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Quinoa or Rice: Which is Better?

By Sara Butler

Brown rice has been seen as the healthy grain of choice for years, especially when it comes to cutting down on simple carbohydrates and replacing them with complex carbohydrates. But quinoa has also made quite a splash in the grain community, even though it's technically a seed. Here's what you need to know about these two nutritional powerhouses to decide if they should be a bigger part of your diet.

Brown Rice: What is it?

Brown rice is a grain, much like white rice. The only difference between the two is how much they're processed. White rice has had the germ, bran, and husk removed from the grain, which takes away from its nutritional value. Brown rice still has the germ and bran with only the husk removed, helping it to retain vital nutrients and fiber.

Quinoa: What is it?

Quinoa is, as mentioned, technically a seed. It's from the goosefoot plant. Interestingly, it's one of the few plant-based complete proteins you can find since it contains the nine essential amino acids the body needs to work at its very best. It's prepared much like a grain, so it's often used as a substitute for grains in the dishes people cook.

Comparing Brown Rice and Quinoa

So, how do brown rice and quinoa stack up next to each other in a head to head battle? OK, perhaps not a battle, but at least a little friendly nutritional competition? Here's a rundown:

  • Protein - Cooked brown rice will provide you with about five grams of protein per cup, but quinoa will pack in a whopping eight grams of protein per cup.
  • Amino acids - As mentioned, quinoa is full of amino acids as a complete protein, making it a great source of these nutrients for vegans, vegetarians, and anyone who doesn't want to eat a lot of meat. Brown rice is not a complete protein and only has a few amino acids.
  • Fiber - Fiber is essential to keep you full and keep the bacteria that live in your gut happy and healthy. Quinoa has about five grams of fiber per cup while brown rice will supply about six grams of fiber.
  • Carbohydrates - If you are trying to watch your carbohydrate count, then quinoa is a good choice. It has about 39 grams of carbohydrates per cup while brown rice has about 45 grams.

The truth is that you can't go wrong with brown rice or quinoa in your diet, so enjoy them both!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Queen Creek, Ariz.

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