You are what you eat or so the mantra goes. Quinoa is healthy, therefore if you eat quinoa you will be healthy – that’s how it goes isn’t it? But was does healthy mean?
Healthy doesn’t mean thin for example. We have seen the media crucify Olympic athletes for not conforming to the visual standard of what an athlete looks like – whatever that may be. These people got to the Olympics, the chances are they are healthier than most of the population has to be high.
People who are too thin don’t look healthy, as if looking is a measure. But they don’t. Think of models on the catwalk. In our warped modern way, we might have succumbed to that as beauty, but they don’t come across as the picture of health. Any parent struggling with an anorexic child would not thank you for the image.
Does healthy mean disease-free? Allergies are officially classified as a disease, as is celiac. But people suffering from these diseases can be healthy or not. What is healthy is a moving target. My healthy and yours could be completely different.
What makes quinoa different is the long list of nutritional quinoa health benefits. As a complete protein, it ranks with meat, fish and eggs. (Nuts and grains don’t.) But bear in mind, 100g of quinoa has about 5g of protein whereas 100g of boiled egg has 12.5g of protein. To get the same protein levels you need over 200g of quinoa, doubling the calories. The argument may be specious. If you weigh about 150lbs your daily intake of protein should be 75g; eggs or quinoa there’s a long way to go.
Quinoa’s real benefits come from the amount of everything else that each gram is packed with as well as protein. This is how it gets the name of superfood. There’s more than enough articles on the web which cover every single one of those; it’s enough to say Quinoa has many of the things you need, few of the things you don’t; on balance it is much better for you than the alternatives.
To get the very best from quinoa you need to add it into a properly balanced diet. Which of course is true of all food. Too much of any one thing is never a good idea.