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Food Fight: Brown Rice versus Quinoa

ADHDBoth are really great foods that deserve a spot on your dinner table. How do they stack up against each other when we compare a few of their nutritional stats.

Brown Rice (100g)
VS Quinoa (100g)
South East Asia Origin Andean Region
Gluten free Allergens
Gluten free
$0.69 Cost $1.33
112 kcal Calories 120 kcal
23.51 g Carbohydrate
21.30 g
0.35 g Sugars n/a
1.9 g Fiber
2.8 g
2.32 g Protein
4.40 g
0.83 g Total Fat 1.92 g
10 mg Calcium
17 mg
0.53 mg Iron
1.49 mg

*For the cost we tried to make an even match by selecting an Organic Short Grain Brown Rice and Organic Quinoa.

Innate & Hyack Family Chiropractic's results. Rice and quinoa are nutritious sources of essential nutrients and we would recommend including both in your diet for some variety. Especially if you are trying to eat gluten free! Rice wins on cost (and you can certainly find a much cheaper rice than the one we used here), but we have to give the health win to quinoa, particularly if you are vegetarian or vegan.

Although both rice and quinoa provide some protein, quinoa is considered to be a complete protein (rare among plant foods), whereas rice is lacking in the essential amino acid lysine. The quinoa also provides twice as much protein as an equal amount of brown rice. Otherwise the two are quite similar with respect to micronutrients – quinoa contains slightly more iron and calcium though.

If selecting rice, be sure to select a whole grain variety such as brown rice rather than the overly-processed, white rice for the higher fibre content. Of course sometimes some sushi and sticky white rice is where it’s at! A little indulgence is okay. In all cases, you can increase the nutrient content of these grains by carefully choosing the other foods in your meal. You can also bump up the protein of a quinoa or rice-based meal by including lean cuts of meat, tofu, nuts/seeds and legumes. Throw in some spinach, broccoli or kale for some veggie sources of calcium too.

We also encourage you to live on the grain *wild side* and try bulgur, amaranth, millet and teff to mix it up a bit.

*Nutrition information from the Canadian Nutrient File: “grains, rice, brown, medium-grain, cooked” and “grains, quinoa, cooked”

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