Activ8 Advice: Which is Healthiest – Quinoa, Brown Rice or Couscous?

Whether considering quinoa, brown rice or couscous, all are nutritious options with good sources of minerals and fibre and can be generally used interchangeably as they all have similar textures and flavours.

Quinoa is actually the seed of a plant (a plant that’s related to spinach and beets) and is naturally gluten-free, high in protein and fibre, and high in minerals such as magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and iron. It cooks faster than rice and many whole grains, can be used a breakfast cereal or in place or rice or pasta in many dishes, and it contains all nine essential amino acids which makes it a complete protein and great for vegetarian and vegan diets.

Brown rice
Consumed by more people in the world than any other grain, rice is a cereal grain available in many varietals including basmati, jasmine and arborio. Unlike white rice which has the husk, brand and germ removed, brown rice only has the husk removed, so it retains the nutrient-rich fibre and germ.

Brown rice is a great source of manganese, selenium, phosphorus, copper, magnesium, and niacin, however quinoa overall contains more plentiful nutrients than brown rice.

Made from semolina, couscous is a type of pasta and given that it contains wheat, is not
not gluten-free.

Couscous contains protein and some fibre, but it’s mainly made up of processed carbs. Indeed, since it’s so highly processed, much of the fibre is removed. Like other grains, it provides some vitamins and minerals, but not in nearly the same quantities as quinoa and brown rice. If you’re counting calories or low on time however, couscous is a great option.