Why Quinoa is Better than Rice

Quinoa (keen-wah) is considered one of the world’s healthiest foods and is a powerhouse of nutrition that offers an array vitamins and minerals in every serving. While it is often referred to as an “ancient grain,” it is actually not a grain or cereal grain but a seed. That makes it gluten free! Learn why I use quinoa in place of rice, and how to cook it.

 

This chart explains it all!

 

Quinoa has more fiber.

Fiber delays gastric emptying, helps to stabilizer our blood sugars, helps us feel more full and satiated, and can improve intestinal absorption of nutrients.

Fiber adds bulk to the stool by absorbing water, which is especially important for those with diarrhea. Adding bulk also helps to stimulate muscular contractions which increases stool frequency in patients with constipation,

Quinoa has more protein.

Quinoa is also a complete protein. That is, a protein that contains all of the essential amino acids. Rice is not, and must to be eaten alongside beans/legumes.

Quinoa is lower in carbohydrates.

White rice does not contain fiber and thus can spike blood sugars rapidly. To find out how it affects you, get a glucose monitor and test your blood one hour after eating.  Your blood sugar should return to normal levels two hours after eating. Blood sugar spikes should be avoided in those with Diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and anyone trying to lose weight.

Quinoa contains more minerals.

Minerals, also known as electrolytes, are the spark plugs of our bodies! Without them, many chemical reactions would not happen.

Quinoa contains more fat.

Fat helps us feel full. When fats reach the small intestines, it stimulates a strong feedback signal associated with slowing gastric emptying and suppressing food intake by the release of various satiety hormones, cholecystokinin (CCK) and peptide YY (PYY).

Quinoa is gluten free.

It’s the only thing quinoa and rice have in common.

Now, there is one concern with quinoa – lectins!

Quinoa is a seed that contains lectins, or anti-nutrients, that act as the plant’s system of self-defense. These include saponins, phytic acid, tannins, and trypsin inhibitors that must be eliminated before the consumption. When these remain, it can lead to bitter taste, digestive discomfort and bloating. Other toxic effects include irritation to the gut lining (leaky gut syndrome) and blocking absorption of certain vitamins and minerals.  Thus, quinoa must be prepared properly by soaking for a minimum of 7 hours and rinsed well before cooking. The lectins end up down the drain instead!

How to prepare quinoa properly:

Ingredients:

  1. SOAK: Place quinoa, warm water and apple cider vinegar in glass. Cover. Put it warm place for 7 hours minimum. You can soak longer up to 24 hours, which is especially helpful for those with digestive issues. Change the soaking water solution every 12-24 hours.
  2. RINSE: When you are ready to cook it, strain the quinoa in a fine sieve and rinse until the water runs clear. This removes bitterness, and must always be done before cooking.
  3. COOK: Bring to a boil 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups broth, with salt, butter/ghee, bay leaf and other seasonings of choice. Rescind to low simmer, cover, and cook for about 12-15 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes. Serve.

How to LifeMod quinoa and add to your diet:

 

Recipes to Try:

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad Recipe 

Baked Quinoa with Apples Recipe

 

Thanks for reading,

Dr. Loredana