Quinoa

quinoaQuinoa was referred to as the “mother of all grains” by the Inca empire. Quinoa is a pseudo-cereal loaded with protein, fiber and minerals, but is gluten free.

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 Nutrition

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)
Energy 368 kcal
Carbohydrates 64.16 g
Dietary fiber 7.0 g
Fat 6.07 g
Saturated 0.706 g
Monounsaturated 1.613 g
Polyunsaturated 3.292 g
Protein 14.12 g
Vitamins
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
Trace metals
Calcium 47 mg
Iron 4.57 mg
Magnesium 197 mg
Phosphorus 457 mg
Potassium 536 mg
Sodium 5 mg
Zinc 3.1 mg

Quinoa Benefits

– Gluten free.

– Anti-inflammatory.

– Anti-viral.

– Anti-cancer.

– Anti-depressants.

– 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.

Cautions:

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.

Where to Buy Quinoa?

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