What is Quinoa?
Quinoa was cultivated more than 4,000 years ago and originated in the Andean region of Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Chile and Colombia.
The quinoa plant grows to the height of about 1–2 metres. The flowers are bisexual and self-fertilizing. The fruits are about 2 millimetres in diameter with various colors from white to red or black.
Quinoa seeds have a coating of bitter-tasting saponins, making them unpalatable. The grain that we find in the supermarkets had removed this coating. This bitterness prevent birds from eating it, thus is considered beneficial to cultivation.
Quinoa seeds can be cooked the same way as rice and are used in a wide range of dishes. Quinoa leaves can also be eaten as a vegetable.
Quinoa has a good nutrient composition as compared to common cereals. Quinoa seeds contain essential amino acids and good quantities of trace metals.
|Quinoa Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)|
|Dietary fiber||7.0 g|
|Thiamin (B1)||0.36 mg|
|Riboflavin (B2)||0.318 mg|
|Niacin (B3)||1.52 mg|
|Vitamin B-6||0.487 mg|
|Folate (B9)||0.184 mg|
|Vitamin A||14 IU|
|Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)||2.44 mg|
– Gluten free.
– Provides much higher fiber than other grains.
– Provides all the essential amino acids that we need.
– Improves metablic health.
– Curbs free radical damage.
How to Eat Quinoa
1. Quinoa can be cooked the same way as rice and eaten as grain.
2. Quinoa can be taken as breakfast cereals.
3. Quinoa can be made into pasta.
4. Quinoa can be added to meat, fish, salads and vegetable dishes.
5. Quinoa goes well with many foods and can be easily added to any recipes.
Quinoa saponin might cause mild eye and respiratory irritants and gastrointestinal irritant if not removed completely before cooking.
Quinoa is also high in oxalates, which can reduce the absorption of calcium and can cause problems for persons with recurring kidney stones issues.