Is Quinoa A Low FODMAP Food?

September 22, 2022 (Last Updated: February 9, 2023)
is quinoa a low fodmap food

Is quinoa a low FODMAP food? Yes! Quinoa is a low FODMAP food with a recommended serving size of 1 cup or 155 grams of cooked quinoa. We answered the question, “is quinoa a low FODMAP food?” so early on in the article but it doesn’t stop there. 

We’re also going to have a look at the different types of quinoa, how to cook it and so much more:

Ready to start making some delicious low FODMAP quinoa? Keep on reading!

Is Quinoa A Low FODMAP Food?

is quinoa low fodmap

Yes, quinoa is a low FODMAP food but how much quinoa is low FODMAP? Monash University tested this ancient grain and recommends a serving size of 1 cup or 155 grams of cooked quinoa. FODMAP Friendly gives dry uncooked quinoa a serving size of 1/2 cup or 95 grams. It can be any type of quinoa, red, white, black or rainbow. 

Here’s a helpful tip: 1 cup (170 grams) of dry uncooked quinoa will give you 3 cups (548 grams or 720ml) of cooked quinoa.

Stick to the serving size by measuring a 1 cup portion of quinoa after cooking it. What is quinoa? Let’s find that out since we’ve got the question, “is quinoa a low FODMAP food?” out of the way.

What Is Quinoa?

is quinoa a low fodmap food

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is a plant that’s related to spinach, beets, and amaranth. It originates from the Andes and can be found as a staple food in South America[1]. Although it’s called a grain, quinoa is actually a seed.

Quinoa is cooked like pasta or rice. It’s gluten free and is a fantastic source of protein to add to your low FODMAP diet. Quinoa is a trendy superfood that dates back to 5000 BC! Ancient civilizations used to refer to it as “the mother grain” or even the gold of the Incas. 

Red, white, black and rainbow quinoa have similar nutritional value and contain lots of fiber, iron and zinc. Not only is quinoa low FODMAP, gluten-free, and nutritious, it’s also very versatile. Never had this superfood before? Find out what it tastes like in the next part of this post.

What Does Quinoa Taste Like?

Quinoa tastes delicate with nutty and earthy notes. It’s great at soaking up flavors and works well in savory or sweet dishes, as a main or side dish or served hot or cold. Personally, I think white quinoa has the most subtle flavor. Black and red quinoa have a stronger nuttier note. Like rice or any other grain, it should not be eaten raw. 

Raw quinoa transforms from hard and opaque to slightly crunchy (with a soft chewy center) and translucent once it’s cooked. Cooked quinoa has a thin white rim around the edge of each grain -this is the hull and it’s totally edible.

Cherished through ancient civilizations and every healthy foodie out there, quinoa has tons of health benefits. 

Health Benefits of Quinoa

is quinoa a low fodmap food

Not only is quinoa FODMAP friendly, it’s also loaded with lots of goodness! This superfood is a rich source of manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, folate, zinc, copper, iron and thiamin (vitamin B1). [2] Here are 4 more health benefits to adding quinoa to your diet:

  • Protein rich: Quinoa has a higher protein content than rice! It’s a plant-based protein that has all 9 essential amino acids.
  • High in fiber: 1 cup of cooked quinoa has 5 grams of fiber. Quinoa’s high fiber content means it’ll keep you fuller for longer periods and make you more regular (if you catch my drift).
  • Loaded with vitamins & minerals: That’s right, this superfood is extremely nutritious and filled with lots of vitamins and nutrients like zinc, copper, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, and thiamin.  
  • It’s a complex carb: It’s also a complex carb which means that it will digest slowly, keep you full for a longer time, and give you energy throughout your day!

Do I hear you running to the grocery store buying bags of quinoa to add it to your IBS low FODMAP diet plan? Before you start stockpiling on this grain, let’s talk about the 4 kinds of quinoa you’ll probably find on the shelf.

4 Types Of Quinoa

New to quinoa? White, red, black, and rainbow quinoa are 4 types of whole quinoa you’ll find in supermarkets. Each quinoa varies mostly in appearance, and slightly by taste and texture.

White Quinoa

is quinoa a low fodmap food

White quinoa is definitely the most widely available variety and has the mildest flavor of all 4 types. It has a slight resistance like rice but a chewy center. This quinoa is light and fluffy, perfect for salads, as a replacement for rice or even breakfast puddings.

Red Quinoa

is quinoa a low fodmap food

Red quinoa is the second most common variety and can be used exactly like white quinoa. It’s a lot crunchier than white quinoa and has a stronger nutty flavor. The crunch of red quinoa is great for adding texture! Personally, I only use red quinoa in savory dishes because I don’t think it works well in baked goods. 

Black Quinoa

is quinoa a low fodmap food

Black quinoa is a bit harder to find but I have seen it popping up on some fancy supermarket shelves recently. Honestly, black quinoa is identical to red quinoa -aside from the color- in terms of taste and texture. I’d use it exactly the same way as I would with red quinoa.

