DUBAI: Learn all about the superfoods that will help you live a longer and healthier life. Devinder Bains, personal trainer and nutrition coach at Fit Squad DXB, fills you in.
This versatile and tasty superfood is the perfect gluten-free replacement for pasta, and a great high-protein, high-fibre alternative to white rice. Add the black, red or regular white version to salads, serve on its own with veggies or as a side dish with meats. Known as the ‘sacred grain’ of the Incas, this seed is stacked with health benefits.
Rich in protein
We need protein for everything from building and strengthening bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood to making hormones and enzymes. Quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids, which makes it a ‘complete protein’ food. This is very rare for plant foods so instantly elevates it to ‘super food’ status. As well as containing such ‘good’ quality protein, it’s also high in the amount of protein, with eight grams per cup.
Quinoa is packed with antioxidants, with particularly high amounts of quercetin and kaempferol, which studies have linked to fighting against breast, bone, cervical, prostate and colon cancers. Quercetin also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help prevent brain disease, it can help lower blood pressure and has been linked to improved exercise performance.
Helps regulate type 2 diabetes
Being high in protein, dietary fiber and also magnesium gives quinoa a three-pronged attack when it comes to controlling blood sugar spikes, making it a great addition to the diet of those suffering from type 2 diabetes - who struggle with insulin regulation. The protein and fiber can also help in keeping you fuller which can in turn lead to weight loss.
Maintains energy supply
Quinoa is rich in Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), which is essential for breaking down protein, carbs and fats for the body to use and also for converting carbs into energy and then storing that energy in our muscles. The body can only store very small amounts of B2 so it’s important to eat foods that contain the vitamin on a regular basis.
High in iron
With one cup containing around 16 percent of your recommended daily amount of iron, quinoa is perfect for vegans and vegetarians struggling to get enough of the mineral. Iron is essential for blood production and to move oxygen from the lungs to tissue around the body.