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This article is part of a larger article titled "100+ Healthiest Foods On Planet Earth."  Read it here.

Quinoa Nutritional Information (per 100g)

Water: 13.3 g
Calories: 368 kcal
Protein: 14.1 g
Carbohydrate: 64.2 g
Dietary fiber: 7 g
Fat: 6.1 g
Saturated fat: 0.7 g
Monounsaturated fat: 1.6 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 3.3 g
Vitamin B1: 0.4 mg
Vitamin B2: 0.3 mg
Vitamin B3: 1.5 mg
Vitamin B6: 0.5 mg
Vitamin B9: 184 μg
Vitamin A: 1 μg
Vitamin E: 2.4 mg
Calcium: 47 mg
Iron: 4.6 mg
Magnesium: 197 mg
Phosphorus: 457 mg
Potassium: 563 mg
Sodium: 5 mg
Zinc: 3.1 mg

Quinoa is without a doubt one of the healthiest grains there is. Although technically a pseudocereal (and so not a grain in the strict sense), quinoa is nonetheless one of the best ‘whole grains’ there is in terms of versatility and, well, just being a nutritional powerhouse.

It is not only of the most nutrient-dense grains there is, it is also gluten-free, non-GMO and generally grown organically. It is nutrient dense, easy to grow and very easy to prepare, which is why NASA were looking into growing it in outer space! A ‘superfood’ so nutritious that we’re taking it into space has to be a good addition to your diet.

So, why all the excitement? Well, quinoa is quite simply an incredibly balanced grain in terms of both macro and micronutrients. 100g of uncooked quinoa contains 368 calories, but those calories pay off.

Firstly, that 100g of quinoa contains 28% of your daily value (DV) of protein, and more importantly, it is a ‘complete’ protein (it has all the amino acids in relatively high amounts), so you don’t have to pair it with other foods to get the benefits.

In addition, quinoa is relatively high in fat for a grain, containing 9% DV, but significantly most of this is polyunsaturated fat, a fat many diets in the developed world are severely lacking in because of the huge amount of saturated fats in our diets.

Quinoa is even high in micronutrients, and what’s more, they’re vitamins and minerals that many people’s diets lack. 100g of quinoa contains a huge 48% DV of magnesium, 28% DV of fibre, 25% of iron, and 25% of B6. Magnesium is essential for our cardiovascular health, and yet many of us are deficient. Similarly, many people are iron deficient (women are especially at risk), and this can lead to poor cognitive function and tiredness. B6 is another micronutrient essential for cognitive function, and is also important in immunity. Finally, dietary fibre is essential for good digestion. Overall, quinoa is fantastic when it comes to providing vitamins and minerals that many diets are lacking in.

Beyond quinoa’s stunning nutritional profile, however, there are other benefits. It has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Antioxidants are important to prevent damage caused by particles called free radicals, which can lead to DNA damage (possibly leading to mutations and cancer), and cell death (causing possible tissue damage).

Quinoa is very high in antioxidants. It also has anti-inflammatory effects, mainly found in the saponins present in it’s outer shell of (often removed because of their bitter taste but potentially useful scientifically).