Quinoa-The Super Grain Worth Adding To Your Diet

Quinoa-The Super Grain Worth Adding To Your Diet

Quinoa-The Super Grain Worth Adding To Your Diet

Quinoa – The Super Grain worth Adding to Your Diet

Well first off, it is not Quin-o-ah or Qu-no-wah, it is pronounced as KEEN-WAH.

Quinoa And I am pretty sure this is not the first time you’ve heard about Quinoa. Nutrition war is going on over the internet and every now and then you see Quinoa recipes on popular food and beverages websites, blogs, image sharing channels like Instagram and Pinterest. The rise in the demand for gluten-free diets led to the popularity of Quinoa.

Quinoa-The Super Grain Worth Adding To Your Diet

Even though Quinoa is relatively new to the food enthusiasts around the world, this incredibly nutritious grain dates back to nearly five thousand years, where the Incas of South America believed it to be a sacred food. The Incas refer Quinoa as the “mother of all grains”.

The Golden Grain of the Incas

Chenopodium quinoa (keen-wah) which originated in the Andes Mountains of South America can withstand different types of climatic conditions. It belongs to the same family of crops such as sugar beet, beetroot, and spinach. At the first look, it looks like grain and most people cook quinoa the same way they would cook rice, wheat or other grains. But, the grains of the quinoa plant isn’t grain at all. It is actually the seed or pseudo-grain. Even the leaves of the quinoa plant are edible and can be cooked just the way you cook spinach.

Quinoa has an important role in the Andean diet. These seeds are used as grains for baking and as an alternative for other grains such as rice, wheat, oats, rye, and barley. There are a number of traditions and special ceremonies surrounding the quinoa harvest which is followed by the indigenous people of the Incas.

Here is what the great Latin American geographer Alexander had to say about Quinoa:

Quinoa was to the Incas and ancient Andean societies what “wine was to the Greeks, wheat to the Romans, cotton to the Arabs.”

Today, quinoa is used everywhere around the world. I see a lot of people prefer quinoa to prepare healthy recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Just like the Incas believe quinoa was the secret behind the health of their warriors, more and more people are starting to believe this super grain is on its way to becoming a superfood. Come let us find out some of the health benefits of Quinoa.

The Gluten-Free Superfood

Quinoa is gluten-free, which makes it one of the most favored food by anyone who is on a weight-loss program. It is the perfect alternative to other gluten-containing whole grain food available today. As more and more people are trying to make their diet gluten-free, quinoa a naturally gluten-free pseudocereal did not take so long to become part of a healthy gluten-free diet. Unlike the other grain-based products, it is well tolerated by those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten intolerance.

High Protein Content

Quinoa is regarded as one of the most nutritious food which is a complete source of protein. It has got the same amount of protein which is in wheat (13% – 16%) and way more protein than in rice, oats or barley. It contains all 9 essential amino acids: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. So if your dietician recommends any of these amino acids in your diet, quinoa has got it covered for you. If you have serious thoughts about getting into a weight loss program, a Quinoa based diet would be appropriate.

Hearty Health Benefits

Studies show that diet rich in fiber content isn’t just good for your digestion, it has got exceptional heart health benefits. It can help you reduce the risk of heart diseases, lower the cholesterol level, reduce blood pressure and inflammation. Quinoa contains more fiber than most of the grains and is easy to digest.

Almost 80% of the fiber which is contained in quinoa is insoluble and the remaining 20% is soluble. Insoluble fiber is not known for its health benefits. Even then the amount of soluble fiber contained in quinoa is way better than most of the grains. It is approx. 2.5 grams of soluble fiber per cup.

Loaded With Iron

Quinoa has a decent amount of iron. We all know how vital iron is for our body. It is a mineral which is obtained from our diet, especially when you consume red meat and cereals. It is an important component which is required for making hemoglobin and keeps our red blood cells healthy. Your body needs to produce enough red blood cells in order to supply oxygen throughout the body. Quinoa is also a powerhouse of other essential minerals like magnesium, potassium, and zinc necessary which are necessary for optimal health.

I am sure you are curious to know how quinoa can be added to your diet and what are some of the interesting dishes that one could prepare using quinoa. Like I have mentioned earlier, quinoa is a perfect ingredient which can be used for preparing both side dish and main course.

How to Add Quinoa to your diet

With each cereal being cooked using different methods, cooking quinoa can be confusing at times. Just keep in mind, if you ever get confused you can use it as an alternative for rice and cook the same way you would cook rice. Here are a few tips for you to begin with.

Rinse quinoa using cold water. There is a coating on quinoa called saponin which is bitter in taste and you can easily get rid of this coating by simply rinsing with cold water.
Toast the rinsed quinoa into a saucepan. Heat the saucepan at medium heat until all the water is absorbed.
Add water and boil the mixture. Lower the heat and cook for 15 minutes keeping the lid closed.
Take the pot out of the stove and leave it for 5 minutes covered. By now the grains will pop open and you can fluff it using a fork.

Now here are a few ways to use quinoa to prepare healthy quinoa based recipes:

Breakfast: Quinoa can be used as an ingredient for making a breakfast porridge. Mix it with a handful of fruits, nuts, and yogurt.

Salads: Add cooked quinoa to your salad and throw in some spices and herbs.

Beverages: Blend quinoa into your favorite smoothie recipe. Adding quinoa to your smoothie recipe turns it into a healthy breakfast item.

Soups: Who doesn’t like some healthy soup? Blend quinoa with your soup while you are cooking and stir it properly to prepare a super healthy dish.

Energy Bars: Sit back at home and prepare energy bars. The ingredients that you need are two cups of quinoa, whole-wheat flour, nuts, dry fruits, and chocolate chips.

There are so many ways one can incorporate quinoa into their diet. With a little bit of experimenting, you can use this gluten-free ingredient to make a variety of healthy dishes. Being one of the most versatile and nutritious ingredients you could find in the grocery stores, the future of this super grain certainly looks bright. Thanks to its gluten-free pseudo cerealcharacteristics. Now I am sure that you are convinced about the fact ‘Quinoa-The Super Grain Worth Adding To Your Diet.’

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Bone Appetite & Happy Cooking



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