Tri-Color or Rainbow Quinoa

is quinoa a low fodmap food

Tri-color or rainbow quinoa is actually a mix of red, black, and white quinoa. You get the crunch and nuttyness of red and black quinoa, balanced with the soft chew and subtleness of white quinoa. Perfect in salads or to make quinoa crackers.

All this talk about quinoa but how do you cook it? We’re going to find out in the next part of this post.

How To Prepare & Cook Quinoa

Ever had a bowl of quinoa and immediately wanted to spit it out? Yeah, me too. Raw quinoa is coated in saponin which protects the grains from being eaten by birds. Super handy but it’s bitter, yucky and has to be removed before cooking. 

Here’s how you do that:

  1. Add dry quinoa to a bowl of cold water.
  2. Swish it around with your hands and throw out the water. Repeat this step twice.
  3. Rinse the quinoa under cool running water.
  4. Cook it as directed.

You can’t over do the rinsing, so feel free to wash the heck out of the quinoa. Some recipes recommend soaking quinoa before cooking but that’s not necessary. It’s a relatively easy and fast cooking grain. 

Bring a pot filled with water to a boil, add 1-2 cups of quinoa and boil for 10 minutes. Strain the quinoa and allow it to steam dry so the grains don’t stick together. Larger amounts of quinoa will take longer to cook.

Looking for more information on this superfood? The FAQ section is next up.

Quinoa FAQ

I’ve lined up some of the internet’s most asked quinoa IBS questions in this FAQ section.

What Kind Of Quinoa Is Low FODMAP?

White, red, and black quinoa have all been tested and are FODMAP certified at 1 cup or 155 grams serving. There is no difference in FODMAP levels for different varieties. 

Is Quinoa Good For IBS?

Yes, IBS or not, quinoa is rich with nutrients and as mentioned above has plenty of health benefits.

What Happens If I Eat Quinoa Everyday?

A research study by Harvard’s Public School of Health showed that eating one bowl of quinoa a day may reduce  heart and respiratory diseases, diabetes, early death risk from cancer, and other chronic diseases by 17%[3]

Will Quinoa Make You Gassy?

Too much quinoa may make you gassy. The high fiber and protein content of quinoa is a blessing and a curse. Too much quinoa equals a lot of fiber, this will digest slowly and cause bloating and gas. This happens when your body can’t process large amounts of fiber.

Does Quinoa Cause Bloating And Gas?

You may experience bloating, gas, and some stomach pain if you eat too much quinoa or have too little fiber in your diet. As mentioned above, too much fiber causes increased gas and that leads to bloating.

Should You Rinse Quinoa Before Cooking?

Yes! Always rinse your quinoa before using it. Quinoa is coated in a bitter substance called saponin. Rinsing it before cooking will remove the bitterness.

What Can You Add To Quinoa To Make It Taste Better?

You can add anything to make your quinoa taste better because of its subtle flavor and ability to absorb flavor! You can season quinoa after it’s cooked or while it cooks.

Season it with dried herbs, cumin, salt and top with fresh herbs like mint, coriander or parsley. I especially like seasoning the water and boiling quinoa with tomato puree or boiling it in vegetable stock. 

Since we’ve answered the question, “is quinoa a low FODMAP food?” Let’s look at some other low FODMAP grains on the list!

Other Low FODMAP Grains

is quinoa a low fodmap food

There are plenty of grains on the low FODMAP foods list.These are some of the grains tested and approved by Monash [4]:

  • Amaranth (puffed) is low FODMAP at 28 grams.
  • Bourghul is low FODMAP at 1/4 cup.
  • Buckwheat (kernels, flour) 3/4  cup or 135 grams per serving.
  • Corn (cob, polenta, tortilla, popcorn) The FODMAP levels of corn depend on how it’s processed and which kind of corn it is. I’ve compiled all the internets information about corn FODMAPs in a complete guide:

Is Corn Low FODMAP? Everything You Need To Know

  • Millet (grain, flour) hulled millet is low in FODMAPs at 1 cup or 184 grams.
  • Oats (whole rolled oats are low FODMAP at 1/2 cup or 52 grams. Quick oats are low FODMAP at 1/4 cup or 23 grams)
  • Rice (brown, white, red, basmati) is low FODMAP at 1 cup or 190 grams (cooked).  
  • Sorghum (flour) 2/3 cup, 100 grams or 3.53 ounce serves.
  • Wheat (wholemeal bread or sourdough) low FODMAP at 2 slices or 97 grams.

Well there you have it, folks. The answer to “is quinoa a low FODMAP food?” is pretty clear after all that. What do you think of quinoa? Is it something you have often or did you have a bad experience with it in the past?

When I first learned about quinoa, I thought it was carb free and ate boat-loads of it in place of rice. Boy was I wrong. But quinoa doesn’t have to be boring. Actually, here’s my favorite low FODMAP quinoa recipe paired with the easiest 3 ingredient low FODMAP Italian dressing!

It’s got the flavors of Italy; basil, tomato, and balsamic. Completely low FODMAP and jam packed with flavor!

More about FODMAP foods here:

Is Garlic Powder Low FODMAP? 4 Low FODMAP Garlic Substitutes

Is sweetcorn low FODMAP?

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