White Rice or Quinoa: Nutritionally Which one leads the board?

White Rice Or Quinoa: Nutritionally Which One Leads The Board?
Diets And Recipes
December 9, 2019

White Rice or Quinoa: Nutritionally Which one leads the board?

White rice has been one of the most commonly consumed grains over the years while, quinoa has emerged as a healthy alternative and gained attention only in the recent years.

Rice is basically a cereal grain. White rice has the husk, bran, and germ removed, which lowers its nutritional value. Quinoa, on the other hand, is the seed of the goosefoot plant and is high in nutrition. Having said that, quinoa is often referred to as a grain because of its similar nutritional and culinary properties as rice and other grains. In fact, it is a seed not only healthier than rice but also is native to South America which was first grown 5,000 years ago and belongs to same family as spinach and beets.

No wonder why quinoa has become one of the most consumed and sought-after health foods in the world, thanks to its high levels of minerals and fiber, and the fact that it is a complete protein, meaning it contains all the nine essential amino acids required to keep one healthy and nourished.

Though it’s undeniable that white rice has long made a delicious and affordable carbohydrate base for a wide variety of world cuisines, it doesn’t exactly have a stellar nutritional resume. In comparison, quinoa is rich in both fiber and protein, and contains much higher amounts of nutrients while allowing for a similar texture.

Both Rice and quinoa are used in similar ways, have their own nutritional benefits, and can often be used interchangeably in recipes. But when it comes to the healthiest option to turn to, it’s quinoa that takes the cake. Here are the 5 reasons why quinoa is more nutritious than, rice.

 

Quinoa is a complete protein

For such a tiny seed, quinoa has a lot of protein. One cup of cooked has almost 8 grams of protein content. It is one of the very few vegetarian sources of protein that is complete protein. This means it contains all the nine essential amino acids your body needs.

White rice, on the other hand, is an incomplete protein, a comfort food and a single cup of rice contains 2 times lesser amount of protein thank quinoa. And while rice has a place in the healthy diet, it’s definitely high in carbs.

Including protein in your daily diet has proved to have multiple benefits such as building bones, gain muscles, repairing tissue, and reduced food cravings.

Quinoa can keep you fuller for longer –

Quinoa is rich in fiber, one cup of it contains 5 grams of fiber which is significantly higher than rice. Fiber is an important nutrient because it reduces the risk of developing heart diseases and keeps you fuller for longer. It also helps you keeping your digestive system healthy and manages your weight, controls blood circulation, and sugar level.

While, rice has only 0.6 grams of fiber as the husk and bran is removed, it has very low level of which lowers the nutritional value in comparison to quinoa.

Quinoa is rich in magnesium –

Magnesium is important for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It helps to maintain normal nerve and muscle function, supports a healthy immune system, keeps the heartbeat steady, and helps bones remain strong. It also helps adjust blood glucose levels. It aids in the production of energy and protein.

A cup of quinoa has 118 milligrams (mg) of magnesium, making it one of the best food sources of the mineral. In comparison, white rice has 19 mg which is why, it is suggested to include quinoa in you daily diet over white rice.

Quinoa contains healthy carbs –

Even though, quinoa and rice have similar amounts of carbohydrates – 39 g and 44 g per cup, respectively. The quality of carbs differs. There are two types of carbs available; ‘good’ or ‘bad’, that is related to where each food falls on the glycemic index, which in turn helps you understand the food effects on the blood glucose level.

Therefore, a food which is at the upper end of the GI, such as white rice, raises blood glucose levels higher than a food on the lower end of the GI. Low-GI foods are generally ones that contain protein and fiber, such as quinoa.

Quinoa and Rice both can enhance the nutrient profile of Gluten-Free diets –

Quinoa and rice both are naturally gluten free. But quinoa has an upper hand here, as it is a great source of nutrition for those with celiac diseases or gluten intolerance. Rice, on the other hand, is a bit less nutritionally rich than quinoa.

However, the nutrition content is similar only if cross-contamination doesn’t happen during processing. Also, if you’re trying to cut flour out of your diet, both are great choices to help you stay on track.

While white rice is devoid of nutritional value and will always take the back seat in the health department, both quinoa and brown rice are super nutritious options that are good sources of minerals and fiber, are naturally gluten-free, and aid in essential bodily functions like digestion and blood sugar

All in all, Quinoa tops the list of healthy food alternatives, as it is not a grain, contains no wheat, is high in protein, comparatively low on carb, and comes in handy. It also has a host of other vitamins and minerals to keep you feeling full and light throughout the day.

Protein-O-Meter

The amount of protein you need depends on your weight, goals, and lifestyle. Protein-O-Meter will take your body-composition and activity level into account to estimate your protein needs. Start with the number given by the calculator, see how that makes you feel, and try adjusting your protein level up or down to see what amount makes you feel good and perform well!

Protein Index

Find out all about whole foods that are protein heroes! Achieve your fitness goals by finding out just how much protein you should incorporate to stay nourished.

Protein-O-Meter

The amount of protein you need depends on your weight, goals, and lifestyle. Protein-O-Meter will take your body-composition and activity level into account to estimate your protein needs. Start with the number given by the calculator, see how that makes you feel, and try adjusting your protein level up or down to see what amount makes you feel good and perform well!

Protein Index

Find out all about whole foods that are protein heroes! Achieve your fitness goals by finding out just how much protein you should incorporate to stay nourished.

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