Quinoa (pronounced “keen-wa”) is growing in popularity as a hot superfood. It has the character of a grain but the personality of a seed. Packed with nutrients, essential fats and protein – is this the perfect food?
Grain like, but actually a seed
For those looking to ditch the wheat and grains quinoa is perfect. It cooks and looks similar to rice, but is actually a seed. Quinoa is loaded with nutrients, high in B vitamins, fibre and even some essential fatty acids. Additionally it is good source of zinc, iron, calcium, copper, manganese and magnesium and it contains folic acid and vitamin E. It’s easy to see why many consider quinoa to be the most complete food for humans!
A great protein source
Many plant based foods are lacking in some off the protein blocks known as amino acids. Quinoa contains all of them and is 12-18% protein, a high percentage.
Quinoa also happens to have a low glycemic index (GI) compared to whole grains. The GI rates foods depending on how much they make our blood glucose levels increase. Keeping your blood sugar balanced can help you to manage your weight and improve cholesterol, and that’s why whole, unrefined foodstuffs that are low in sugar and high in fibre are promoted for their health advantages. A further advantage for those concerned about their weight is that quinoa comes in at about 50 calories less per serving than brown rice and also has less carbohydrate than any other grain beside corn.
Quinoa is typically eaten in a variety of ways, e.g. in soups, stews, salads, casseroles, or as a side dish with any meal. It can even be used with puddings and used as a hot or cold breakfast cereal. We believe it works great as a substitute to rice or pasta in lunchtime meals. It can even be cooked up and kept in the fridge for a few days.
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