Quinoa has only recently begun to rise in popularity in the United States but it is already made a name for itself as a great source of nutrition. Compared to other grains, quinoa has more protein, antioxidants, minerals and fiber. Quinoa is also gluten free, making it the perfect food for people who are sensitive to gluten. On top of that, it has recently been shown as a good nutrition source for diabetics and can be used as a healthy way to maintain blood sugar levels.
What is Quinoa?
While it may be new to supermarkets in your area, quinoa has been a staple of the South American diet for centuries dating all the way back to the time of the Incas. It is native to the Andes Mountains and is able to survive harsh conditions. Quinoa is eaten like a grain with the Incas referring to it as “the mother of all grains”, but it is actually a seed.
There are currently 120 different known variations of the seed, but the most popular are the white, red and black quinoa making these three varieties the types you will most likely see in your local grocery store.
Research into the benefits of quinoa is relatively knew compared to research in other foods and it is only in the last thirty years that researchers have begun to discover the health benefits of this little seed. While more research is needed, it is currently believed that adding quinoa to your diet can reduce the risk of high blood pressure and high cholesterol and it is has also been shown to provide many benefits to people suffering from diabetes as well.
How Quinoa Can Impact Blood Sugar
One of the keys to living a healthy life with diabetes is managing and controlling your diet. Quinoa is a great choice for diabetes because it is a whole grain, one of the key components of a healthy diabetic diet along with fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and unsaturated fats.
Foods that are high on the glycemic index will raise your blood sugar and could make it difficult to control. Quinoa, however, is very low on the glycemic index meaning it won’t cause a spike in blood sugar when eaten.
While most grains don’t have the amino acids necessary to form a protein, quinoa has enough present to be considered a complete protein. Quinoa is also a great fiber source that doesn’t impact blood sugar that could help you maintain proper body weight to prevent other chronic conditions associated with diabetes.
Easy Ways to Prepare Quinoa
Quinoa is prepared in water and cooked in a similar fashion to rice. When preparing the dish, place one cup of uncooked quinoa and 2 cups of water into a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Once the water is boiling reduce the heat and simmer the quinoa until most of the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender. In most cases, this usually takes about 15 to 20 minutes.
Quinoa can also be used as a healthy addition to other types of dishes as well. Much like rice, you can add it to soups, stews or chili to give your dish an extra touch that is not only healthy but quite tasty as well.
With all of the good things we keep hearing about quinoa, it’s a wonder that anyone still uses rice anymore. For diabetics, it is the perfect grain that is built for a healthy diabetic diet. Incorporating this little seed into your diet can help you control your blood sugar while also maintaining a healthy weight to prevent many of the secondary problems that are caused by diabetes.
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