7 Health Benefits Of Puffed Quinoa and Which Diets It’s Best For
Quinoa is an ingredient that has been consistently picking up in popularity all over the world, however, while most people are already acquainted with its traditional grain presentation that doesn’t mean it’s the only way to consume it.
Just like corn becomes popcorn; this pseudo-grain can be heated to become puffed quinoa. is light with a toasted nutty flavor, providing you with a whole new way to enjoy this grain. But what about health? Does puffing this grain affect its benefits in any way?
We are happy to announce that puffs are every bit as healthy as their standard counterpart. So today we’ll be taking a look at 7 health benefits of puffed quinoa and which diets its best for. That way you’ll have access to yet another healthy ingredient for your kitchen.
It’s Packed with Protein
The protein profile of quinoa is one of its most famous and important characteristics, a trait that doesn’t change by the puffing process. Puffed quinoa is one of the few plant-based foods that contain all nine essential amino acids. As the name implies essential amino acids are required by the body for a variety of functions like nutrient absorption, protein synthesis, and tissue repair,
What this ultimately means is that we are looking at one of the most complete protein sources out there, and consumption as a snack or as part of larger recipes will provide you with essential protein.
It’s a Source of Potassium
An important aspect of quinoa that is often overlooked is its potassium content. Puffed quinoa contains a good amount of potassium, an essential mineral that keeps our nerves and muscles in good shape.
Puffed quinoa can easily provide 140 to 200mg of potassium depending on the serving size and the specific variety of the grain. While this isn’t enough to turn the grain into your main potassium source it nonetheless helps with your recommended daily intake. For comparison sake bananas usually have 358mg of Potassium, and that’s enough to consider them one of the best sources of the mineral.
Great Fiber Content
On average a serving of puffed quinoa will provide you with three grams of fiber per serving. Which in broad terms means that puffs provide almost twice the amount of fiber as most grains.
Fiber is beneficial when it comes to digestive health, as it helps regulate bowel movements and helps your body keep a stable level of probiotics. Fiber is one of the best ways to maintain your digestive health and that makes puffs an excellent ally to keep our digestive processes in perfect shape.
It has a Low Glycemic Index
The Glycemic Index is a value given to carbohydrate-containing foods as a way to help regulate blood sugar levels for people with Diabetes or other blood sugar-related complications. In short the higher a food’s glycemic index the more it will increase your blood sugar level after consumption, meaning that ingredients with a low index like puffed quinoa are much safer for consumption.
Fiber and protein are also important to keep a body’s glucose levels stable, which means that these grain puffs can help people with blood sugar issues beyond their low glycemic index.
It’s Rich In Iron
Puffed quinoa is an impressive source of iron, a mineral that has countless uses in our bodies. A single serving of puffs can provide up to 25% of the recommended daily values for iron. So people who regularly consume the grain don’t need to worry about their iron levels.
Iron is a mineral that our body uses in hemoglobin to transport oxygen throughout our body; meaning that all the functions in our body are tied to it t some degree. Iron is also present in other proteins beyond hemoglobin, so making sure to keep a healthy iron consumption is important for all people regardless of age or dietary preferences.
Good Source of Antioxidants
Antioxidants are unique compounds that inhibit oxidation in our bodies, or in short, they keep our cells healthy and make sure to protect us from free radicals. While heating processes can affect the number of antioxidants in certain foods, the fact is that even after puffed quinoa still contains relevant amounts of quercetin and kaempferol.
Quercetin is one of the most powerful natural antioxidants, while kaempferol is closely tied to inhibiting cell cancer growth. Together they can lower the risk of heart disease, some forms of cancer, osteoporosis, and beyond.
It’s Completely Gluten-Free
Finding gluten-free alternatives for a lot of popular foods can often be a struggle, but thankfully puffed quinoa is completely gluten-free and as such fit for people who suffer from gluten intolerance, celiac disease, or wheat allergies.
Gluten intolerance is best known for the effects it has on digestive processes, which makes these grain puffs an even better alternative. As we’ve seen above this pseudo grain can help digestive processes. So not only is puffed quinoa a good snack alternative to other carbohydrates but it also can help with existing symptoms of constipation or bloating while the transition is taking place.
The Best Diets For Puffed Quinoa
So now that we’ve taken a global look at the benefits puffs provide, let’s take a closer look at the best diets for this ingredient. Plant-based and Vegan diets are at the top of the list. Since quinoa is one of the few plant foods that contain all nine essential amino acids it’s an important alternative to replace meat-based proteins and can help boost your intake as a snack at any time.
Gluten-Free diets will also make good use of puffed quinoa since it provides a safe and nutritive alternative to other traditional carbohydrates that do contain gluten. Puffs can also have a strong presence in the Mediterranean Diet as their plant-based profile and high-protein content help make them a good snack or an additional ingredient for more complex meals.
In broad terms, puffs are a great food that thanks to its multiple health benefits and presentation can make for a great healthy snack on most diets and you’d be hard-pressed to find a circumstance in which it’s considered “bad” for you. The main exception to this rule is diets that are highly centered on avoiding carbs or grains like the Ketogenic and Paleolithic diets. Those exceptions aside there’s not a bad place or time for some puffs on your diet.