With the popularity of carb-free or low-carb diets, many people have been ignoring the importance of grains in a balanced diet.
While some grains (such as wheat) may be a source of empty calories, certain grains actually have some great health benefits. Quinoa often called an “ancient grain”, can help promote good health and may even assist with weight loss. Here are a few of the health benefits of quinoa.
High in Magnesium
Magnesium is a largely ignored component of the American diet. Just 1/4 cup of uncooked quinoa provides around 43% of your recommended daily allowance for magnesium. Magnesium helps to relax blood vessels, lowers risk of hypertension and promotes good cardiovascular health.
Rich in Iron
Did you know that one cup of cooked quinoa provides you with 15% of your recommended daily allowance of iron? Iron is an essential nutrient for the body, helping to carry life-giving oxygen to the body’s red blood cells. Iron is also an essential protein component to aid in proper metabolic function.
High in Protein
Few grains can even claim to come close to the protein content contained in quinoa. A cup of cooked quinoa has about 9 grams of protein, which is significantly more than wheat, barley or any other major grain. By comparison, an egg has around 6 grams of protein.
Great Source of Calcium
A cup of cooked quinoa has 30mg of calcium, an essential building block for keeping bones healthy. A diet high in calcium can also help promote cardiovascular health by regulating contractions of the heart.
Everyone wants to eat healthier, however many of us barely understand what that means, let alone where to start.
We wrote this article to try to take some of the mystery out of it, and help put you on the right track.
By definition, a healthy diet is defined as being a nutritional regime that either improves your health or maintains a level of good health. There are many controversial arguments about what exactly should make up a healthy diet, which is supported by countless studies and nutritional profiles. However, there are some general rules about healthy eating which should be followed regardless of the specific health-related diet that you are following.
Getting a sufficient amount of protein is one of the most important things that you can do to ensure that your body remains in good health. Proteins are made up of special amino acids, which aid in the overall regenerative and repair functions of the human body. In addition to this, getting enough protein is essential for proper growth during childhood. As a general rule, it’s best to consume one gram of protein for each pound of body weight. For example, if you weigh 140 pounds, you will need approximately 140 grams of protein in your diet per day.
The issue of including carbohydrates in a healthy diet has recently come under scrutiny by many dietary experts. Many people are turning to low-carbohydrate diets to help lose or maintain their weight. However, it is a generally accepted fact that it is not healthy to completely eliminate carbohydrates from your diet. Instead, it’s best to only consume certain types of carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates (such as sugar) cause a spike in blood sugar levels, which can lead to health problems. It’s best to only consume complex carbohydrates, such as those found in highly nutritional grains. Some high-nutrient grains include quinoa, millet and flaxseed.
Vitamins and Nutrients
There are many different vitamins, minerals and nutrients that are classified as being ‘essential’ for good health. However, it is only recommended that you supplement your diet with additional vitamins if you are not absorbing a sufficient amount of these elements through your diet. Some vitamins can cause health problems if consumed in excess, which is a mistake many people make when supplementing their diet. In general, it’s best to add a multivitamin to your diet, since these types of vitamins are usually composed of elements that are most commonly lacking in the average person’s diet.
Putting it All Together for a Proper Diet
The best way to eat a properly balanced diet that will improve your health is to use common sense. Fresh fruits and vegetables are always a great way to make your diet healthier, often containing essential vitamins that promote good health. Grains that are high in fiber, Omega 3 fatty acids and other ingredients are also useful for improving your health. Try to avoid excessive amounts of simple carbohydrates, which are contained in cake, candy, artificial juice products, white flour pastries and other high-sugar foods. Be sure to include a sufficient amount of protein in your diet, which should ideally come from a variety of sources. Chicken, beef, eggs and fish are the most common sources of protein, and should be made an integral part of a generally healthy diet.