Quinoa vs Soy: Which Is Healthier?

This article explains the key similarities and differences between quinoa and soy, foods from the grains and legumes food groups. Read on to learn more about the quinoa vs soy comparison.
Catherine Toledo, Journalist

Written by Catherine Toledo, Journalist. Updated on February 7, 2023.

Although quinoa and soy belong to different food groups, while quinoa belong is a grain, and soy belong to legumes food group, and it’s not that common to compare foods from different groups, people are often interested in these comparisons as well.

That’s why we decided to create an in-depth article that compares quinoa and soy, their nutritional values, similarities, differences, macronutrients, and micronutrients – vitamins and minerals.

Generally speaking, foods from grains and legume food groups are both high in carbs and protein and valuable addition to a plant-based diet.

Now, let’s see how quinoa and soy compare specifically.


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.


Soybeans (Glycine max) are a type of legume native to East Asia.

They are a popular ingredient in many vegan and vegetarian dishes due to their high protein and fiber content. Soy protein is one of the complete sources of a plant-based protein.

Soybeans can be enjoyed in a variety of dishes, including tofu, soy milk, and soy-based meat substitutes, and can also be ground into flour and used in baked goods such as bread and cookies.

In addition to being a tasty and nutritious food, soybeans have been shown to have many potential health benefits.

They are a good source of antioxidants and have been linked to lower cholesterol levels and improved blood sugar control.

Soybeans are also a good source of several important minerals, including iron, zinc, and magnesium.

Soy are an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B9 (Folate), and Vitamin K.

They also contain a good amount of Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine) and some Vitamin C, and Vitamin E.

Quinoa vs Soy 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 soy.

This comparison will start by comparing the caloric value of quinoa and soy and their macronutrients and then go more in-depth by analyzing their vitamin and mineral content.

Energy368 kcal446 kcal
Carbs64.2 g30.2 g
Sugar1.45 g7.33 g
Fiber7 g9.3 g
Protein14.1 g36.5 g
Fat6.07 g19.9 g
Saturated Fat0.706 g2.88 g

Quinoa vs Soy Calories

Most calories in raw grains and legumes come from carbs. Peanuts are an exception here, but they are often considered a nut instead of a legume because of their nutritional profile.

Comparing quinoa vs soy for weight loss, quinoa is slightly lower in calories, with 368 calories per 100 grams, compared to 446 calories per 100 grams of soy.

However, both quinoa and soy 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 Soy Protein

Legumes and most legume products, including quinoa and soy, are important sources of plant-based protein.

Soy offer around 61% more protein than quinoa.

Soy have 36.5 grams of protein per 100 grams, while quinoa has 14.1 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Quinoa vs Soy 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 soy.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 53% higher in quinoa than in soy. It have 64.2 grams per 100 grams, compared to 30.2 grams in soy.

There’s less sugar in quinoa than in soy, 81% precisely.

One handful of quinoa (28 grams) contains 0.4 grams of sugar, while the same amount of soy contains 2.1 grams.

Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in quinoa and soy.

Dietary fiber keeps the digestive system healthy and helps with weight management by promoting a sense of fullness.

With 2.6 grams of fiber per portion, soy are a better source of fiber than quinoa which offer 2 grams per portion.

Quinoa vs Soy Fats

Like most other grains and legumes, with the exception of lupins and peanuts, quinoa and soy are low in fat.

Fats in quinoa and soy are mostly healthy unsaturated fats. They are naturally cholesterol-free and trans-fat-free.

Total fat in quinoa and soy:

  • Quinoa: 6.1 grams per 100 grams
  • Soy: 19.9 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, quinoa is 76% lower in saturated fats.

Quinoa and soy contain 0.7 grams and 2.9 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Quinoa vs Soy Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of quinoa and soy.

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 A, vitamin C, vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B9 (Folate), and vitamin K.

However, soy have a higher amount of vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and vitamin E.

Quinoa and soy contain the same amount of vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).

The following table shows the exact amount of vitamins quinoa and soy contain side by side, so you can easily compare them.

Vitamin A14 IU22 IU
Vitamin C06 mg
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.36 mg0.874 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.318 mg0.87 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)1.52 mg1.62 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)0.772 mg0.793 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.487 mg0.377 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)184 µg375 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E2.44 mg0.85 mg
Vitamin K047 µg

Quinoa vs Soy 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 soy comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Quinoa is a better source of calcium, copper, fluoride, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, and zinc than soy.

On the other hand, soy are a higher amount of sodium.

Check out the table below to learn how quinoa and soy compare when it comes to mineral content.

Calcium47 mg277 mg
Copper0.59 mg1.66 mg
Fluoride02.2 µg
Iron4.57 mg15.7 mg
Magnesium197 mg280 mg
Manganese2.03 mg2.52 mg
Phosphorus457 mg704 mg
Potassium563 mg1800 mg
Selenium8.5 µg17.8 µg
Sodium5 mg2 mg
Zinc3.1 mg4.89 mg

The Final Word

Quinoa and soy are highly nutritious and a great addition to a plant-based diet.

Both quinoa and soy are high in specific vitamins and minerals, and including them in your diet will give you the most benefits they offer.

Antioxidants found in grains and legumes can help to protect cells from damage and may reduce the risk of certain diseases and the effects of aging.

Additionally, the fiber and other nutrients in these foods can support the health of the digestive system and may even help to prevent certain digestive cancers.

Legumes and grains are a versatile food that can be incorporated into any meal of the day, including breakfast, lunch, or dinner. They can be served hot or cold, making them a convenient and tasty addition to a variety of dishes.


Holy Peas has strict sourcing guidelines and draws only from high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical journals, associations and government institutions. Read more about our process.

How we ensure this article is accurate?
  1. It's written and or reviewed by an expert.
  2. We cite relevant studies and trusted sources.
  3. It's regularly updated.

Read more about our process and team.