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Add This Whole Grain Quinoa to Your List of Superfoods | Amoils.com

Added March 8, 2012, Under: Health, Nutrition

 

BLOG IMAGE - QUINOA 4With all the hype about gluten intolerance, and the number of people who probably should be eating a gluten-free diet, here is one whole grain that is safe to use and tastes good too. Quinoa (which should be pronounced keen-wah and not quin-oa as you would suppose) has a nutty, grainy taste and, apart from being gluten-free, is high in iron and fiber which many of us tend to be deficient in. Simple to cook  like rice, quinoa looks a bit like couscous but is more substantial and slightly crunchy.

A basic recipe for cooking quinoa

  • 1 cup quinoa (which you should give a quick rinse in water first before using).
  • 1-1/2 cups water or stock.
  • Add the quinoa and water or stock to a small pot.
  • Bring to a boil and cover before reducing heat and cooking for 15-20 minutes or until water is absorbed.
  • Remove quinoa from heat and allow to sit five minutes with the lid on.
  • Fluff quinoa gently with a fork and serve.

To this basic recipe, you can

  • Add coconut or almond milk to cooked quinoa for a tasty hot breakfast “cereal.”
  • Add cooked vegetables like onions, red peppers, and squash with a few herbs for a great meatless meal.
  • Add finely chopped onion, cucumber, green peppers, tomatoes with some oregano and lemon juice for a delicious and satisfying take on Greek salad. 

A staple of the ancient Incas, who revered it as a sacred food, quinoa is actually a seed rather than a grain and related to spinach and Swiss chard. Quinoa has been one of the primary foods of the Inca Indians for more than five thousand years who refer to it as “Mother Grain”. While most quinoa is grown in the Andes in South America, some is now being grown in the Colorado Rockies. Many people are unaware of the fact that quinoa will grow in extremely poor soil making it (together with its great nutritional value) a true super grain to feed the world.

Although the most common color is white, it also comes in a red and a black variety. You can buy quinoa puffed, rolled into flakes or whole.

Quinoa which is a complete protein has loads of nutritional and healthy benefits

  • It is an an excellent source of protein – 12% to 18%. According to The National Academy of Sciences, quinoa is “one of the best sources of protein in the vegetable kingdom”. In addition, quinoa contains the amino acid lysine which assists the body produce protein. It also helps the body process the protein in the quinoa and in other foods. The World Health Organization has rated the quality of protein in quinoa to be equivalent or superior to that found in milk products. The high level of lysine, while helping with tissue repair and growth, also helps to prevent or stop cold sores in their tracks.
  • It is rich in amino acids, manganese, iron, magnesium, B-vitamins, and as we have said fiber.
  • Migraine sufferers would be wise to include quinoa in their diet because it contains magnesium to help relax muscles and riboflavin to reduce the frequency of migraine attacks while improving energy metabolism within brain and muscle cells. That said magnesium may also help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes because magnesium activates over 500 enzymes in your body, including those involved in insulin secretion and the body’s use of sugar.
  • Quinoa also lessens the risk for heart disease and helps with heart arrhythmias while also containing important antioxidants.
  • Quinoa is a good source of the amino acid tryptophan, helping with melatonin production and lessening the likelihood of insomnia. 

Don’t forget to include quinoa on your shopping list for a new and healthy eating experience.

 

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