A Benefit Of Eating Quinoa That Might Surprise You

Native to South American countries such as Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Chile, quinoa seeds are harvested for processing and ultimately make it to our tables as the nutrient-rich whole grain many of us have come to love (via Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health). When we hear the word "processing" it's easy to immediately think of artificial sweeteners and other additives, but the kind of processing that quinoa seeds undergo is merely to remove a naturally-occurring external chemical coating that, if left intact, serves as a pesticide.

Packed with protein, fiber, magnesium, and a slew of other essential nutrients, quinoa can provide us with a hefty dose of antioxidants, minimize the risk for gallstones, boost heart health, bone health, and digestive functioning, as well as regulate blood cholesterol levels (via Organic Facts). Coming in a wide range of colors and types, quinoa can be incorporated into our meals in a variety of ways — from pasta to salads to breakfast cereals. As if these weren't already enough reasons to add a serving of quinoa onto your plate, there's also another surprising health benefit of quinoa you may never have expected.

Quinoa may alleviate migraines

For those who suffer from migraines — good news! The nutrients found in quinoa may provide you with the relief you're looking for. When it comes to the pain and discomfort of headaches, migraines can be the worst offenders. Characterized by excessive pain and throbbing that can last for long periods of time, migraines can also come with bouts of nausea and light sensitivity (via Mayo Clinic). According to Clean Eating, 1 cup of cooked quinoa can help protect against anemia, which is associated with migraines.

Quinoa provides nutrients — vitamin B, riboflavin, and magnesium — which are also linked to lowering the risk of migraines, per Clean Eating. Studies have shown that those who experience migraines have "altered cerebrovascular function" (via Sage Journals). Therefore, supplying our body with these compounds found in quinoa to boost cerebrovascular function may provide much-needed relief from migraine symptoms.