One of the most trending foods these days, Quinoa is known as a healthy complete protein source. It is available in different varieties and colors like red, white and black and can be cooked in several ways. A lot of people, however, ask whether this superfood fits their diet. If you have switched to a plant-based diet recently, you may wonder if you can include this food in your diet.
So, is quinoa plant based? Yes, quinoa in itself is 100% plant-based. Though it is considered a seed and not a grain, quinoa is obtained from the Chenopodium plant and is thus plant-derived. While pure quinoa is plant-based, not all of the varieties you encounter are, because some products can include other ingredients like milk.
It is best to check the label of the product for ingredients to make sure the quinoa you buy fits your plant-based diet. In this article, we talk about quinoa, its ingredients, benefits and nutrition to help you find out whether you can eat it on a plant-based diet.
Why Quinoa Is Plant Based?
Quinoa is essentially a gluten-free grain derived from the seeds of a plant and has recently hit the market as a plant-based source of protein. The grain is available in several varieties though black and white are the most popular.
The small, seed-like kernels of the plant are rinsed to get rid of the bitter coating and it takes the pleasant flavor and nutty taste. Quinoa does not undergo a lot of processing and is therefore close to being plant-based. However, a product containing other ingredients like dairy or animal fats no longer keeps quinoa suitable for a plant-based diet.
What Are The Main Ingredients In Quinoa?
Quinoa, in its pure form, is a grain-like seed that comes from a plant. It can be obtained easily and cooked in several ways. Most quinoa varieties available in the market contain no other added ingredients.
However, food companies offer items like cereals, pasta, chips and others made out of quinoa which often contain other ingredients. Make sure you check the ingredients list to confirm that the product is suitable for a plant-based diet.
Quinoa is a superfood known for its rich nutritional profile. It has an amazing flavor and texture and is a popular grain among those who like to eat natural foods. It takes only half the cooking time as brown rice and is a great base for cereals, stir-fries, salads and more.
Quinoa is gluten-free and is a rich source of all the nine amino acids to deliver a good amount of the body’s protein needs. It also contains iron, phosphorus, magnesium and dietary fiber in rich amounts.
One cup of cooked quinoa provides 222 calories with 39 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams fat, 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of dietary fiber. All the varieties of quinoa have almost the same nutritional profile, though they vary in terms of flavor and texture.
So, you can consume quinoa in your daily plant-based diet to reap its nutritional benefits. However, remember to check the label of any quinoa product you buy to make sure it contains no animal-based ingredients. Moreover, consider cooking quinoa with healthy, plant-based ingredients to keep up with your dietary goals.