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Quinoa vs Wheat germ: How Do They Compare?

This article explains the key similarities and differences between quinoa and wheat germ, foods from the grains food group. Read on to learn more about the quinoa vs wheat germ comparison.
Dennis Gillett, Health & Fitness Writer

Written by Dennis Gillett, Health & Fitness Writer. Updated on January 22, 2023.

Quinoa and wheat germ 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 wheat germ 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.

Wheat germ

Wheat germ (Triticum aestivum) is a by-product of wheat milling and is derived from the inner part of the wheat kernel.

It is a good source of essential nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy fats. It is particularly high in vitamin E, folate, and minerals like zinc, magnesium, and phosphorus.

Wheat germ is also a good source of plant-based protein, making it a valuable food for vegetarians and vegans.

It is often used as an ingredient in breakfast cereals, granolas, and baked goods or as a topping for yogurt, oatmeal, and salads. It can also be added to smoothies and other drinks for an extra boost of nutrition.

Wheat germ is an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and Vitamin B9 (Folate).

It also contains Vitamin E, and Vitamin K in a small amount.

Quinoa vs Wheat germ 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 wheat germ.

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

QuinoaWheat germ
Energy368 kcal360 kcal
Carbs64.2 g51.8 g
Sugar1.45 g0.98 g
Fiber7 g13.2 g
Protein14.1 g23.2 g
Fat6.07 g9.72 g
Saturated Fat0.706 g1.66 g

Quinoa vs Wheat germ Calories

Most calories in grains come from carbs.

Comparing wheat germ vs quinoa for weight loss, wheat germ is slightly lower in calories, with 360 calories per 100 grams, compared to 368 calories per 100 grams of quinoa.

However, both quinoa and wheat germ 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 Wheat germ Protein

Grains and most grain products, including quinoa and wheat germ, 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.

Wheat germ offers around 39% more protein than quinoa.

Wheat germ has 23.2 grams of protein per 100 grams, while quinoa has 14.1 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Quinoa vs Wheat germ 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 wheat germ.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 19% higher in quinoa than in wheat germ. It has 64.2 grams per 100 grams, compared to 51.8 grams in wheat germ.

There’s less sugar in wheat germ than in quinoa, 33% precisely.

That said, 100 grams of wheat germ contains 1 grams of sugar, while the same amount of quinoa contains 1.5 grams.

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

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

With 13.2 grams of fiber per 100 grams, wheat germ is a better source of fiber than quinoa which offers 7 grams per 100 gram portion.

Quinoa vs Wheat germ Fats

Like most other grains, quinoa and wheat germ are low in fat.

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

Total fat in quinoa and wheat germ:

  • Quinoa: 6.1 grams per 100 grams
  • Wheat germ: 9.7 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, quinoa is 59% lower in saturated fats.

Quinoa and wheat germ contain 0.7 grams and 1.7 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Quinoa vs Wheat germ Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of quinoa and wheat germ.

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 B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), vitamin B9 (Folate), and vitamin K.

However, wheat germ has a higher amount of vitamin A, and vitamin E.

Quinoa and wheat germ contain the same amount of vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).

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

QuinoaWheat germ
Vitamin A14 IU0
Vitamin C00
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.36 mg1.88 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.318 mg0.499 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)1.52 mg6.81 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)0.772 mg2.26 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.487 mg1.3 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)184 µg281 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E2.44 mg0.85 mg
Vitamin K05.9 µg

Quinoa vs Wheat germ 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 wheat germ comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Quinoa is a better source of copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium, and zinc than wheat germ.

On the other hand, wheat germ is a higher amount of calcium.

Quinoa and wheat germ contain the same amount of fluoride.

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

QuinoaWheat germ
Calcium47 mg39 mg
Copper0.59 mg0.796 mg
Iron4.57 mg6.26 mg
Magnesium197 mg239 mg
Manganese2.03 mg13.3 mg
Phosphorus457 mg842 mg
Potassium563 mg892 mg
Selenium8.5 µg79.2 µg
Sodium5 mg12 mg
Zinc3.1 mg12.3 mg

The Final Word

This article highlighted the similarities and differences between quinoa and wheat germ.

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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