Quinoa flour is grain-free since it is derived from quinoa seeds, which is not an actual grain. It does have some similarities to coconut flour in that it works best when mixed with other flours or binders such as eggs.
Its flour texture is light and fluffy and contains no quinoa grains.
The anti-nutrient substances found in grains such as phytic acid, lectins, and enzyme inhibitors are not present in quinoa flour. Plus, it is gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free.
Below are the 9 Nutritional facts of Quinoa you probably never knew!
1. Quinoa Flour is High in Protein
Quinoa flour is rich in proteins. It contains almost twice the protein content of wheat flour. In 100gms of quinoa flour, there are about 9grams of protein.
The protein in quinoa is complete, which means that it contains all of the essential amino acids.
As a whole grain, quinoa is rich in dietary fiber. It also has reasonable amounts of several essential minerals like manganese, iron, and zinc.
2. Quinoa Flour is High in Carbs
Quinoa flour has a high carb content. In fact, a cup of food made from quinoa flour has about 39grams of carbohydrates. This is approximately 50% more than carbs in the same amount of rice.
In itself, quinoa is considered a high-carb food. For every 100g serving, you will find about 21.2grams of carbohydrates. If you are on a low-carb diet, eating quinoa may not be the best idea since a single serving of it may exceed your daily carb allowance.
3. Quinoa Flour is High in Fiber
Quinoa flour is a great source of fiber. 1 cup of quinoa flour has 7 grams of fiber, which is about 27% of the daily value. This makes it one of the best sources of whole grain-based fiber.
Although it is not actually a grain, quinoa flour has the same fiber and protein as quinoa seeds.
Just like any other source of fiber, high-fiber foods are good for your digestive system because they help improve regularity and prevent constipation.
To make quinoa flour, simply place 1 cup of quinoa into the blender and process it for a few minutes. You can also use whole grains, but you will need to grind them down until they are very fine in texture.
4. Quinoa Flour is High in Calories
Quinoa flour has a high calorie content. The exact number of calories in quinoa flour depends on the type you choose. Even then, the calorie content in this flour is higher compared to other plant-based proteins.
This is because the calories in quinoa flour are derived from protein, fiber, and carbohydrates.
Quinoa flour has a higher amount of calories compared to other plant-based proteins. In fact, the calories in quinoa flour are similar to those in chicken breast.
However, you will need to be careful if you are eating this flour in significant quantities. Unless you exercise regularly, taking in too many calories may increase your weight and body fat.
5. Quinoa Flour Contains Very Low Lectins
Lectins are proteins that bind to sugar. They are generally viewed as anti-nutrients since they decrease the body’s ability to absorb nutrients.
Quinoa contains negligible levels of lectins. For example, 1 cup of cooked quinoa contains only about 0.1 mg lectins.
In contrast, a similar sized portion of wheat flour contains about 100 times more Lectins than Quinoa – 10 mg per serving; or some 1000 times more than in quinoa flour. Among other sources of dietary lectins, dried beans, corn, and almonds also contain more lectin than quinoa flour.
The lectins found in quinoa are found in the leaves and germ. However, consuming quinoa flour is not a risk for most people because of the lectin amount needed to make someone feel ill.
6. Quinoa Flour Has Low Glycemic Index
A glycemic index of below 55 is considered low. Quinoa has a glycemic index of 53. This means it does not raise blood sugar levels like some other higher glycemic products do, leading to insulin resistance and obesity. It’s less glycemic than wheat, rice, and corn.
This can benefit those with diabetes because it helps keep insulin levels within normal ranges, which helps to reduce the risk of diabetes-related problems. Since high insulin levels are linked to more rapid aging, this may be another reason quinoa is healthier than wheat or other grains.
7. Quinoa Flour Contains Low Sugar
Quinoa flour has a low sugar content of only 0.9g per 100 grams. This is much less than many other gluten-free flours, such as coconut flour- 3.7g per 100grams, potato flour- 1.2g per 100 grams, and rice flour- 4.5g per 100 grams.
Dried quinoa may have sugar added during processing. Whole grains are sometimes polished and processed to increase their sugar content.
However, since there are no specific labeling regulations on gluten-free products, it can be challenging to know exactly how much sugar is in quinoa flour.
If you want a low-sugar flour, avoid quinoa that has been polished and processed. Look for unprocessed quinoa flour, or try making your own at home.
8. Quinoa is a Good Source of Iron
Quinoa is a good source of iron. A cup (185 grams) of cooked quinoa provides 5.2 milligrams of iron, 15 percent of an adult’s recommended daily value. It ranks fourth among the grains and pseudograins for iron, after wheat (which has 14.6 milligrams in a cup), rice (10.9 milligrams), and corn (5.2 milligrams).
Non-heme iron comes from plants and accounts for about 80 percent of the body’s iron needs.
The body does not absorb this type of iron well, compared to heme-iron, found in animal sources such as red meat and is more readily absorbed. If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, it’s crucial to consume the recommended daily intake of foods that contain heme-iron to avoid anemia.
9. Quinoa is High in Saturated Fats
Quinoa contains about 2grams of fat for every 100gram serving. The fat in quinoa is mainly linoleic acid, palmitic acid, and oleic acid.
Linoleic acid, in particular, is an omega 6 fatty acid. Quinoa contains more of this type of fat because there are fewer omega 3 and 9 acids, unlike other grains such as brown rice.
Although quinoa contains a high fat level, this is not something to be concerned about as the good fats (unsaturated fats) in quinoa make up for the bad fats.
The bad fats in quinoa are not as harmful to the body because of their anti-inflammatory ratio. This is because it contains more omega 6’s than omega 3’s.
Omega 3 acids help reduce inflammation, while omega 6s have a tendency to cause inflammation which is why the balance between them is important.
The fats in quinoa are generally not bad for you because they have a different chemical structure to saturated fats.
Unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature because they have two or more double bonds between carbons in the carbon chain. On the other hand, saturated fats are only one bond away from becoming a straight line and so can’t bend, making them solid at room temperature.
The kind of fat that quinoa contains is healthier than other saturated fats because it contains fewer hydrogen atoms. This means that the cholesterol in quinoa doesn’t have too many hydrogen bonds, so the fat is not as sticky, making it easier to digest.