The quinoa craze is more than just another fading food fad. Pronounced KEEN-wah, this ancient grain might have been crowned queen of the superfoods at least a decade ago, but it has yet to lose its momentum. The reason? It’s just that good for you and it tastes great too! Whether you choose to boil it for breakfast, serve it as a side dish, or stick it in a stew, one thing’s for sure: you’re going to reap some serious health benefits when you add quinoa to your diet.

Prevents Blood Sugar Spikes

Quinoa has a low glycemic index (or GI), which means it won’t cause blood sugar levels to spike after eating it. High GI foods can put people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes at risk excess glucose in the bloodstream. If blood glucose levels remain too high for too long, it can cause serious long-term health problems, including kidney and nerve damage.

Simply swapping out high-GI foods, like white bread or pasta, for low-GI foods, like quinoa, is a great way to keep blood sugar levels stable.

woman checking her blood sugar


Helps Prevent Anemia

Quinoa is a formidable source of iron, a key component to the health of your blood cells. Inadequate iron intake can cause iron deficiency anemia, symptoms of which include extreme fatigue, weakness, and shortness of breath. Vegetarian and vegan diets tend to be less rich in this mineral than omnivore diets, so quinoa is a perfect plant-based solution to bolster iron levels for veggie folks.

Women are also at higher risk than men of iron deficiency because of menstruation, so it's especially important that they consume the recommended 18 milligrams of iron each day. A one-cup serving of quinoa satisfies about 15 percent of their daily needs.

bowl of quinoa


Keeps Digestive System Healthy

Like many whole grains, quinoa is a first-rate source of fiber, specifically insoluble fiber. Your digestive tract won’t absorb or break down this type of fiber, allowing it to sweep through your system and help keep things “moving”.

Men should consume about 38 grams of fiber, and women about 25 grams per day, to stay regular and avoid constipation. Getting adequate dietary fiber can also alleviate gastrointestinal comfort, like bloating and gas. One cup of quinoa contains about 5.2 grams of fiber compared to just 3.5 grams per cup of brown rice.

bowl of quinoa


Keeps You Feeling Full

Eating nutrient-dense quinoa is a delicious way to prevent crashes and crush cravings for convenience food between meals. Its high protein and fiber content will keep you feeling fuller for longer.

Unlike refined grains and processed food, it can help you maintain steady energy levels throughout the day. Eating more quinoa is linked to decreased weight gain and may play a role in regulating appetite.

bowl of cooked quinoa



Quinoa is naturally gluten-free, which makes it a perfect grain alternative for people with gluten sensitivity or intolerance, or Celiac disease. Quinoa flour is a shining star when it comes to nutrition, too.

Other gluten-free flour substitutes like potato, corn, and tapioca starch offer very few nutritional benefits and are much lower in protein.

bowl of quinoa with nuts and raisins


A Complete (Plant-Based) Protein

Unlike most other grains out there, quinoa is a complete protein. That means it contains all nine of the essential amino acids that your body needs to thrive but cannot produce on its own and thus must be taken in through food.

Amino acids are fundamental molecules that are the building blocks of protein. Your body uses them to synthesize protein to help repair muscle tissue, recover from injury, and perform other necessary functions.

plant based proteins


Fights Inflammation

Under normal circumstances, inflammation triggers the immune system's fight against infections and helps heal injuries. When the inflammatory response goes into overdrive, it becomes harmful. Chronic stress, obesity, autoimmune issues, and exposure to toxins all cause inflammation that may eventually cause health problems like arthritis, heart disease, depression, Alzheimer's, and cancer.

Quinoa is a fantastic source of two important inflammation-fighting phytochemicals, kaempferol and quercetin, both of which boost immunity and protect against inflammation-induced diseases.

inflammation on a doctor's intake sheet


High in Heart-Healthy Nutrients

Quinoa is a solid source of magnesium and potassium, both of which play a major role in cardiovascular health. Your body needs magnesium to compete with calcium to maintain a healthy heartbeat—calcium helps your heart muscle contract, while magnesium helps it relax again.

Low magnesium levels can overstimulate heart muscle cells, leading to arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat. Meanwhile, the potassium in quinoa helps regulate blood pressure to keep your circulatory system healthy and strong.

foods rich in potassium

May Help Mental Health

The lysine in quinoa might play a role in reducing symptoms of stress-induced anxiety. Research has revealed that this essential amino acid may block receptors involved in the stress response and reduce cortisol levels.

Some studies have also shown that combining lysine with prescribed medication may help improve symptoms of schizophrenia. One hundred grams of quinoa provides roughly 10 percent of the recommended daily value of lysine.

smiling man looking relaxed


Good For Your Microbiome

Besides being an excellent source of dietary fiber to keep your digestive tract on track, quinoa helps your gut in other essential ways. The fiber acts as a natural prebiotic that helps healthy bacteria produce butyrate, a fatty acid known for its microbiome-boosting properties.

A healthy gut microbiome is fundamental in maintaining overall health, from improved energy levels, to brain function, to immune system performance.

plate with fork and knife that says "gut health"


Good for Bone Health

Quinoa is full of phosphorus, manganese, and magnesium, all of which are crucial in maintaining the health of bones, teeth, and cell membranes. Phosphorus works with calcium to help build bones, while magnesium works in conjunction with calcium, zinc, and copper to support bone mineral density.

Fifty to 60 percent of your body’s magnesium is stored in the bones, and a deficiency in this mineral is linked to an increased risk of osteoporosis.

bowl of food with quinoa and lentils


Full of B Vitamins

Feeling a little sluggish lately? You might want to cook up some quinoa. The grain boasts an abundance of B vitamins, including thiamine, folate, B2 (riboflavin), and B6, all of which are essential for maintaining healthy energy levels.

Riboflavin or B2, in particular, is responsible for regulating metabolism, which boosts energy production in cells to aid in healthy weight loss.

smiling woman with energetic expression


Boosts Brain Power

Consider this grain a brain food! Our brains use about 20 percent of the oxygen in our blood, and the high iron in quinoa helps maintain healthy cognitive function by improving blood flow to the brain.

Quinoa is also rich in flavonoids, which protect neurons against injury from neurotoxins and may improve memory, learning, and cognition.

young man focusing on work


Helps Prevent Cell Damage

The antioxidants in quinoa prevent a chemical reaction called oxidation, which produces cell-damaging free radicals. These free radicals are often the culprit behind inflammation, chronic disease, and cancer.

Research suggests that a specific class of flavonoid antioxidants found in quinoa—polyphenols—may play a role in preventing osteoporosis, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

quinoa in a cast iron dish


Makes Healthy Eating Easier

The fact that quinoa is one of the most highly versatile superfoods is a benefit in itself. Not only is this dietary chameleon delicious, but it fits in with just about any meal—both sweet dishes and savory alike. You can eat it like hot cereal for breakfast or sub it for any starchy side dish, from pasta to rice to potatoes.

It also cooks quickly and is ready to eat in as little as 15 to 20 minutes. Need a quick snack on the go? Simply pop it on the stove in some oil as a protein-rich alternative to popcorn. Just add your favorite seasonings and snack away!

woman digging into a healthy buddha bowl with quinoa Happy to eat healthy food


Popular Now on Facty Health


This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.