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Diet, Health, Fitness, Lifestyle & Wellness


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10 Benefits of Quinoa

Quinoa isn’t just some hipster food, it’s actually incredibly nutritional and versatile. It’s a grain that’s grown and the seeds are eaten. It’s not quite a grass and not quite a cereal, but it’s related to other healthy vegetables like spinach and beetroot.

A common ingredient in vegetarian food, there’s no reason why carnivores and herbivores alike can’t enjoy quinoa. It can be served alongside meat, used in a wide range of cuisines, and it has a huge number of benefits. Here are the top ten reasons why you should start eating quinoa today.

1. It has an amazing nutrient breakdown
Ever wondered what quinoa actually offers you? This is a breakdown of the nutritional value of quinoa. Each percentage relates to your recommended daily allowance and the quantity is just one cup.

  • Potassium – 9%
  • Zinc – 13%
  • Iron – 15%
  • Copper – 18%
  • Folate – 19%
  • Phosphorus – 28%
  • Magnesium – 30%
  • Manganese – 58%

The same cup also contain five grams of fiber and eight grams of protein. All of this is much more than you’d get with a lot of other foods and it even gives you a vitamin boost containing vitamins B1, B2, B6, and E.

2. It’s low in calories
Not only is it good for you, it’s really low in calories, too–this makes it ideal if you’re trying to lose weight or just maintain a healthy body weight. One cup of quinoa is just 22 calories and contains only four grams of fat.

3. It’s versatile
Quinoa being versatile means it’s incredibly easy to incorporate into your diet. It goes well with pretty much any food you imagine and, just like couscous, you only need to cook it with water. Two cups of water and one cup of quinoa boiled for around 20 minutes will give you a healthy snack and it can be combined with any spices and vegetables you like to create a satisfying meal. It even works as a great side dish with steak and other meats.
Because it contains protein, it’s also fantastic for weight lifting and body building.

4. It keeps your blood cells healthy
With such a large amount of iron, quinoa can help keep your red blood cells healthy. Iron is necessary for the formation of hemoglobin and the iron itself carries oxygen from cell to cell. Without it, brain function would suffer, muscles would suffer, and we would suffer with overall poor health. In short, quinoa gives you access to a mineral that is essential for your whole body to function properly and if you’re lacking iron in your current diet incorporating quinoa into your food will solve that problem and help give your body access to all the oxygen it needs.

Quinoa

5. It contains more fiber than many other grains
Out of all the grains that people regularly eat, quinoa is one of the best for its fiber content. Fiber is an essential nutrient that does much more than regulate your bowel movements–it actually keeps the heart healthy by reducing the risk of developing diabetes and helping reduce your blood pressure. It even lowers cholesterol and helps manage levels of glucose in your blood. It’s an essential part of our diet and quinoa gives you access to more of it than most other grains. A simple switch from one grain to quinoa can significantly improve your health with very little effort at all.

6. It’s rich in magnesium
Magnesium doesn’t seem like something we should have in our bodies, but it performs an essential function–relaxing our blood vessels. This allows blood to flow freely throughout the body, it reduces the chances of developing high blood pressure (which is not helped by restricted blood flow and vessels), and can even prevent migraines–which is great for those looking for a natural solution.
As if that all isn’t enough, magnesium helps prevent diabetes (Type 2), it improves transmission of nerve impulses, it aids detoxification within the body, and assists with the growth of healthy bones.

7. It’s full of antioxidants
Antioxidants prevent oxidizing damage within the body and quinoa is loaded with them. These essential antioxidants within quinoa help prevent aging allowing us to live healthier for longer. They also assist the body in the fight against a great range of diseases and, out of most cereals and legumes, quinoa wins on the levels of antioxidants it offers.

8. It helps you lose weight
By being so low in calories, and so filling, quinoa helps you lose weight. It’s high in protein which increases your metabolism and allows the body to break down foods more efficiently by separating what it needs and what it doesn’t. The protein also means that quinoa makes you feel full and reduces your appetite meaning you’ll be less likely to binge on chocolate and cakes after a meal.

9. It has a low glycemic index
This probably doesn’t mean much to a lot of people–so, in short, this means that it can help maintain your blood sugar levels. This is why quinoa is so great for preventing Type 2 diabetes, as we have already discussed. When you eat foods that are higher up on the glycemic index, your body feels the need to eat more–however, the lower it is, the less likely you will continue to feel hungry after eating.
A lot of the junk food we love is right up at the top which is why it’s so easy to binge eat without even thinking about it.

10. It’s gluten free
If you’re gluten free, quinoa is perfect for you. Many people are gluten intolerant now and quinoa is a grain that these people can eat without worrying about stomach upsets. Foods that are gluten free by their nature are better for you than foods that have been designed to be gluten free–so ditch the man-made gluten-free foods and choose quinoa instead.

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7 Benefits of Eating Sorghum

Zoe Blarowski    October 19, 2015

Sorghum is the fifth most commonly grown grain crop in the world after wheat, rice, corn and barley. But this tasty, gluten free grain often gets overlooked in many Western countries. Sorghum has many health benefits that make it worth including in your diet.

There are over 30 different species of sorghum native to tropical and subtropical regions around the world. The majority are used to feed animals or get processed into secondary products like alcohol and sorghum syrup. Very few varieties are harvested for human consumption.

