Eating Quinoa to Help You Lose Weight: What Are the Benefits?
Quinoa has many benefits and has been used for a while to help people lose weight. This vegetative ingredient is part of the “superfood” group due to its high nutritional value. It’s an important source of fiber, omega-3, and essential amino acids that help you combat excess weight.
In fact, it’s a pseudo-cereal with a huge energetic value that is recommended to compliment your diet since it promotes overall wellbeing. Its fiber content and versatility make it ideal for any weight loss (or gain) diet. Additionally, it has a low glycemic index and makes you feel full longer.
Why has it become so popular? How do you make it? There are still many people that are unaware of its properties. Therefore, we’ll share its main benefits and some simple ways to add them to your diet.
The benefits of eating quinoa
Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) is a little grain originally from South America that has stolen the interest of thousands of consumers around the world. It gained its fame from its similarities to other grains, but it’s a gluten-free food with a large number of nutrients.
According to the FAO report (2011) “quinoa is the only plant food that has all the essential amino acids, trace elements, and vitamins and doesn’t contain gluten. The essential amino acids are found in the kernel of the grain, unlike other cereals that have them in the exosperm or husk, such as rice or wheat”.
Nutritional information about quinoa
One of the reasons why quinoa is so helpful for weight loss is that it’s low in calories. Although its carbohydrates and proteins give your body fuel, it’s a very low-calorie ingredient. Additionally, every 100 grams of quinoa gives you:
- 6 grams of fat
- 12 grams of protein
- 8 grams of insoluble fiber
- 53 grams of carbohydrates
- Vitamins A, E, C, thiamine and riboflavin
- Minerals like calcium, potassium, iron, and zinc
The calorie intake of quinoa is similar to that of other cereals. 100 grams of dry grain contains about 360 kilocalories. Keep in mind that a standard serving is made up of about 60 or 80 grams (depending on the rest of the ingredients in the recipe).
You might want to read about The Top Three Cereals and Grains for Weight Loss
Reasons to eat quinoa to lose weight
After reviewing the nutritional value of quinoa, it’s time to know in detail why it’s such a recommended ingredient to help you lose weight. We’ve mentioned why it’s a great complement to your diet since all of its properties benefit your metabolic health.
One of the strengths of quinoa compared to other cereals is that it has more protein, fiber, and fat. For this reason, it’s a more satiating food and, therefore, it may be enough to eat smaller amounts or it may help to eat less in the same meal.
In addition, thanks to its high contribution of dietary fiber, it would have other benefits in weight loss. The consumption of foods with this compound is associated with a lower intake and a healthier weight and body composition. It is ideal for controlling cravings and regulating intestinal transit.
Its content of omega 6, omega 3, phytosterols, and low glycemic index carbohydrates make it a useful food to improve metabolic health, something important when you want to maintain a healthy weight.
Consuming it within the framework of a healthy diet allows you to maintain stable blood sugar levels, reduce triglycerides, and can help improve your Body Mass Index (BMI).
Finally, it contributes to the use of sugars as an energy source and, therefore, helps regulate blood glucose. Therefore, quinoa can be a recommended food for people with diabetes mellitus.
Learn about these Three Low-Fat Detox Diets
How to eat quinoa to lose weight
Because of how great it is for diets, nowadays there are many different ways to prepare quinoa. From salads to drinks and hamburgers, it’s an ingredient that people are eating more and more regularly that want to be at a healthy weight.
Before putting them in your recipe, it’s a good idea to wash the grains well to eliminate the bitter taste they could have. This process is simple, and all you have to do is rinse it a few times until all of the seeds are clean.
Quinoa milk is one of the alternative ways to enjoy the benefits of this food to lose weight. It’s a drink that increases your feeling of well-being and calms hunger.
Although you can make it with just quinoa, we suggest adding a little cinnamon and vanilla to give it a little extra touch of flavor. Follow the steps below to prepare it.
- Ground cinnamon
- 6 c. of water
- 1 c. of quinoa
- One tbsp. of honey
- 1 tsp. of vanilla extract
Read also: The Glycemic Index of Honey and Diabetes
- Add the quinoa to a bowl with water and let it soak all night.
- The next morning, strain it with a colander and put the grains in a pot with two cups of water.
- Put it over a low flame to cook until they’re soft.
- Then, add them to a blender and blend them with the rest of the water.
- Blend it a few times until you have a smooth mixture.
- Then, strain it and add the vanilla, cinnamon, and honey.
- Drink 2 cups of quinoa milk throughout the day, either at breakfast or as a snack.
Other ways to enjoy the benefits of quinoa
Quinoa milk is a good option to calm your hunger when it’s snack time. However, there are also other options you can make to make it easier to incorporate quinoa into your daily diet.
These are some ideas to prepare dishes and various recipes:
- Quinoa soup, with vegetable or fish broth. Cooked vegetable bits can also be incorporated, as in minestrone soup.
- Sautéed quinoa with vegetables: asparagus, beans, carrot, leek, pepper, zucchini, etc.
Quinoa salad: with tomato, avocado, spring onion, carrot, lettuce, apple, celery, etc.
- A vegetable quinoa burger.
- Quinoa seasoned with vinaigrette to accompany fish, meat, tofu, or egg dishes. If accompanied by vegetables, you can get a very complete dish.
- Puffed quinoa or quinoa flakes (no added sugar) for breakfast or mid-morning. They can be combined with all kinds of fruit and natural yogurt.
These simple recipes will help you if you want to eat quinoa to lose weight, so don’t hesitate to prepare them. However, keep in mind that the success of quinoa to lose weight also depends on the rest of the diet and the ingredients with which you accompany it.
For this reason, the best idea is to consult a professional if we want to lose weight, since quinoa is nothing more than a supplement to achieve it.
What else you can do to lose weight in a healthy way
As you may have read on more than one occasion, there’s no single food or product that is effective in weight loss. It’s necessary to take into account a food plan over time in order to successfully meet your objectives.
In addition, your diet must be accompanied by other healthy habits to obtain satisfactory and lasting results. Here are some tips that will be of great help to you:
- Set realistic goals and objectives and follow an eating plan that suits your needs.
- Include healthy and fresh foods. Reduce the number of calories moderately and avoid very drastic restrictions.
- Increase the presence of fruits and vegetables in your diet. Opt for whole grains and accompany them with quality lean proteins. Don’t forget the olive oil and nuts.
- Do regular physical exercise and maintain an active lifestyle: move on foot, take the stairs, don’t spend a lot of time sitting down, etc.
- Sleep enough hours and avoid, as far as possible, stress.
At the end of the day, it’s about focusing on this objective as the adoption of adequate eating and lifestyle habits to be a source of health and well-being.
Quinoa is a good ingredient for a weight loss diet
Quinoa is a very complete food that can help you lose weight when you include it in a healthy diet. However, it’s not a “miracle” food, nor does it give results on its own.
If you want to take quinoa to lose weight, you have to keep in mind that this ingredient must be part of a balanced and low-calorie diet and that, in addition, you have to consult a nutrition specialist to resolve all doubts appropriately.It might interest you...
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
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- Food Data Central. Quinoa uncooked. U. S. Department of Agriculture. Abril 2019.
- Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Agricultura y la Alimentación (FAO). La quinoa: cultivo milenario para contribuir a la seguridad alimentaria mundial. Oficina Regional para la América Latina y el Caribe. Julio 2011.
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