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Originally published November 7 2013

Quinoa is a high source of protein with tremendous health benefits

by P. Simard

(NaturalNews) You've been told so many contradictory things about meat throughout the years that at some point you probably don't know what to think of it anymore. You may feel the urge to quit eating meat for so many good reasons, but the same question always comes back to haunt you over and over again. Where are you supposed to get decent sources of protein if you're not eating any meat?

There are many sources, as long as you're committed to eating a balanced and health conscious diet. You should definitely start by looking at quinoa as a great gluten-free source of protein that you can eat on a weekly basis. It's a complex carbohydrate food with a low glycemic index which will help control weight by avoiding high blood sugar levels while filling your body with extremely important nutrients. This alkaline-forming food is also an interesting source of riboflavin, which can help diminish the frequencies of migraines by improving the flow of energy and metabolism within cells.

The United Nation's Food and Agricultural Organization has actually recognized 2013 as being "The International Year of the Quinoa." By contrast with most other grains, not only does quinoa have all essential amino acids, but it most importantly contains substantially higher quantities of both lysine and isoleucine, which is the main reason why quinoa can be seen as a complete protein source.

So what kind of health benefits are we looking at?

Thanks to tests done with rats, scientists were able to confirm that quinoa has antioxidant properties. In the experiments, rats already displaying oxidative stress induced by specific concentrations of glucose were supplemented with quinoa over a period of five weeks. The evidence showed that quinoa acted as a moderate protective agent by limiting lipid peroxidation while increasing the antioxidant effects in various parts of the organism.

Although scientific research has mainly been limited to experiments with animals, the obtained results do lead specialists to believe that quinoa has very potent anti-inflammatory properties. By taking it on a regular basis, it has been shown through rats to reduce levels of inflammation in fat tissue as well as the linings of the intestines. The phenolic acids and, to a lesser degree, the saponins are responsible for this process.

Although no significant studies have been summarized up to now, since quinoa and its high fiber content has the ability to regulate blood sugar levels, it certainly wouldn't be a surprise to some day recognize it as a valuable aid for people suffering from diabetes.

Animal studies have clearly shown quinoa's efficiency in lowering total cholesterol levels while maintaining healthy levels of HDL, or good cholesterol; therefore, it shouldn't be too much of stretch to see similar effects with humans.

As with amaranth, quinoa protects the blood vessels from inflammatory damage, which by extension helps limit the risks of eventual cardiovascular diseases.

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About the author:
After spending several years working in property management, P. Simard is now focusing on being a naturopath in Quebec.

After spending several years working in property management, P. Simard is now focusing on being a naturopath in Quebec.

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