Quinoa is a healthy alternative to rice and has already replaced rice in many recipes.
This doesn’t mean that rice is not beneficial for health. Both grains have their own set of health benefits.
What is Quinoa and How Healthy Is It?
Quinoa is a seed of a goosefoot plant. It is a pseudo cereal as it is cooked and eaten like cereal and has a similar nutritional profile.
It is rich in protein, high in fiber and minerals.
Health benefits of Quinoa are as follows:
- Rich in Protein: The tiny seeds of quinoa have a lot of protein. One cup of cooked quinoa contains 8 grams of protein.(1) It is amongst the few plants that are sources of complete protein.
- It’s Gluten-Free: Quinoa is gluten-free naturally. If sensitive to gluten go for the brands which mention gluten-free in their packaging as during the processing it may get contaminated with other grain. This might prove to be harmful to those sensitive to gluten.
- High in Fiber: One cup of quinoa contains 5 grams of proteins which is higher than that of brown and white rice. Fiber helps prevent constipation and controls blood sugar and cholesterol. It also keeps you full for a longer period of time and helps maintain a healthy weight.
- High in Minerals: Quinoa is a good source of minerals such as iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and manganese. It is also a good source of calcium, potassium, and magnesium.
- Good For The Gut: Quinoa protects the gastrointestinal tract. A study shows that the polysaccharides present in the cell wall of quinoa have the gastroprotective property.(2) The study was done on rats. More study on human is needed to look for its anti-inflammatory properties.
Rice and its Health Benefits
Rice, a staple food all over the world comes in many sizes and colors. The two most popular types of rice are white and brown rice.
Both white rice and brown rice are easy to digest. Brown rice is high in fiber and also helps control blood pressure.
Rice is low in fat and sodium and also cholesterol and Tran’s fat.
The Health Benefits Of Rice Are As Follows:
- It is Gluten-Free: Just like quinoa, rice is a good option for those on a gluten-free diet. Also know that flavored rice and the rice used in sushi may contain gluten ingredients.
- Good Source Of Minerals: Brown rice is a good source of phosphorus, manganese, selenium, and magnesium. One cup of brown rice contains 12% of the RDI of thiamine, 15 % of the RDI of Niacin, 16% of magnesium, 88% of manganese and 5% of iron.(3)
- Easy to Digest: White rice is easy on the tummy and a part of BRAT (Banana, rice, applesauce, and toast) diet. This diet is often recommended when someone has an upset stomach, vomiting or diarrhea.
- Promotes Weight Loss: Brown rice is high in fiber and refined carb that keeps you full for long. A study found that adding more fiber to the diet helped those trying to lose weight.(4) Also, eating brown rice instead of white rice reduces abdominal fat.(5)
- Reduces Blood Pressure: Brown rice help maintain blood pressure by keeping a check on the weight, increasing potassium, reducing blood vessel damage, and helps the body use insulin effectively. It also helps in keeping the blood sugar under control.
Both rice and quinoa can be a part of a healthy lifestyle. The white rice can be helpful when suffering from an upset stomach while brown rice is a healthier choice for weight.
The benefits of quinoa and brown rice are similar as both are gluten-free and a good source of mineral and fiber.
Healthy living depends on how healthy your food choices are. Knowing about the health benefits, you get more aware of how and when it is perfect to consume a particular food item.
Increase your awareness and live a healthy life.