Quinoa’s Protein Is Great For Vegetarians
Quinoa was a staple grain in early South American cultures. Now this crop has become appreciated again for its nutritional value. It has protein content for 12%–18%. Average whole grains are only 2%-8%. Lena asked a great question in response to the post on Grains and the recipe for Tomato Soup with Quinoa. Yes, Lena, quinoa is an excellent source of protein for vegetarians because of it’s high protein coupled with a high fiber content. Quinoa is high in dietary fiber, phosphorus, magnesium and iron. Quinoa is gluten free and easy to digest. Because of all of these properties it is a very good carbohydrate choice and is an especially good choice for vegetarians.
Quinoa has essential amino acids
Unlike wheat or rice and other whole grains quinoa very balanced in essential amino acids. This means it takes less quinoa protein to meet one’s needs than wheat. Not only is quinoa high in protein, but the protein it supplies is complete protein, meaning that it includes all nine essential amino acids. Not only is quinoa’s amino acids well balanced, making it a good choice for vegetarians concerned about adequate protein intake, but quinoa is especially high with the amino acid lysine, which is essential for tissue growth and repair. Very few grains have a complete profile of amino acids that are essential to life. These essential amino acids are required because our body can not manufacture them, so we must depend on our diet to get the essential amino acids. Vegetarians, must have a full compliment of the essential amino acids. Quinoa is also a treasure of other nutrients.
The high fiber content of quinoa makes it a good carb because of the fiber included in the carbohydrate content. One portion of quinoa, (1/4 cup raw) is almost 3 grams of fiber. When determining the carb content, you deduct the fiber grams from the carb total. One portion of quinoa, is 29 grams of carb less 3 equals 26 grams of carbs, 6 grams of protein and a powerhouse of other nutrients.
Carbohydrates can pack on the weight
As we all know over consumption of carbohydrates can result in weight gain. This is true with all carbs. Vegetarians would be wise to avoid all processed grains and focus on grains like quinoa and other whole grains so that all of their carbs are providing valuable vitamins and mineral and not just empty calories. All whole grain carbs are good carbs when not over consumed.
Other High Protein Carbohydrates And Grains
Vegetarians Need Variety
It is wise for vegetarians to get their protein from a variety of choices. The above high protein carbohydrates coupled with a variety of seeds and nuts as well as dairy will bring a balance of proteins into the vegetarian diet. This will insure that you are receiving all of the essential amino acids that your body needs.
Healthy food choices are important for everyone. Vegetarians are no exception. When eating a vegetarian diet, it is even more important that every food you pick is a power house of nutrition. Make every calorie count. The WOW! program of healthy living will give you a solid foundation of how to pick good-for-you-foods everyday. Click the link to learn more about the WOW! healthy living program of food choices.
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