Is Quinoa Good for Diabetics? 5 Health Benefits

Quinoa is a safe and healthy option to be included by diabetics in their meals, due to its low glycemic index and high amounts of fiber. It has been recommended to diabetic patients and is also on the list of the top superfoods for diabetes.

Quinoa has many good nutrients that provide healthy nourishment to a diabetic patient and help maintain overall balance in the body. This results in a good and functional internal system that prevents blood sugar issues and related discomforts.

5 Health Benefits of Quinoa in Diabetes

1. Low Glycemic Index

The Glycemic Index is an important indicator of whether a good is good and healthy for diabetic consumption. An index ranging from 0 to 55 is a good rank for foods to be deemed safe for diabetics. These fall under the low Glycemic Index category.

The quinoa has an Index of 53, which is low and denotes that it is good for individuals with diabetes.

2. Rich in Fiber

Fiber is needed for keeping the metabolism under control and blood sugars normal.

Quinoa is very rich in fiber, and it helps keep the overall body healthy and prevents the development of diabetes related complications. Just a cup of cooked quinoa can supply the body with 5 g of fiber.

Ancient Japanese Tonic

It is also great to keep constipation, indigestion, and stomach-related issue away.

3. High in protein

The amount of amino acids in many other grains is lower than that of quinoa. Quinoa can enrich the body with the necessary protein. It has a high amount of complete proteins, which it is best known for.

Proteins are vital elements that assist the everyday growth and development of the body.

4. Rich in many vitamins and minerals

Quinoa is enriched with various amounts of varying vitamins and minerals.

It has Folate and other B vitamins, Vitamin E, minerals such as – iron, calcium, manganese, high levels of potassium, etc.

These nutrients nourish in many ways and also prevent the risk of developing many diseases. These antioxidants also help against inflammation, free radicals, etc.

5. Gluten-free

Unlike other common grains, quinoa is free from gluten. Many people are allergic to gluten and may face a shortage of nutrients due to other grains’ unsatisfactory consumption.

You can very easily include quinoa in your diet without worrying about any gluten allergies. They satisfy nutritionally as well as taste-wise.

With these amazing health benefits, quinoa is a must for your diabetic meal.

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We will tell you some healthy and diabetic-friendly ways to incorporate quinoa into your meals. 

9 Quinoa Salad Recipes for Diabetes

9 Quinoa Salad Recipes for Diabetes

1. Quinoa with black bean salad

Ingredients:

  • Quinoa (1/2 cup)
  • Black beans boiled (1/2 cup)
  • Water (1 cup)
  • Lemon juice (one lemon)
  • Cumin powder (1 tsp.)
  • Onions (2)
  • Tomatoes chopped (2)
  • Coriander leaves
  • Salt and pepper as per taste

Method:

  1. Boil and let the quinoa cook in the water for about 15 minutes. When properly boiled, take it off the flame and put it aside for cooling.
  1. Mix the boiled quinoa with the cooked black beans and add in the chopped tomatoes, coriander, and onions in a big bowl.
  1. In a smaller bowl, add in the spices with some olive oil or your preferred oil, and whisk it together.
  1. Pour this salad dressing over the quinoa, black beans, and vegetable mixture, and toss it well to mix.
  1. You can serve it fresh as it is, or refrigerate it for a while and serve cold.

2. Greek Quinoa Salad

Ingredients:

  • Quinoa (1 cup)
  • Large onion, finely chopped (1)
  • Cherry tomatoes, cut in half (10.5 ounces)
  • Chopped parsley ( ¼ cup)
  • Large cucumber slices (1)
  • Low sodium chicken broth (2 cups)
  • Feta cheese (1/2 cup) (optional)
  • Olive oil (2 tbsp.)
  • Red wine vinegar (1/4 cup)
  • Dijon mustard (1/2 tbsp.)

Method:

  1. Instead of boiling the quinoa in water, use the chicken broth. Boil the broth and quinoa for 15 minutes and then set aside for cooling.
  1. Combine this boiled quinoa with the chopped veggies and greens.
  1. Add in our favorite dressing spices mixed with olive oil.
  1. Toss around, mix well, and serve

3. Fresh veggie and Quinoa salad

Ingredients:

  • Dry quinoa (1 cup)
  • Water (2 cups)
  • Diced zucchini (1/4 cup)
  • Diced peppers (1/4 cup)
  • Diced eggplant (1/4 cup)
  • Blanched peas (1/4 cup)
  • Fresh chopped parsley (handful)
  • Extra virgin olive oil (2 tbsp.)
  • Balsamic vinegar (1 tbsp.)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Let the quinoa boil in the 2 cups of water for around 15 minutes, until it soaks all the moisture.
  1. Dry grill the vegetables or used them just as fresh as you like.
  1. Toss in all the ingredients together, spread the oil and the spices on top to dress the salad, and serve it.