1. High Nutritional Value

Sorghum has a whopping 22 grams of protein in a 1 cup (192 gram) serving of the cooked, whole grain. A woman’s daily recommended protein intake is 46 grams and a man’s is 56 grams. On average, that means sorghum contains 43 percent of your daily protein intake.

One serving also contains 47 percent of your daily recommended iron and 55 percent of your phosphorus intake. It’s also a good source of magnesium, copper, calcium, zinc and potassium.

A serving of sorghum also contains around 30 percent of your recommended intake of both niacin and thiamin. These two B-vitamins help us to metabolize and properly absorb carbohydrates and nutrients.

2. Rich in Antioxidants

Sorghum contains a wide variety of beneficial phytochemicals that act as antioxidants in the body, such as tannins, phenolic acids, anthocyanins, phytosterols and policosanols.

In fact, the bran layer of sorghum has significantly higher amounts of antioxidants than fruits such as blueberries, strawberries and plums.

Antioxidants help to slow down aging, and antioxidant-rich foods have been linked to a lower risk of heart disease, cancer, type II diabetes and some neurological diseases.

Many studies indicate that whole grain consumption significantly lowers mortality from cardiovascular disease, and antioxidant phytochemicals are believed to be the main reason. They have been shown to reduce blood cholesterol and prevent arterial clotting.

3. Improves Digestive Health

Sorghum is one of the best sources available for dietary fiber. One serving contains 48 percent of your daily recommended intake of fiber.

Fiber is vital for overall digestive function. It keeps your digestive tract moving and of course prevents constipation. But it also helps to regulate blood sugar, lower cholesterol, and prevent diverticulitis, hemorrhoids, gallstones and kidney stones.

sorghum

 

4. Inhibits Cancer

Certain phytochemicals in sorghum have also been shown to have cancer-inhibiting properties, particularly in gastrointestinal and skin cancers.

Studies have shown that sorghum consumption is linked to lower incidences of esophageal cancer globally, including parts of Africa, Russia, India, China and Iran. Wheat and corn consumption have been linked to elevated rates of esophageal cancer.

Whole grains in general are correlated with reduced risks of other forms of digestive tract cancer, especially colon cancer. It is unknown if this is due to the phytochemicals or dietary fiber in grains, but as sorghum is high in both, it would certainly provide the same benefits as other grains.

5. Gluten-Free

Sorghum is safe to eat for those with Celiac disease. The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry published a study that analyzed the genome of sorghum to determine if it contained any gluten proteins. They confirmed that gluten is absent in all varieties of sorghum.

6. Currently Non-Genetically Modified

Another benefit of sorghum is that it’s a non-genetically modified crop.

Although, the company DuPont Pioneer is working to develop a genetically modified (GM) variety.

Most plant genetic engineering to date has been to improve a crop’s herbicide tolerance and resistance to pests. DuPont is working on a new type of genetic engineering to enhance the micronutrient content of sorghum. Their goal is to develop a “biofortified” strain of sorghum with higher vitamin A, more easily absorbed iron and zinc, and an improved balance of amino acids. They have already grown trial GM sorghum crops in Africa.

GM sorghum is not grown in North America yet, but always buy certified organic sorghum products when you can find them. This will ensure there is no GM material present, as well as avoiding harmful pesticide residues.

7. Many Uses

Sorghum is a very versatile grain. It is best eaten in its whole grain form to get the most nutrition. It can be prepared similar to rice.

Try soaking whole sorghum for 8 hours or overnight to first break down the enzymes and make it more digestible. Then boil it in three times as much water for about an hour or until tender. It can also be cooked in a rice steamer or slow cooker.

Sorghum flour is becoming a popular gluten-free substitute for wheat flour in baked goods. Make sure you buy the whole grain form of sorghum flour, which is simply the whole grains ground into flour. Refined sorghum flour is also available, but like most refined products, the nutrient content is reduced.

In some countries, sorghum is eaten as porridge or boiled directly into various dishes. The Ethiopian bread injera can be made from sorghum, as well as many gluten-free beers and even biofuels.

As its popularity rises, sorghum is becoming much more common in grocery stores and markets. It’s definitely a grain that deserves a place at our tables.


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Teff: The New Super Food You Need to Try

Diana Vilibert   February 5, 2014

With fans like Gwyneth Paltrow and Victoria Beckham, it’s no wonder that teff is being touted as the next big super food. And Hollywood A-listers have good reason to love it—here are seven things you need to know about teff.

  •     It’s gluten-free, and can even be ground to make a flour alternative. Use it to make pie crusts, cookies and breads.
  •     It’s packed with protein and vitamin C (a nutrient not usually found in grains).
  •     It far surpasses other grains when it comes to calcium content—a cup of cooked teff will get you as much calcium as half a cup of cooked spinach.
  •     Teff is high in resistant starch, a type of starch that doesn’t break down into sugar. Instead, it passes into the large intestine largely undigested, making it great for appetite control, regulating blood sugar, and improving bowel function.
teff

    Teff has been around for over 4,000 years and is native to Ethiopia. If you’ve ever eaten at an Ethiopiant restaurant, you’ve probably tried it—when ground into flour and fermented, it’s called injera, a spongy, pancake-like bread used to scoop food.

It’s tiny—about the size of a poppy seed. Three thousand grains of teff weigh just one gram.

Stocking the cupboards? White teff has a milder flavor, while the darker varieties will give you an earthier taste. Try cooking it on its own with water, or add it to soups for a nutritional boost.

source: www.care2.com