Reasons Why Quinoa is Better for You than Wheat

quinoa is better

What is quinoa (pronounced: KEEN-wah), and why is quinoa healthier to eat than wheat? There are a number of issues that need to be address, especially with diabetes and health issues running rampant in North America. Wheat, in particular is one of the grains—especially if processed, such as white flour products or other refined carbohydrates–that can cause health problems because it turns to sugar in the body, which can feed cancer, cause insulin resistance (associated with pre-diabetes and diabetes Type 1 and Type 2), weight gain, and mild to severe allergic responses such as Celiac disease. A growing number of people are finding out why quinoa is better for your health and a fantastic alternative “grain.”

Here are some other reasons why quinoa is better than wheat for your health…

Why quinoa is better than wheat

Quinoa is technically a seed, rather than a grain, although it is used as a grain alternative. Traditional grains used in the North American continent, as well as Europe, tend to be high in carbohydrates and are lower in nutritive qualities, whereas seeds are packed with nutrition, healthy oils, and are higher in fiber. Alternatively, wheat  is one of the “white foods”(like sugar, white flour (wheat), white potatoes, and white rice), which have a number of health implications associated eating them.

Quinoa is better also because it is not just a grain, but considered a supergrain. Its use dates back to four thousand years ago where the Incas used it for regular consumption. They believed it helped their warriors increase their stamina, and today it is called the “Supergrain of the Future” by The Quinoa Corporation.

Quinoa is better than wheat because it is extremely protein-rich. It also contains all nine of the essential amino acids required by the human body. The human body cannot make essential amino acids, so therefore must obtain them through diet.

Quinoa is better than wheat because it has nearly twice as much fiber as many other gains. Fiber helps relieve constipation, prevents heart disease, reduces high blood pressure, and helps keep diabetes in check. Fiber also lowers cholesterol and blood glucose levels, reduces the chance to develop hemorrhoids, and helps with weight loss. Because quinoa is energy dense (fewer calories per volume of food) it gives you a feeling of satiety.

Quinoa is better than wheat because it contains iron, which helps the blood with hemoglobin formation and carrying oxygen through our bodies. Iron also increases brain function and metabolism.

Quinoa also contains lysine, which is important especially for vegetarians who tend to lack this important amino acid. It is also rich in magnesium, which alleviates migraines and promotes blood sugar control, detoxification, and healthy bones and teeth.

Quinoa is better than wheat because it is high in Riboflavin (B2), which helps with energy metabolism within cells, which is another reason why people trying to lose weight find quinoa especially excellent to add to their diet.

Quinoa has manganese in high quantities, which is an antioxidant that protects the body from developing diseases due to free radicals.

Quinoa is better than wheat because it can be used as a grain for adding to breads and other baked goods, cooked in place of rice in dishes, added to healthy wraps, or as a side dish. It is easy to make, and can be toasted and then cooked, or just boiled. The small spiral-like germ is released when it is done cooking.

Quinoa is better than wheat also because it has some antioxidant phytonutrients plus concentrated amounts of two flavonoids: quercetin and kaempferol, which is also found in berries like lingonberry or cranberry. Some studies are now showing that quinoa also has anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, including polysaccharides like arabinans, rhamnagalacturonans, plus saponins, hydroxycinnamic and hydroxybenzoic acids. Small amounts of ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) and omega-3 fatty acid are also within quinoa.

Quinoa is better than wheat because it has higher fat content—particularly the healthy fats like monounsaturated (oleic acid), and it does not get oxidized as rapidly as well. Boiling, steaming, or simmering quinoa does not reduce its nutritive fatty acid value.

Overall, the people who think that quinoa is better than wheat tend to agree that it is because of the overall nutrient richness that is why this seed-grain has so many health benefits. Most grains like wheat tend to lack enough protein, and therefore lysine and isoleucine amino acids, but not so with quinoa.

Quinoa is also an alkalinizing food, whereas wheat is one of the most acidifying foods there is (right up there with dairy, meats, beer, soft drinks, pasta and pastries, chocolate, and walnuts or peanuts. Acid diets tend to promote an environment in the body that promotes cancer growth, whereas an alkaline environment promotes health and a strong immune system.

An interest fact about quinoa (scientific name Chenopodium quinoa) is that it is not a regular cereal grass (like wheat, barley, oats, or rye) but is a member of the family that includes swiss chard, spinach, and beets, yet is considered a ‘pseudocereal’ because it can still be ground into flour to make breads and other goodies.

Lastly, one of the great benefits of why quinoa is better than wheat is that it is gluten-free. People who are allergic to gluten in a severe way usually have Celiac disease and can die if they eat gluten. However, gluten-intolerance is not limited to those with the disease… A growing number of people, it turns out, have allergies to common foods, and according to the allergist I spoke with, the top three food aggravators within those who have developed allergies over time with food include wheat, dairy, and eggs.

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The author of this story is a freelance contributor to National Nutraceuticals’ online news portals, such as Amino Acid Information Center at http://www.aminoacidinformation.com and Vancouver Health News at http://www.VancouverHealthNews.ca.  National Nutraceuticals, Inc. also owns and operates a third health news portal focusing on medicinal mushrooms at http://medicinalmushroominfo.com, plus our newest portal at http://todayswordofwisdom.com. If you like our news sites and would like to have your own one, contact Zorilla Marketing at http://www.zorillamarketing.com. We specialize in building online news portals and provide content marketing services.

References:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/juliewilcox/2012/06/26/7-benefits-of-quinoa-the-supergrain-of-the-future/

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=142 http://www.billschoolcraft.com/ph.jpg (alkaline-acid food chart)

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