Quinoa, a concentrate of performance for athletes?

Quinoa is popular among athletes and not without reason. It is the seeds of this pseudo-cereal that are unanimous among nutritionists for their varied contributions. They allow you to balance and diversify your diet by providing it with many nutrients. Why is this 5 year old seed so prized for its nutritional value?

Generous food

Quinoa was discovered in South America; it was one of the basic elements of the Inca diet. Quinoa can be eaten in addition to or as an alternative to wheat or other grains. It contains many essential amino acids that only our food can provide because our bodies are unable to produce them. It also contains a large amount of protein. In addition, quinoa is rich in dietary fiber which facilitates transit and improves blood sugar regulation allowing a rapid supply of glucose to the muscles during exercise.

Quinoa is very rich from a nutritional point of view, it provides many trace elements which are pure mineral elements necessary for proper functioning of the body and therefore at the maximization of performance during exercise:

  • Manganese : it is a trace element whose deficiency leads to many problems such as bone malformations. It is involved in many metabolic processes of various nature: it is a cofactor of certain enzymes.
  • Fer : iron plays a central role in the circulation of oxygen and the formation of red blood cells in the blood. Its role in the blood circulation of oxygen makes iron a essential nutrient for any athlete in search of performance and endurance.
  • Copper : Like Iron, Copper is a essential trace element the proper functioning of the body. Copper travels through the blood and is involved, among other things, in the formation of hemoglobin and in the immune system. It facilitates the assimilation of iron; quinoa, by bringing both, therefore helps protect against deficiencies.
  • Phosphorus : Phosphorus is also involved in various metabolic processes: bone formation, digestive system, protein synthesis, energy extraction and transport, cell repair, etc. Phosphorus deficiency results in weak bones and joint pain; it is therefore advisable to ensure a regular phosphorus intake in order improve your results.
  • Magnesium : The body does not produce Magnesium, it must draw it from our diet. Like the other metals present in quinoa, it is involved in various biological processes: muscle contraction, heart rate, immune defense, growth. Also note that Cocoa is an excellent source of Magnesium (150 to 400 mg per 100g, or about 200mg for a 100g bar of 80% dark chocolate with cocoa), good to know for those who are, like me or the Incas , passionate about cocoa passion!
  • Zinc : Zinc is also involved in many processes: vision (especially in the dark), bone metabolism, digestion, tissue growth, scarring ... It also participates in the synthesis of insulin cycles. Zinc deficiency leads to serious loss of performance and muscle fatigue.
  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): Vitamin B2 plays a fundamental role in the transformation of simple food into energy and takes part in the metabolism of muscular repair.

Cooking quinoa

With this overview of the nutrients provided by quinoa, you now understand why quinoa will become your new best friend, as much for optimize your performance then intense efforts only for not to weaken during endurance tests.

You are now unbeatable on the nutritious contributions of Quinoa, but there remains a question of size to settle: "When and how to consume such a food during training / competition? ”

The more adventurous can try the raw seeds but for the others do not panic! Quinoa is easy and quick to cook : cooked in a quarter of an hour, its taste is light enough to allow it to be mixed with just about everything. To give you ideas, here is a recipe where quinoa is accompanied by a pan-fried vegetable. The set constitutes a complete and diversified meal à consume the day before your endurance test. The high fiber and carbohydrate content of quinoa will allow you to hold over time while the vitamins and other nutrients provided by vegetables will help you be in top shape. This recipe is enough in itself, but it is also excellent as an accompaniment to meat or fish.

Recipe: Vegetable Quinoa

Vegetable Quinoa

1. Cook 150g of quinoa in 450mL of water. (About 15 minutes of cooking) 2. Meanwhile, cut and prepare the vegetables: 2 carrots, 1 zucchini and ½ - 1 pepper 3. Cut the onion and fry in oil then add the other vegetables, stirring frequently (about 10 minutes of cooking). 4. Mix the quinoa with the vegetable preparation and cook for about 5 minutes while mixing. 5. Season to your liking, here is my preference: salt, pepper, parsley, cumin. Ingredients : 150g of quinoa, 2 carrots, 1 zucchini, ½ pepper, 1 onion, oil

Quinoa also brings many nutrients in meat ; it is therefore a food of choice for those who want to do without meat without being deficient. he is also rich in vegetable protein and amino acids : it helps to balance all types of diets. It is interesting to compare the nutritional values ​​of quinoa and chicken to illustrate these words:

Quinoa / Chicken Comparison Table

The table above illustrates well the comparison between quinoa and chicken from a nutritional point of view: chicken is more concentrated in protein but has less varied intakes. Finally, if quinoa is a cereal, it does not contain Gluten, this therefore makes it a food of choice for people following a gluten-free diet by intolerance or those seeking to limit their Gluten intake.

We therefore understand better why quinoa benefits from so much attention: it is a tasty pseudo-cereal, easy to cook, and above all a major source of many nutrients essential for the proper functioning of the body. Its consumption ensures in addition to slow sugars, a significant protein intake, all very digestible and low in calories ... what more could you ask for!

Performers, to your seeds!

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