Quinoa and Couscous are recommended by nutritionists as two healthier alternatives to rice. Quinoa and couscous are similar in size and have a grainy texture, with a light nutty taste. However, despite their similar appearances, the recipes are very distinct.
What is Quinoa?
Quinoa is derived from the seed of a plant similar to spinach and beetroot. It is naturally gluten-free as a seed and has some interesting nutritional properties, such as high protein and fibre. Cooked quinoa has 39 g of carbohydrates, 8 g of protein, 4 g of fat, 5 g of fibre, and 222 calories per cup. It is particularly high in B vitamins and iron.
What is Couscous?
Couscous is a type of small pasta made from semolina wheat flour. Couscous is not gluten-free since it contains maize. 1 cup cooked couscous has 37g of carbohydrates, 6g of protein, 2g of fibre, and 176 calories. As a result, it has fewer calories and fat than quinoa, but it also has less protein, iron, and magnesium.
The basic difference between Quinoa and Couscous
|Nutrition Benefit||Filled with protein and dietary fibres||Fewer calories and fat|
|Cooking Time||Boiling time is 10 to 15 minutes||Let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes after adding hot water|
|Varieties||White, red, and black.||Instant couscous and pearl couscous|
Quinoa recipes: Quinoa can be used instead of rice, as a snack “oatmeal,” or to increase the nutritional value of salads. You can pair it with Fox nuts and milk to make a quick dessert. Fox nuts benefits make it evident that this recipe is good for diabetics too. Some popular Quinoa recipes include Quinoa and Chicken Salad, Quinoa and Strawberry Parfait, Quinoa Khichdi, and many more.
Couscous recipes: Couscous is a low-calorie grain that can be substituted for brown rice, used as a basis for roasted vegetables, or blended into salads. Some of the best couscous recipes include couscous salad, mixed-veg couscous, feta cheese couscous bites, and more.
Read More: 15 Most healthy foods
Nutritional facts about Quinoa and Couscous
Now, let us have a balanced view of both these grains by having a quick view at Couscous and Quinoa Nutrition figures.
|Quinoa (100g)||140 calories, 4.2 g of Proteins, 17 mg Calcium, 0.20 mcg Vitamin D, 2.7 g Dietary Fibre, 20 g Carbohydrates, 1.41 mg Iron, 164 mg Potassium|
|Couscous (100g)||112 calories, 3.8 g of Proteins, 8 mg Calcium, 0.38 mg Iron, 1.4 g Dietary Fibre, 23 g Carbohydrates, 58 mg Potassium|
- Both foods are primarily carbohydrate-based and have high protein content.
- Both have low-fat content by nature. Quinoa, on the other hand, has about 12 times the fat content of couscous and is mostly made up of heart-healthy fatty acids including omega-3 and omega-6.
Quinoa and Couscous – Effects on your health
Couscous has a lot of selenium in it. This trace metal helps the immune system and thyroid function, and it may help you avoid heart disease and cancer. It’s also a potent antioxidant that battles the damaging effects of free radicals, which have been related to cancer and premature ageing.
Quinoa also contains a lot of antioxidants, such as phenolic acids, flavonoids, and terpenoids, which make it anti-diabetic, anti-cancer, and anti-inflammatory. Quinoa has a lower glycemic index (GI) of 53 than couscous, which has a GI of 65. A high GI indicates that food will cause your blood sugar levels to surge, while a low GI indicates that food will cause your blood sugar levels to rise slowly and steadily. Hence, eating low-GI foods like quinoa or sticking to a low-GI diet has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Due to its wheat origins, couscous is rich in gluten, a protein found mostly in wheat, barley, and rye. As a result, it may not be safe for celiac disease or gluten allergy sufferers.
Quinoa, on the other hand, is naturally gluten-free. It does, however, include prolamins, a protein family found in gluten. These proteins, according to a test-tube report, can cause symptoms in some people.
In a nutshell,
Couscous and quinoa are both delicious, versatile, and simple to prepare. They can have a variety of health benefits, such as immune system assistance, better heart health and blood glucose regulation, and cancer prevention. However, if you’re trying to enhance a meal’s nutritional profile, increase your protein intake, or follow a gluten-free lifestyle, quinoa should be your pick. Couscous, on the other hand, might add some variation to your daily meals if you’re merely looking to spice up your usual serving of pasta or rice. Only keep in mind that couscous isn’t suitable for a gluten-free diet.