Lifestyle, and dietary changes are very essential to effectively manage Type 2 diabetes. It can be challenging at times. You need to do more exercise, monitor your blood sugar regularly, take special medications, or rethink what you add to your plate. In this post, we will look at a versatile “super grain” named Quinoa, and its impact in diabetes.
As per doctors, this food helps in management of blood pressure, and blood sugar in a person. So, it makes it a healthful addition in your diabetic meal plan. Let us look more into its nutrition, benefits, and healthy ways to incorporate Quinoa in your diabetes diet.
What is Quinoa?
Quinoa is basically a seed that belongs to the family of non-grassy plants. Due to this reason, it is called also as a “pseudo-cereal”, or a “pseudo-grain”. With respect to a diabetes diet, Quinoa is a type of carbohydrate, and also a grain food that offers the same level of health benefits, and nutrients like any other whole grain. There are more than one hundred and twenty varieties of this grain. The highly popular ones of them are white, black, and red quinoa.
Nutrition in Quinoa
Quinoa is a nutritional powerhouse. It is a seed that has high amounts of protein. It is full of fiber, with a low Glycemic Index. Being a rich source of fiber, this food helps in reducing the absorption of carbohydrates in the blood, also prevents sudden spike in the blood glucose levels.
In comparison to other grains, quinoa has got good amounts of:
- antioxidants, and
Quinoa is free of gluten and that is what makes it a healthy choice for people who have sensitivity towards glutens (that is present in wheat). There are proofs that suggests that when you eat more of quinoa, it helps in management of blood glucose levels, and also prevents spike in blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. This makes Quinoa a healthy inclusion in a diabetes diet.
How to eat Quinoa in diabetes?
Managing the total amount of carbs intake in every meal is important for regulation of blood glucose. Single cup that is around 189 grams of cooked form of quinoa has got around forty 40 grams of carbs in it.
Quinoa is a grain that provides the highest value of nutrition for your carb servings. 1/3rd cup of cooked form of quinoa is counted as a single carbohydrate serving. It provides around 15 grams of carbs. You can either eat quinoa as a sole ingredient in your dish, or add into a grain-based recipe.
GI Index of Quinoa and Diabetes
The high protein, and fiber content of quinoa gives you a feeling of full for longer time. For a diabetic, foods that are ranked low on the glycemic index are advised. These foods have slow digesting carbs that releases sugar slowly in the blood when they are consumed. This prevents spike in blood sugar levels in the body.
Foods that have got a GI index of 55 or less are considered as low GI foods. Quinoa has a GI index of 53, that implies it would not cause any dramatic increase in blood sugar. Due to its high protein, fiber and all types of essential amino acids, makes it a vital food for controlling blood glucose and diabetes.
How to prepare Quinoa?
Quinoa is just like other grain. The method of its preparation, and consumption is similar to other grains that you commonly use. You can prepare quinoa just like how you prepare rice. Add water to it, boil, and stir it. It will make them fluffy. When the small white colored ring detaches from its grain, then it when you know that it is cooked. Using rice cooker is an easy way to cook this grain.
Quinoa has got a little nutty flavor. To increase it, do dry roasting it prior to its cooking. When you have cooked it, you can add to it:
- nuts, and
There are several nutritious quinoa recipes that you can make for your breakfast to main courses. Some of these are:
- pastas, and
- snack mixes
Quinoa is beneficial grain that ancient people used to eat. With people becoming more and more health conscious, and aware of its benefits, this food has become popular in the modern diet. Quinoa is rich in fiber, and protein, that makes it a healthy addition to the diet.
It aids in controlling cholesterol, and blood sugar in a person. Several healthy recipes can be made out of this holy grain. Being mindful of your carb intake, will help you enjoy Quinoa at any time, and any day.