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Nutrition Spotlight: Quinoa vs Brown Rice

Nutrition Spotlight: Quinoa vs Brown Rice

Quinoa (Keen-wah) (1 cup): 222 calories, 39g carbs, 8g protein, 5g fibre, 53 glycaemic index, rich in antioxidants and minerals.                                               

Brown Rice (1 cup): 216 calories, 44g carbs, 5g protein, 3.5g fibre, 50 glycaemic index, rich in antioxidants and minerals.

When choosing a nutritious complex carb to balance out your meal, quinoa and brown rice are both great options. Both are packed full of antioxidants and minerals, healthy carbs and adequate fibre to help support a healthy digestion, keep you fuller for longer, and help curb cravings and keep you on track with your goals!

Quinoa comes from the flowering plant of the amaranth family and it’s the seeds of the plant that we use. Quinoa is unique because it is a plant-based complete protein, meaning it contains all 9 amino acids that our body needs and does not make itself. Because it’s a complete protein, you don’t need to worry about protein combining. Quinoa is also a good source of minerals like iron, magnesium and zinc. For a higher protein side that is a little bit lighter than brown rice and cooks quicker, quinoa may be the perfect option for you!

Brown rice contains minerals like phosphorous, manganese, selenium and magnesium. It also contains antioxidants like phenols and flavonoids which help protect the body from oxidative stress (which is a crucial factor in the development of chronic diseases). Like quinoa, it has a high fibre content which helps to keep you satisfied between meals, reducing the need for cravings and snacking, and supporting weight loss. Fiber also helps to keep food moving through the digestive tract, while certain forms of fiber called prebiotics feed and nourish the good bacteria in your gut, which is what we want!

A balanced meal of a protein (either animal or plant-based), a serve of brown rice or quinoa and some fiber-rich veggies makes for a pretty impressive dish, nutrition wise. Quinoa and brown rice are perfect for grain bowls, salads, snack bars, burgers, and heaps more things. Quinoa can even be used to make breakfast bowls, by using it instead of oats, with some maple, cinnamon and fresh fruit – yum!

Why do we love quinoa and brown rice?

Ok, so I guess it's not really a battle because we picked two of our winning grains. But certainly we choose these as the winners over other grains like... processed wheat e.g. couscous.  In the battle of quinoa versus cous cous, Quinoa wins hands down!

We love it because it’s gluten-free, fodmap-friendly, nutritious, it supports healthy digestion and it’s packed full of minerals and fibre.

Have you tried and loved any of our meals with quinoa or brown rice? We’ve been loving our Massaman Chicken Curry with Quinoa and our Mushroom Bourguignon with Brown Rice 😋