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Nutritional Value; Comparing Quinoa, Wheat & Rice

Nutritional Value; Comparing Quinoa, Wheat & Rice
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Rich Thurman MA, CSCS CPT, ONNIT KB Specialist
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Rich Thurman MA, CSCS CPT, ONNIT KB Specialist

Founder at Xodus Fitness
Rich is Founder of Xodus Fitness in San Francisco California, which provides Personal Training, Yoga and Wellness Programs locally.

Connect with Rich via Social Media or find out more at www.coachrichthurman.com
Rich Thurman MA, CSCS CPT, ONNIT KB Specialist
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Latest posts by Rich Thurman MA, CSCS CPT, ONNIT KB Specialist (see all)

According to studies Quinoa has comparable levels of amino acids to wheat, soy and skim milk. Quinoa however contains an amino acid, lysine which normally isn’t found in vegetable proteins. Lysine is typically found in meat, fish and eggs. Have a look at the table below that shows comparable levels of essential amino acids between wheat and Quinoa; however Quinoa does not contain the gluten usually found within breads.

Also if we look at the comparison of Quinoa’s mineral composition in Table 2 against that of rice and wheat we will see the glaring superiority that Quinoa has over the alternatives. Quinoa has 20 times the amount of Calcium as Rice and about 15 times the amount of Iron; 9 times the amount of Calcium and 3 times the amoung of Magnesium. Wheat also trails Quinoa in its nutritional value with half as much Calcium and four times less Iron. It should be a no brainer to choose Quinoa the next time you’re at your local grocer.

Table 1: Amino Acid Content (g/100g protein)

Amino Acid

 

Quinoa Wheat
Isoleucine 4% 3.8%
Leucine 6.8% 6.6%
Lysine 5.1% 2.5%
Phenylalanine 4.6% 4.5%
Tyrosine 3.8% 3%
Cystine 2.4% 2.2%
Methionine 2.2% 1.7%
Threonine 3.7% 2.9%
Tryptophan 1.2% 1.3%
Valine 4.8% 4.7%

Source: Johnson, R. and R. Aguilera. 1980. Processing Varieties of Oilseeds (Lupine and Quinoa), In: Report to Natural Fibers and Foods Commission of Texas, 1978 – 1980 (Reported by D. Cusack, 1984, The Ecologist 14:21 – 31)

Table 2: Comparative Mineral Composition (mg/100g protein)

Quinoa Rice Wheat
Calcium (Ca) 1487 69 503
Phosphorus (P) 3837 1378 4677
Iron (Fe) 132 7 38
Potassium (K) 9267 1183 5783
Magnesium (Mg) 2496 735 1694
Manganese(Mn) 100 23 39
Chlorine (Cl) 1533 NR 633
Copper (Cu) 51 2 7

Source: Kosiol, M.J. (1992). Chemical composition and nutritional evaluation of quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Wild). In Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, Vol. 5, n 1, pp 36 – 68.

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Rich Thurman MA, CSCS CPT, ONNIT KB Specialist Rich is Founder of Xodus Fitness in San Francisco California, which provides Personal Training, Yoga and Wellness Programs locally. Connect with Rich via Social Media or find out more at www.coachrichthurman.com