Sunday, August 21, 2011

Health benefits of Quinoa

Science had tagged Quinoa as "superfood" because it is full of phytonutrients, antioxidants and can help balance your blood sugar.  Quinoa is a delicious whole "grain", easy to digest, contains high quality protein and fiber.  Always mistaken as a grain, Quinoa actually is the seed of a herb-like plant from the Goosefoot family.  It is not a new crop; in fact, it was cultivated by the Incas 5000 years ago.  They call it the Mother Grain.  It has been the staple food of the Incas and it thrives even at high altitude and poor soil.

Quinoa, pronounced as KEEN-WAH, is fluffy, a bit crunchy and slightly flavored when cooked.  Its cooks and tastes like grain, the reason Quinoa can be good substitute for grains.


The greatest value of Quinoa is its being gluten-free and easy to digest.  Some of the nutrients of Quinoa are:

  • Rich in Fiber - eases elimination and cleans colon.
  • Magnesium - helps relax your muscles and blood vessels. 
  • Manganese and cooper - Act as antioxidants to get rid of cancer and disease-causing substances.
  • Complete protein - contains all 9 essential amino acids required by the body as building blocks for muscles.
  • Calcium - high-levels of calcium beneficial to our bones, nails and teeth.

Quinoa as a whole grain, may help in preventing and treating artherosclerosis, breast cancer, diabetes and insulin resistance.

Quinoa has a coating called Saponin that is bitter and is mildly toxic. So it is important to rinse and soak the seeds first to remove this before cooking.  To make sure that Saponin is removed, tip your Quinoa into a sieve and hold it under running water for a few minutes.  You will know that the seeds are cooked when they turn translucent with a white edge and center to each seed as seen on the photo below.

There are many uses of Quinoa as food.  It can be used as substitute for rice, potatoes or pasta to go with a meal.  Could also be used in stews, stuffings, and desserts.  Makes great as quinoa porridge for breakfast.

Ideal too in the evening for quinoa is easy to digest, so you don't have to worry about getting a good night's sleep.

Quinoa is best for salads!

Get more about Quinoa recipes from here:

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