Quinoa Nutrients

Quinoa nutrients: We’ve already talked about certain nutrients in quinoa in some detail on this site. For example, we’ve discussed…

But as you know, any food has far more nutrients than the few we’ve already covered. So on this page we’ll talk about everything else that makes quinoa so healthy and delicious!

So keep reading to discover what the following kinds of nutrients contribute to quinoa…

  1. “Proximates” or Major Components
  2. Minerals
  3. Vitamins
  4. Lipids (Fats)
  5. Amino Acids

Note: I used the USDA’s Standard Reference 25 to find all the following data.

Quinoa Nutrients: “Proximates” or Major Components

Proximates are the major components that make up a food. So every nutrient in quinoa falls under one of these.

Here’s what makes quinoa the lovable staple of your diet that it is…

Nutrient Name

Amount per ½ Cup (92.5g) Cooked Quinoa

% Daily Value (for 2,000 Calorie Diet)

Water 66.24 g
Energy (Calories) 111 kcal
Protein 4.07 g 8.1%
Total Lipid (Fat) 1.78 g 2.7%
Ash 0.70 g
Carbohydrates 19.70 g 6.6%
Fiber 2.6 g 10.4%
Sugars 0.80 g
Starch 16.31 g

I think most of these nutrients are fairly common. However…

One that you may not know about is ash. Ash is basically the inorganic material in a food. In other words, when you burn the food up, ash is all that’s left. It’s not necessarily good or bad, apparently. And quinoa doesn’t have very much of it. But I figure that it’s good to know what’s in your food!

As I said, ash is made of inorganic material. These inorganic materials are sometimes referred to by another name. Does the term minerals ring a bell?

Quinoa Nutrients: Minerals

Your body needs minerals. The problem is that it doesn’t make enough of them on its own.

Let’s see how quinoa helps you get these much-needed minerals…

Mineral

Amount per ½ Cup (92.5g) Cooked Quinoa

% Daily Value (for 2,000 Calorie Diet)

Calcium (Ca) 16 mg 1.6%
Iron (Fe) 1.38 mg 7.7%
Magnesium (Mg) 59 mg 14.8%
Phosphorus (P) 141 mg 14.1%
Potassium (K) 159 mg 4.5%
Sodium (Na) 6 mg 0.3%
Zinc (Zn) 1.01 mg 6.7%
Copper (Cu) 0.178 mg 8.9%
Manganese (Mn) 0.584 mg 29.2%
Selenium (Se) 2.6 µg 3.7%

Quinoa Nutrients: Vitamins

Vitamins are similar to minerals. Both are vital to your body’s functioning.

Sadly, your body doesn’t make enough of either group of nutrients. That’s why your diet needs to include sufficient amounts of both vitamins and minerals.

Have you ever wondered what’s the difference between vitamins and minerals?

Basically, minerals are inorganic. Their chemical structure holds up under pressure. So they make their way to you via whatever you eat.

Here’s an example. If a fish has iron in it and you eat the fish, you will now have that fish’s iron.

So, that’s minerals.

Vitamins on the other hand are organic. So they can break down in your food due to water, heat, or the way you store it. If this happens before you eat the food, you lose out on the full benefit of whatever vitamins it contains.

Here are the vitamins quinoa provides you…

Vitamin

Amount per ½ Cup (92.5g) Cooked Quinoa

% Daily Value (for 2,000 Calorie Diet)

Thiamin
(Vitamin B-1)
0.099 mg 6.6%
Riboflavin
(Vitamin B-2)
0.102 mg 6%
Niacin
(Vitamin B-3)
0.381 mg 1.9%
Pyridoxine
(Vitamin B-6)
0.114 mg 5.7%
Folate, total
(Vitamin B-9)
39 µg 9.8%
Choline, total 21.3 mg
Carotene, beta 3 µg
Vitamin A, IU 5 IU 0.1%
Lutein + zeaxanthin 49 µg
Vitamin E
(alpha-tocopherol)
0.58 mg 3.9%

Note that I didn’t include vitamins that quinoa doesn’t contain. I’m giving you only the vitamins that quinoa has.

So far we’ve discussed vitamins and minerals — nutrients that just have a healthy ring to them. We all know you ought to have the proper dosages of these nutrients. And perhaps we’d say, “the more (vitamins and minerals), the merrier.”

But there’s another nutrient that has fallen on hard times. It’s reputation in the diet and nutrition world is currently less-than-stellar. That’s right, I’m talking about… FAT!

Quinoa Nutrients: Lipids (Fats)

As I’ve hinted at, fat is a four-letter word these days. But don’t let that throw you. Your body uses dietary fats (or “lipids”) to reserve energy and insulate itself, among other things.

As you can imagine, quinoa doesn’t have very much of this kind of nutrient. But what it does have we can see in the table below…

Lipid

Amount per ½ Cup (92.5g) Cooked Quinoa

% Daily Value (for 2,000 Calorie Diet)

Saturated Fat 0.214 g 1.1%
Monounsaturated Fat 0.488 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.997 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%

If you’re interested in more details about quinoa’s fat content, read “Calories in Fat from Quinoa.”

Now, notice that I included Cholesterol even though quinoa doesn’t have any. Why would that be? Well… because quinoa has no cholesterol, that’s why!

High cholesterol is a serious medical issue in our day. This condition can lead to fatal strokes and heart attacks.

With high cholesterol being such a problem for many people I thought it would be helpful to point out that quinoa won’t add any cholesterol to your diet.

So, we’ve seen the vitamin, mineral, and fat content of quinoa. What other quinoa nutrients have we not yet covered?

Quinoa Nutrients: Amino Acids

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein.

We talked about this a little in our “quinoa protein” page, but quinoa is known as a complete protein. What is that? Because it has the right proportion and amount of all nine essential amino acids required for the body to function.

Let’s see the details…

Amino Acid

Amount per ½ Cup (92.5g) Cooked Quinoa

Tryptophan* 0.048 g
Threonine* 0.121 g
Isoleucine* 0.145 g
Leucine* 0.241 g
Lysine* 0.221 g
Methionine* 0.089 g
Cystine 0.058 g
Phenylalanine* 0.171 g
Tyrosine 0.077 g
Valine* 0.171 g
Arginine 0.314 g
Histidine* 0.117 g
Alanine 0.169 g
Aspartic acid 0.327 g
Glutamic acid 0.536 g
Glycine 0.200 g
Proline 0.222 g
Serine 0.163 g

The asterisk (*) next to nine of these amino acids indicates that it’s an essential amino acid. That is, the body doesn’t make these by itself. It needs to get these nutrients from the food you eat.

And the body apparently doesn’t keep extra amino acids lying around for very long. Why does that matter? Well, if you don’t get enough of the essential amino acids, your body starts breaking down some of your protein (like your muscle!) to get enough of them.

How fortunate for the quinoa-eater that quinoa is a complete proteinit has all 9 essential amino acids in the right proportions.

The conclusion of the matter? Love your muscles. Love your body. Eat quinoa.

What’s Next?

Has this quinoa nutrients page made you hungry for more? Visit our quinoa nutrition section to get more details on how quinoa can help you live a healthier life.