Starting a Gluten-Free Diet can seem overwhelming. Gluten appears in a lot of the American Diet in surprising ways. You’d imagine gluten is found in carbohydrate rich foods like bread, crackers, and cereal; but it’s added to everything from soy sauce and candy to soups and sauces. Gluten isn’t just found in wheat, either; it’s a protein found in rye, spelt, and barley. Finding a substitute for all these delicious grains that contained an equal, if not greater, health benefit was key - so I chose Quinoa over the standard choices: corn and rice.. I created New Beat Foods Quinoa Crackers to have a healthy, tasty, and nutritious cracker to transform the way we snack!
Quinoa is an ancient grain, technically a seed, with over 120 different types being cultivated today. Unfortunately we only really receive 3 types of quinoa in America: white, red, and black. This grain has not been subjected to the growing methods of western society so it has maintained a lot of its natural, variable nutritional value, unlike wheat and corn which have been bred for a speedy growing season and a hefty harvest (not nutrition). Here is what quinoa can offer in your diet:
Quinoa is a complete protein. In one cup of quinoa (cooked) there is approximately 8 grams of protein with a wide range of amino acids, key for muscle development and immune activity. One of these key amino acids contained within quinoa is Lysine, which is important so your body can synthesize proteins.
With about 5 grams of fiber in every cup (about 15% of your daily recommended value). Maintaining a healthy fiber intake can help reduce your risk of constipation, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diverticulosis.
Quinoa contains a healthy amount and variety of antioxidants. Vitamin E helps fight coronary heart disease, certain cancers, and several eye disorders and can help maintain a healthy skin. Kaempferol protects against infections, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer (especially in the skin and liver). Quercetin helps reduce inflammation and protect against certain infections as well.
This is essential for development and metabolism, and works alongside many enzymes to maintain a healthy, functioning body. In one cup of quinoa there’s 1.17 mg of manganese, which is about 27% of the daily recommended value for men and about 35% of the daily recommended value for women (depending on weight and age).
With 2.76 mg of iron in every cup (about 35% of your daily recommended value) you’ll notice a spike in your energy levels. Iron is essential for hemoglobin in your blood, which transports oxygen throughout the body. With more oxygen supply your energy level will certainly increase. Iron is also important for healthy connective tissue and muscle metabolism.
Touch Of Folate
This essential B vitamin helps with the formation of DNA and, therefore, is key during pregnancy. Ongoing ingestion of folate can reduce the risk of cancer and depression, and you don’t need a lot to have a large effect. Quinoa has about 77.7 micrograms in every cup, which is nearly 20% of your daily recommended value.
118 mg of magnesium in every cup helps with over 300 enzymatic processes in your body. Magnesium is found in every cell in your body. This means magnesium is key to helping everything from high blood pressure, to type 2 diabetes, migraines, or merely relaxation.
My health problems notwithstanding, I couldn’t pass up this amazing grain as a substitute for the carbohydrates to which I’d grown accustomed. Quinoa offers an amazing crunch and a delicate flavor that pairs well with so many other ingredients. I’ve started snacking to my New Beat and I feel all the healthier for it. Try New Beat Foods Quinoa Crackers and discover a healthier snack time option full of flavor and bursting with crunch!