quinoa offers 16% protein, increased than most cereal grains, corresponding to barley, rice, and corn (3, 6, 18).

Quinoa is taken into account an entire protein supply, which signifies that it offers all 9 important amino acids (7, 18, 19).

It’s exceptionally excessive within the amino acid lysine, often missing in vegetation. It’s additionally wealthy in methionine and histidine, making it a superb plant-based protein supply (1, 2, 3).

Not all proteins are equally straightforward to your physique to digest. The protein in quinoa is extremely digestible, very similar to casein, the prime quality protein in dairy merchandise (3, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23).

Quinoa is gluten-free and subsequently appropriate for people who find themselves delicate or allergic to gluten.


A 3.5-ounce (100 gram) serving of cooked quinoa offers about 2 grams of fats.

Like different grains, quinoa fats is especially composed of palmitic acid, oleic acid, and linoleic acid (21, 24, 25).


The carbs in quinoa consist primarily of starch, insoluble fibers, and small quantities of sugar and resistant starch. This grain is taken into account an entire protein and offers 2 grams of fats per 3.5 ounces (100 grams).

Quinoa is an efficient supply of antioxidants and minerals, offering extra magnesium, iron, fiber, and zinc than many frequent grains (3, 26, 27).

Listed below are the primary nutritional vitamins and minerals in quinoa:

  • Manganese: Present in excessive quantities in entire grains, this hint mineral is important for metabolism, progress, and improvement (28).
  • Phosphorus: Typically present in protein-rich meals, this mineral is important for bone well being and the upkeep of varied physique tissues (29).
  • Copper: A mineral typically missing within the Western weight-reduction plan, copper is necessary for coronary heart well being (30).
  • Folate: One of many B nutritional vitamins, folate is important for cell perform and tissue progress and is taken into account significantly necessary for pregnant individuals (31, 32).
  • Iron: This important mineral performs many necessary capabilities in your physique, corresponding to transporting oxygen in purple blood cells.
  • Magnesium: Essential for a lot of processes in your physique, magnesium is usually missing within the Western weight-reduction plan (33).
  • Zinc: This mineral is necessary for general well being and participates in lots of chemical reactions in your physique (34).


Quinoa is an efficient supply of a number of minerals, together with manganese, phosphorus, copper, folate, iron, magnesium, and zinc.

Quinoa comprises many plant compounds that contribute to its taste and well being results, together with:

  • Saponin: These plant glycosides defend quinoa seeds in opposition to bugs and different threats. They’re bitter and often eradicated by soaking, washing, or roasting earlier than cooking (2, 35).
  • Quercetin: This highly effective polyphenol antioxidant could assist defend in opposition to numerous diseases, corresponding to coronary heart illness, osteoporosis, and sure types of most cancers (36, 37, 38).
  • Kaempferol: This polyphenol antioxidant could cut back your danger of power ailments, together with most cancers (39, 40).
  • Squalene: This precursor of steroids additionally acts as an antioxidant in your physique (41).
  • Phytic acid: This antinutrient reduces the absorption of minerals, corresponding to iron and zinc. Phytic acid may be lowered by soaking or sprouting quinoa earlier than cooking (42).
  • Oxalates: They might bind with calcium, cut back its uptake, and enhance the danger of kidney stone formation in delicate people (43).

Bitter quinoa varieties are richer in antioxidants than sweeter sorts, however each are good sources of antioxidants and minerals.

One examine concluded that quinoa had the very best antioxidant content material of 10 frequent cereals, pseudocereals, and legumes (44).

Quinoa and associated crops have even been recognized as higher sources of flavonoid antioxidants than cranberries, that are thought of very wealthy in flavonoids (45).

Take into account that the antioxidant ranges could lower with cooking (46, 47).


Quinoa is excessive in lots of plant compounds, particularly antioxidants. A few of the undesirable plant compounds may be eradicated by soaking, washing, or roasting previous to cooking.

Nutritious and wealthy in lots of minerals and plant compounds, quinoa is usually a wholesome addition to your weight-reduction plan.

Some knowledge present that quinoa could enhance your dietary consumption and assist cut back blood sugar and triglycerides.

Decrease blood sugar ranges

Folks with sort 2 diabetes are unable to make use of insulin successfully, inflicting excessive blood sugar ranges and numerous issues.

Refined carbs are linked to an elevated danger of sort 2 diabetes and coronary heart illness, whereas entire grains like quinoa are related to a lowered danger (13, 48, 49, 50, 51).

A examine in rats on a high-fructose weight-reduction plan confirmed that consuming quinoa considerably lowered blood ldl cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood sugar, that are all linked to sort 2 diabetes (52).

One human examine in contrast the consequences of quinoa with conventional gluten-free wheat merchandise.

Quinoa lowered each blood triglycerides and free fatty acids. It additionally affected blood sugar ranges to a lesser diploma than gluten-free pasta, gluten-free bread, and conventional bread (53).

Could assist weight reduction

Quinoa has many properties that make it a weight-loss-friendly meals.

It’s increased in protein than related meals, corresponding to rice, corn, and entire wheat (6).

Protein is taken into account a key issue for weight reduction, because it boosts metabolism and emotions of fullness. In doing so, it might assist forestall weight problems and associated ailments (54, 55).

Fibers are additionally necessary for weight reduction, selling decreased calorie consumption by rising emotions of fullness and enhancing intestine well being (56, 57).

Quinoa is increased in fiber than many whole-grain meals.

The GI worth of quinoa is comparatively low, and low-glycemic meals have been proven to forestall overeating and reduce starvation (10, 58, 59).

Quinoa is gluten-free

As a gluten-free pseudocereal, quinoa is appropriate for people who find themselves illiberal or allergic to gluten, corresponding to these with celiac illness (3).

Analysis signifies that utilizing quinoa in a gluten-free weight-reduction plan, as a substitute of different frequent gluten-free substances, dramatically will increase the nutrient and antioxidant worth of your weight-reduction plan (60, 61, 62).

Quinoa-based merchandise are properly tolerated and could also be an appropriate different to wheat in its authentic type and in merchandise like bread or pasta (63).


Quinoa could cut back blood ldl cholesterol, blood sugar, and triglycerides. It’s weight reduction pleasant, gluten-free, and has been proven to extend the nutrient and antioxidant worth of gluten-free diets.

Quinoa is often properly tolerated with no reported negative effects.


Much like most different cereals and grains, quinoa comprises phytates.

These could cut back your absorption of minerals like iron and zinc (3).


Quinoa is a member of the Chenopodiaceae household and is thus excessive in oxalates. Different species in the identical household are spinach and beetroot (43).

These meals could contribute to kidney stone formation in delicate people (64).

These results may be lowered by rinsing and soaking quinoa earlier than cooking.


Quinoa is usually properly tolerated however comprises phytates and oxalates. These could cut back your absorption of minerals and contribute to kidney stone formation in some people.

Quinoa packs extra vitamins than most different grains and is comparatively excessive in high quality protein.

It’s wealthy in nutritional vitamins, minerals, plant compounds, and antioxidants.

Quinoa is gluten-free, could assist decrease blood sugar ranges, and assist weight reduction.

If you wish to enhance the nutrient content material of your weight-reduction plan, changing different grains like rice or wheat with quinoa could also be begin.