Winters are one season when we are at our laziest. For most of us along with laziness, winters bring in weight gain and bloating. Usually, people gain weight in winters because of the hormonal changes, which increase the secretion of sleep hormones. Also as the temperature drops, we crave more for comfort foods which usually involve a lot of carbohydrates including sugars in one form or the other. Adding to these dietary changes is the reduced physical activity leading to water retention and weight gain. One of the easiest ways to prevent bloating and reduce water retention this winter is to include quinoa in your dietary pattern. Quinoa is seeds of the Chenopodium quinoa plant and is one of the few vegetarian sources which is a complete protein, meaning all the essential amino acids are present in these seeds. It has earned the title of being a superfood. (Order Here)
Following are a few reasons to include quinoa in your diet to keep water retention at bay:
- High protein: Quinoa is a rich source of protein with high bioavailability as it has all the essential amino acids. Approximately one cup of quinoa contains 8 grams of protein. Protein provides high satiety value as it takes longer to digest reducing the hunger pangs during winter. Also, we tend to eat more of carbohydrates during winters causing an increase in water retention and proteins are known to draw out excess water from the cells.
- High in fibre: Quinoa contains twice as much fibre as any other grain. It contains both soluble and insoluble fibre. Fibre plays a very important role in water retention as it absorbs excess water from the body.
- It does not contain gluten: Gluten is considered to be the biggest culprit for water retention as gluten tends to hold back water. Quinoa being gluten-free reduces the chances of water retention.
- High in Potassium: We tend to eat a lot of fried and salty foods during winters, leading to an increased concentration of sodium in the body. Potassium tends to counteract the effect of sodium, therefore, leading to reduced water retention.
- High in Magnesium: Quinoa being high in magnesium helps in reducing the water retention as it helps in regulating the hormones. Hormones tend to fluctuate with the change in weather. It reduces bloating during the Premenstrual Syndrome phase.
Quinoa is available in three varieties; white, red and black. White is the most common one and is the quickest to cook, red quinoa loses its shape quickly so its best suited for salads while black quinoa has an earthy and sweet flavour and takes the longest to cook, approximately 15-20 minutes. Quinoa can be incorporated into the diet in the form of salad, pulao, soup and even cutlets.
So enjoy the benefits of this superfood this winter and keep water retention at bay.