Are you looking for a magic ingredient to restore the lost glory of your hair? Maybe, quinoa can help you achieve it. Wondering how?
Quinoa is a protein-rich ingredient that has been used in hair treatments for centuries. It provides tremendous nourishment to your scalp and locks, thus restoring the glossy texture and thickness of your hair.
In this article, we tell you how quinoa benefits your hair growth and how you can use it.
Is Quinoa Protein Good For Hair?
“Quinoa is a whole grain that contains all the 9 essential amino acids  that are necessary for naturally strengthening your hair follicles from the roots,” says Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic doctor at Vedix.
Quinoa helps in hydrating your scalp while intensely nourishing and repairing the damaged hair. In fact, the hydrolyzed protein extract from quinoa is used as the main ingredient in a variety of hair care products.
Quinoa has been used by humans for over 4000 years now and there are 100+ types of quinoa across the world.
Benefits Of Quinoa For Hair
1. Controls Dandruff
Quinoa, which is a rich source of iron, potassium, calcium, iron, protein, etc. provides deep nourishment to your scalp and seals the moisture in it. It keeps your scalp hydrated, controls excessive shedding of dead skin, thus, preventing the dandruff buildup on your scalp. So, if you are dealing with dry scalp and dandruff issues, then quinoa can be your best remedy.
2. Conditions Your Hair
Quinoa contains essential amino acids that work to prevent breakage in your hair. Hydrolyzed quinoa  provides deep conditioning to your hair by forming a protective layer over your hair shaft. Also, it maximizes the sheen of your hair.
“Quinoa acts as a humectant too. It traps the moisture from the hair, keeps it well hydrated and gives you bouncy and well-defined curls,” says Dr. Zeel.
3. Detangles Frizzy Hair
If you have rough, dry hair which is severely frizzy and end up in tangles all the time, then quinoa can be the best solution. It can make your hair glossy, voluminous and softer with its rich vitamin E composition. Quinoa balances your scalp pH and promotes sufficient production of natural oils in your scalp. Thus, it imparts smooth texture and keeps your hair tangle-free.
4. Boosts Hair Growth
The essential vitamins, minerals, protein, and other nutrients present in quinoa not only aid in reviving your damaged hair but also strengthens your hair from the roots. It nourishes the stem cells present in your hair follicles, which in turn, propagate healthy, thick, and voluminous hair growth with stronger hair roots. Thus, quinoa also prevents hair fall.
5. Repairs Split Ends
The cuticle bonds disintegrate and result in hair breakage and split ends if your hair lacks protein. The protein content present in quinoa can fill in the gaps of the cuticles in your hair and keep them sealed, thus, repairing the broken hair and split ends.
“The quinoa protein can also penetrate to the inner layers of your hair cortex which results in reduced porosity and increased elasticity in your hair,” says Dr. Zeel.
6. Shields Your Hair From Pollution
The humectant agents present in quinoa can form an invisible and protective barrier over your hair. It protects your hair from various environmental factors such as pollution, UV radiation, heat, chemicals, etc. that cause damage to it. These humectant agents also play a key role in keeping your hair and scalp well-nourished, hydrated and clean.
How To Include Quinoa In Hair Care & Diet?
1. In Hair Care Routine
Grind quinoa seeds into a fine powder. Add sufficient water to it to form a smooth paste. Apply it as a hair pack and let it sit for 20 minutes. Then, wash it off thoroughly with a wild shampoo.
Soak one part of quinoa seeds in two parts of water overnight and allow it to ferment. Strain the water and add a few drops of essential oil to it to prevent bad odor from the water. Now, rinse your hair with this fermented water and leave it for 15 minutes. Later, rinse your hair again with normal water and let it air dry. You can do this 3-4 times a month but do not overuse quinoa water for your hair.
2. In Diet
- Cooked quinoa is fluffy, chewy, and very pleasant to taste. You can add it as an ingredient in almost everything, from your breakfast to dinner. Among the different types of quinoa, you may find black and red quinoa as the most compact ones while white and yellow quinoa as the fluffiest.
- You need to remove the outer layer of quinoa before using it in your meals as consuming it may result in side effects such as stomach ache, laxative diarrhea, and flatulence . For that, you need to wash and soak the quinoa for at least 2-3 hours. Then, you need to strain the water, rinse the quinoa and soak them again in freshwater for some time. You have to repeat this process until the water does not form foam.
- Boil one part of quinoa in two parts of water on low flame for 20-30 minutes. This detaches the outer layer of quinoa and makes it healthy to eat.
- You can dry roast quinoa seeds on medium to low flame for 5-10 minutes before cooking. This gives a crunchy texture and enhanced flavor to the seeds.
- To cook quinoa, you need to follow the same process as you do to cook other staple grains such as rice, buckwheat, barley, etc. It can be used as a healthy replacement to rice (both white and brown).
- Quinoa seeds can be used to prepare your stew, porridge, and soups.
- Quinoa flour can be used for preparing cakes, biscuits, flakes, alcohol, bread, noodles, cookies, pasta, buns, and different beverages.
- You can also combine quinoa flour with wheat, maize, and oats flours to make rotis, chapatis, and parathas.
- Blend 1 cup of cooked quinoa with 3 cups of water. Strain the quinoa milk using a cheesecloth. Now, add 4-5 dates and ¼ spoon of cinnamon to the quinoa milk and blend it again. This flavored quinoa milk is amazing to taste.
- Soak a spoon of quinoa seeds and let them sprout. You can eat the sprouted quinoa as your protein-rich breakfast. However, certain experts recommend consuming cooked quinoa as a safer option.
- You can add quinoa leaves to your salads by combining them with lettuces and other leafy vegetables.
- You can also make pancakes and muffins using quinoa flour.
- Quinoa flower heads and leaves can be used in the preparations of different curries. However, you need to boil the heads and leaves for a few minutes before cooking to get rid of the oxalic acid they contain.
- Using cold-pressed quinoa oil for dressing and cooking gives your meals an amazing flavor and aroma.
- It can be a great choice for people who opt for a gluten-free diet.
- Storing quinoa in dry, cool, and airtight containers can make it last for up to 2 years. You can also store it in the freezer or refrigerator for longer shelf life.
Quinoa Nutrition Facts
Nutritional value of 100 gms Of cooked quinoa  is as below:
- Total fat - 1.9gms
- Total carbs- 21gms
- Dietary fiber-2.8gms
- Protein - 4.4gms
- Omega-3 fatty acids - 0.01g
- Vitamin E- 3%
- Vitamin B6- 9%
- Beta carotene- 3mcg
- Thiamin -9%
- Iron- 8%
- Phosphorus- 4%
- Zinc- 10%
- Copper- 21%
- Folate- 10%
- Phenylalanine+Tyrosine -15%
Are There Any Side Effects Of Quinoa Protein?
Quinoa is one of the safest ingredients to use topically as well as in your diets. However, the saponin content in quinoa may cause allergic reactions in a few people.
Below are some of the common side effects caused in people who have quinoa allergy :
- Shortness of breath due to lung inflammation
- Inflammation in the digestive tract
- Inflamed skin
Vedix Tip: People who are allergic to quinoa should avoid consuming soups, bread, cereal breakfasts, etc. that are made from it. Typically, such people may also turn out to be allergic to spinach, amaranth, beetroot, swiss chard, etc. which belongs to the quinoa family.
The Last Word
Quinoa can be your go-to solution if you have severely dry, frizzy, and dull hair. Including quinoa in your hair care and diet regularly can make your hair supple, stronger, shiny, and easily manageable. Also, it is suitable for any hair type as per Ayurveda.
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