Brown rice has long reigned as the ideal carbohydrate for a healthy diet. However, quinoa might be even better for a post-workout meal. Quinoa, another healthy carbohydrate, boasts an impressive protein-to-carb ratio that closely rivals its nutritious counterpart and can help you build more muscle. Quinoa can easily be incorporated into your breakfast, pre-workout or post-workout meal as well. With white, red and black variations, quinoa provides amazing benefits that will nudge you to make the switch.
1. Quinoa is high in protein
Quinoa is classified as a complete protein as it contains all of the essential amino acids. This extremely nutritious carbohydrate has gained so much popularity because it nourishes us with loads of protein — almost 11g more than brown rice, in every 100g serving. Since protein is a metabolism-boosting food, our bodies burn more calories digesting a cup of quinoa than a plate of rice.
2. Quinoa has a low glycemic index
Although brown rice has a lower glycemic index (68) than white rice (73), quinoa (51) beats them both. Eating foods that are low on the glycemic index ensures that sugar is steadily released into our bloodstream. This keeps energy levels stable throughout the day. No afternoon food coma, no mindless munching on snacks.
3. Quinoa is gluten-free
Quinoa is free of gluten, something that is found in wheat. If you find wheat hard to digest, you may feel bloated after having a sandwich or plate of pasta. Although rice is also gluten-free, quinoa is much more versatile, meaning you can easily replace the wheat in pancakes, pasta or cookies with finely milled quinoa flour.
4. Quinoa provides important nutrients
Quinoa ticks off many health benefits. A single serving of quinoa supplements your body with nutrients like magnesium, folate, copper, iron and potassium. To gain more nutritional value from your meals, replace brown rice with quinoa and you’ll easily hit the daily recommended amount of these healthy minerals that are necessary for your body to function properly.
5. Quinoa is high in fibre
These grain-sized seeds deliver loads of fibre to your gut, which allows you to feel fuller for longer. Instead of having rice every day, bring boiled quinoa to work for an increased fibre intake. Pair it with fish soup, or mixed vegetable sides during lunch. This simple switch provides your gut with an additional 1g of fibre (in a 100g serving) that goes a long way in ensuring that you stay satiated.