Which do you think would win in the battle of nutritional value when comparing quinoa vs. white rice? There was a time when rice was the only source of abundant protein, clean carbohydrates, and vitamins and minerals. But recently, quinoa has emerged as an alternative to rice and gained a lot of attention due to the richness of its health benefits.
A Comparison Between Quinoa Vs. White Rice
Between quinoa vs. white rice, both actually are used in similar ways and often utilized interchangeably in recipes. Today, there has been a lot of questions regarding which of the two is better when it comes to its nutritional content.
Given the wave of health-conscious individuals these days, it is without no doubt important to know the difference between the two.
Rice comes from the seed of a grass species (Asian rice or African rice). It is regarded as the most significant cereal grain regarding calorie intake and human nutrition as it provides about one-fifth of the calories people consume worldwide.
When rice is milled, white rice is produced. It is where the bran, germ, and husk are removed. This removal changes the texture, appearance, and flavor of the rice, which prevents it from spoiling. Due to the milling and polishing process, some important nutrients of the rice are removed.
On the other hand, unlike white rice, quinoa is not a grass. It is botanically related to amaranth and spinach. This herbaceous annual plant (flowering plant) is grown as a grain crop because of its edible seeds.
Technically, quinoa is not a grain but utilized and consumed as a grain due to its property similarities with rice.
We all know that protein is an important component of all the cells in our body. It is the building blocks of our muscles, bones, skin, cartilage, and blood. Our body needs large amounts of protein as it is a macronutrient.
White rice only contains 6.6 grams of protein per 100 grams, while quinoa contains 13.1 grams of it. According to experts, quinoa has all the amino acids one needs in their body since the quality of its protein is complete. Meanwhile, white rice’s protein is incomplete.
A fiber is classified as insoluble, soluble, or resistant starch, and all these three play an important role in our body. A dietary fiber helps reduce the risk of disease, keep our gut healthy, is essential in our digestive health, and a lot more positive benefits. In this aspect, while quinoa contains 5.9 grams of dietary fiber, white rice contains none. Hence, it is clear that quinoa is the victor in terms of dietary fiber contents.
An unsaturated fat is an important aspect of a healthy diet as it lowers cholesterol levels, the risk of heart disease, and a lot more. Both quinoa and white rice have large amounts of unsaturated fat that are highly beneficial to our health. Quinoa has 6 grams of unsaturated fat per 100 grams, while white rice has 1 gram.
Vitamins and Minerals
We all are aware of the wide range of benefits of vitamins and minerals. Both protect us against sicknesses/diseases, aid our digestive system, help in our metabolic processes, and maintain other general health processes in our body.
Quinoa and white rice are abundant in vitamins and minerals. Quinoa is high in manganese, magnesium, iron, phosphorous, and zinc. Furthermore, it contains large contents of potassium, selenium, and calcium.
On the contrary, white rice is also a good source of manganese, magnesium, iron, phosphorous, selenium, folic acid, thiamine, and niacin.
For quinoa vs. white rice, whichever you pick between the two, it is always good news that both will never fail to keep you healthy. However, if you are strict in your diet, it is better to opt for quinoa.
See also: Types of Rice