Superfoods – Quinoa
A superfood is a food which usually, is rich in the nutrients your body needs to survive. Many foods have the label of superfood, and they are usually more expensive and desired over regular food. The superfood I decided to research is quinoa, a type of rice-like grain. There are 3 mains types of quinoa, (white, red and brown) but there are roughly 120 types that can be identified.
Quinoa, mostly contains protein, a nutrient that strengthens and repairs our body’s tissue and muscle. Having all 9 necessary amino acids (a valuable part of protein) quinoa is constantly growing in demand worldwide. In a serving of 185g, quinoa mostly has water (135g) since it is absorbed when cooked. It also has 8.14g of protein and 39.41g of carbohydrates. Although there are more carbohydrates than protein, having amino acids increases the protein’s value. An average woman needs 46 grams of protein a day, and a man needs around 50.
I decided to compare quinoa to yogurt after searching for foods with high protein value. Yogurt was one of the foods with a large protein amount in a 185g cup, the same amount of quinoa I was comparing. Unexpectedly, yogurt has more protein than quinoa. Regular vanilla yogurt in a 185g cup has 17.32g of protein.
Seeing as quinoa has less protein than a regular cup of yogurt, there are some issues with calling it a superfood, mainly revolving around money and morality. Superfoods are supposed to be full of nutrients we need, so why not call yogurt a superfood? Quinoa is 1,600 yen on sale at Costco. That is equivalent to 16 U.S dollars, whereas yogurt can be bought in a 16 cup bunch for around 800 yen. Also, calling quinoa a superfood is tricking a large amount of people into buying a food with nutrients they already consume daily for breakfast. It’s not right or fair to create that illusion surrounding quinoa. Eating regular vanilla yogurt mixed with a simple breakfast cereal gives you the same amount of nutrients since cereal contains a lot of carbohydrates. By consuming the nutrients this way, money is saved and it takes very little time to make.
In conclusion, the term superfood appears to be extremely flexible, and you shouldn’t automatically believe that a food is super until further research has been done. Superfoods aren’t always super.
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