Quinoa vs Semolina: How Are They Different?
Quinoa and semolina belong to the grains food group, one of the staple food groups for people on a plant-based diet.
Grains and grain products are an affordable source of carbohydrates, as well as essential vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins (such as thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin), iron, and zinc, minerals that are usually harder to get on a plant-based diet.
They also provide a small amount of protein and healthy fats.
However, it is important to note that whole grains are generally a better source of these nutrients than refined grains.
This article will thoroughly compare quinoa and semolina and help you learn more about their similarities and differences.
Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) is a grain-like crop grown for its edible seeds.
It is a good source of complete protein, providing all essential amino acids, and also rich in dietary fibers, vitamins, and minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and zinc.
Quinoa also contains antioxidants, flavonoids, and anti-inflammatory compounds, which have been linked to various health benefits, including improved blood sugar control, cardiovascular health, and weight management.
It is a versatile ingredient that can be cooked and eaten as a side dish, added to soups and stews, or ground into flour to make breads, pancakes, and other baked goods.
Quinoa is an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and Vitamin B9 (Folate).
It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and Vitamin E.
Semolina (Triticum durum) is a coarse, granular flour that is made from the hard durum wheat, a type of wheat that is high in gluten and protein.
It is a good source of carbohydrates, protein, and small amounts of minerals like iron and zinc. It is also rich in B vitamins such as niacin and thiamin.
Semolina is commonly used in the production of pasta and other traditional Italian dishes like couscous and gnocchi. It is also used in some breads, pastries, and other baked goods. It gives pasta a distinct texture and yellow color due to the presence of carotenoids in the wheat endosperm.
Semolina is gluten-rich, thus, it is not suitable for people with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease. Semolina can be enjoyed in moderate portions as part of a balanced diet, combined with vegetables, lean protein sources, and healthy fats.
Semolina is not an excellent source of any particular vitamin.
However, it also contains a good amount of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and Vitamin B9 (Folate) and some Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), and Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine).
Quinoa vs Semolina Nutrition
Now that we’ve described the origin, taste, and usage of these foods, we can move to the most interesting part – comparing quinoa vs semolina.
This comparison will start by comparing the caloric value of quinoa and semolina and their macronutrients and then go more in-depth by analyzing their vitamin and mineral content.
|Energy||368 kcal||360 kcal|
|Carbs||64.2 g||72.8 g|
|Sugar||1.45 g||2.67 g|
|Fiber||7 g||3.9 g|
|Protein||14.1 g||12.7 g|
|Fat||6.07 g||1.05 g|
|Saturated Fat||0.706 g||0.15 g|
Quinoa vs Semolina Calories
Most calories in grains come from carbs.
Comparing semolina vs quinoa for weight loss, semolina is slightly lower in calories, with 360 calories per 100 grams, compared to 368 calories per 100 grams of quinoa.
However, both quinoa and semolina can and should be a part of a healthy diet, and neither one shouldn’t be avoided if you’re looking to lose weight.
Quinoa vs Semolina Protein
Grains and most grain products, including quinoa and semolina, are important sources of plant-based protein.
However, it should be noted that most grains, with the exception of quinoa and buckwheat, for example, are low in lysine and methionine.
That said, you can combine grains with legumes to get a complete protein.
Quinoa offers around 10% more protein than semolina.
Quinoa has 14.1 grams of protein per 100 grams, while semolina has 12.7 grams of protein per 100 grams.
Quinoa vs Semolina Carbs
Counting carbs can be important for some people for different reasons, including blood sugar control, weight management, or athletic performance.
It’s also important for people on a keto diet, so let’s compare the carbs content in quinoa and semolina.
The total amount of carbohydrates is around 12% higher in semolina than in quinoa. It has 72.8 grams per 100 grams, compared to 64.2 grams in quinoa.
There’s less sugar in quinoa than in semolina, 44% precisely.
That said, 100 grams of quinoa contains 1.5 grams of sugar, while the same amount of semolina contains 2.7 grams.
Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in quinoa and semolina.
Dietary fiber keeps the digestive system healthy and helps with weight management by promoting a sense of fullness.
With 7 grams of fiber per 100 grams, quinoa is a better source of fiber than semolina which quinoa offers 3.9 grams per 100 gram portion.
Quinoa vs Semolina Fats
Like most other grains, quinoa and semolina are low in fat.
Fats in quinoa and semolina are mostly healthy unsaturated fats. They are naturally cholesterol-free and trans-fat-free.
Total fat in quinoa and semolina:
- Quinoa: 6.1 grams per 100 grams
- Semolina: 1.1 per 100 grams
Speaking of saturated fats, semolina is 71% lower in saturated fats.
Semolina and quinoa contain 0.2 grams and 0.7 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.
Quinoa vs Semolina Vitamins Content
This section will discuss the vitamin content of quinoa and semolina.
Vitamins are micronutrients, meaning we need only a small amount. However, they are very important for many processes in our bodies.
Quinoa has a higher amount of vitamin B3 (Niacin), and vitamin K.
However, semolina has a higher amount of vitamin A, vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), vitamin B9 (Folate), and vitamin E.
Quinoa and semolina contain the same amount of vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).
The following table shows the exact amount of vitamins quinoa and semolina contain side by side, so you can easily compare them.
|Vitamin A||14 IU||0|
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)||0.36 mg||0.28 mg|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||0.318 mg||0.08 mg|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||1.52 mg||3.31 mg|
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)||0.772 mg||0.58 mg|
|Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)||0.487 mg||0.103 mg|
|Vitamin B9 (Folate)||184 µg||72 µg|
|Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)||0||0|
|Vitamin E||2.44 mg||0.11 mg|
|Vitamin K||0||0.1 µg|
Quinoa vs Semolina Minerals Content
Minerals are important for our body to function properly. We need only a small amount of minerals, so they are called micronutrients.
Some minerals, like iron, calcium, zinc, or iodine, are relatively hard to get on a plant-based diet, so it’s important to choose your foods thoughtfully. This part of the quinoa and semolina comparison focuses on their mineral content.
Quinoa is a better source of selenium than semolina.
On the other hand, semolina is a higher amount of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc.
Quinoa and semolina contain the same amount of fluoride.
Check out the table below to learn how quinoa and semolina compare when it comes to mineral content.
|Calcium||47 mg||17 mg|
|Copper||0.59 mg||0.189 mg|
|Iron||4.57 mg||1.23 mg|
|Magnesium||197 mg||47 mg|
|Manganese||2.03 mg||0.619 mg|
|Phosphorus||457 mg||136 mg|
|Potassium||563 mg||186 mg|
|Selenium||8.5 µg||63.2 µg|
|Sodium||5 mg||1 mg|
|Zinc||3.1 mg||1.05 mg|
The Final Word
This article highlighted the similarities and differences between quinoa and semolina.
Grains, also known as cereal grains, are an important source of nutrition for many people around the world. They are a rich source of carbohydrates, which provide energy for the body.
Whole grains contain important vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins and iron. Whole grains, in particular, are high in dietary fiber and can help with digestion and weight management.
They may also have other health benefits, such as reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.
Grains are also a staple food and an important source of food security in many parts of the world.
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