4. Strawberry Quinoa salad

Ingredients:

  • Cooked quinoa (1 up)
  • Various mixed greens of your choice (1/2 cup)
  • Strawberries chopped (1.5 cups)
  • Rotisserie chicken (1.5 cup) (optional)
  • Feta cheese (2/3 cup)
  • Walnuts (1/2 cup)
  • Blush wine vinaigrette (1/3 cup)
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Method:

Veggie causing Diabetes
  1. Cook the raw dry quinoa in 2 cups of water. Let it boil for 15 minutes and then put aside to cool.
  1. Prepare the chicken and chop it into bite-size pieces. You may not use chicken if you like.

 

  1. Add in the strawberries, walnuts, greens, rest to the salad and toss everything to combine well.

 

  1. Serve hot or cold, just as you like.

5. Fruits and Quinoa salad

Ingredients:

  • Quinoa (1/2 cup)
  • Water (1 cup)
  • Peeled and chopped cucumber (2/3 cup)
  • Chopped onion (1/2 cup)
  • Blueberries (2/3 cup)
  • Diced mango (2/3 cup)
  • Orange, drained (1)
  • Canola oil (1 tsp.)
  • Lemon juice (1 tbsp.)
  • Salt and pepper

Method:

  1. Boil the quinoa for 15misn and drain excess water.
  1. Combine all the fruits and veggies with the quinoa in a big bowl.
  1. Prepare the dressing mixing the oil with the lemon juice and spices. Add sauce to the salad.
  1. Toss, mix everything, and serve.

6. Avocado, chickpea, and Quinoa salad

Ingredients:

  • Quinoa (1/3 cup)
  • Water (2/3 cup)
  • Garlic crushed (1 clove)
  • Lemon zest grated (2)
  • Diced avocado (1/2)
  • Boiled and rinsed chickpeas (1 cup)
  • Mixed greens (2 cups)
  • Coarse salt (1/4 tsp.)

Method:

  1. Boil the quinoa for 15mins in water and cool.
  1. Make the dressing of the salad with garlic paste, lemon zest, and your spices. Set this aside.
  1. Add all the greens, avocados, and chickpeas in a bowl. Toss in the dressing and mix well before adding the quinoa. Then serve.

7. Healthy Mixed Quinoa salad

Ingredients:

  • Quinoa (1 cup)
  • Water (2 cups)
  • Crushed garlic (1 clove)
  • Diced onions (4)
  • Vinegar (2 tbsps.)
  • Extra virgin olive oil (1/4 cup)
  • Cucumber diced (1 cup)
  • Red/ yellow/ green bell peppers diced (1 cup)
  • Cherry tomatoes, cut in half (1 cup)
  • Chopped parsley (1/2 cup)
  • Chopped cilantro (1/2 cup)
  • Crumbled feta cheese (1 cup)
  • Lemon juice (1/4 cup)
  • Salt and pepper

Method:

  1. Boil the quinoa in water and add in a crushed garlic clove in the water. Boil for 15 mins.
  1. While the water is still hot, add in the onions, vinegar, and some salt. Mix the quinoa around and add the olive oil and pepper. This mix of quinoa can be kept under refrigeration for four days.
  1. Combine all the veggies and herbs, toss in the quinoa, and enjoy.

8. Roasted pumpkin quinoa salad

Ingredients:

  • Quinoa (1/4 cup)
  • Pumpkin (1/2 cup)
  • Olive oil (1 tsp.)
  • Lime juice (1)
  • Mint leaves (handful)
  • Walnuts (handful)
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Method:

  1. First, cut the fresh pumpkin into cubes and roast it in the microwave for 180 degrees for 25 mins.
  1. Boil the quinoa and keep aside.
  1. Add in the lime juice, salt, vinegar, oil, and some mint leaves to prepare the dressing.
  1. Pour the quinoa with the roasted pumpkin. Add in the rest of the mint, add dressing, and toss well. Garnish and serve with walnuts.

9 . Easy quinoa salad

Ingredients:

  • Quinoa (2 cups)
  • Chopped Spinach (2 cups)
  • Tomatoes, diced (1 cup)
  • Sliced cucumber (1)
  • Green onions diced (2)
  • Diced avocado (1)

For dressing:

  • Olive oil (1/4 cup)
  • Minced garlic (1 clove)
  • Lemon juice (1)
  • Vinegar (1 tbsp.)
  • Honey (1 tsp.)
  • Salt and pepper

Method:

  1. Boil and cool the quinoa beforehand. Add in all the veggies in a bowl with the quinoa.
  1. Whisk all the ingredients of the dressing together.
  1. Finally, drizzle the prepared dressing on the salad and serve.

References

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31324047/
  2. https://skinnyms.com/clean-eating-quinoa-salad-with-fresh-vegetables/
  3. https://www.ontrackdiabetes.com/live-well/eat-well/quinoa-diabetes-7-ways-eat-it-5-reasons-why-you-should
  4. https://www.proquest.com/openview/07aff3f823b13a8a3a1f5244f2d5e14c/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=18750
  5. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10408398.2020.1857683
  6. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/mnfr.201600767
  7. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0308814619303838
Dr Sharon Baisil MD

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