More Herb Than Grain
This nutritious seed was highly regarded in Incan culture, and was believed to provide stamina to warriors. While essentially unheard of decades ago in the U.S., quinoa has been gaining momentum.
More herb than grain, quinoa is proof that good things come in small packages, for it is tiny indeed. Therein lies its difficulty.
We treat quinoa as a grain, but Webster defines it as an Andean goosefoot raised by the Indians for its edible seeds. Quinoa is not a true grain in the botanical sense; close relatives include beets and spinach.
Exquisite Quinoa Nutrition
- Contains a good amino acid balance
- High in fiber
- High in complex carbohydrates
- High in lysine and essential vitamins
In fact, Quinoa is a nutrition treasure. It's protein content supplies all nine essential amino acids. Health protective compounds like polyphenols, phytosterols and flavonoids have also been found in quinoa. Quinoa is such a near perfect food, it's being considered as a crop for NASA's controlled Ecological Life Support System for long-duration manned spaceflights.
Quinoa Reduces Risk of Disease
Quinoa offers all the health benefits attributed to whole grains, including reduced risk of stroke, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer. A half cup of cooked quinoa provides 90mg of magnesium. Magnesium appears to regulate cholesterol. This fiber-rich whole grain can help keep atherosclerosis at bay and also prevent arteries from narrowing.
An in vitro study published in an issue of the Journal of Medicinal Food evaluated 10 Andean grains, inlcuding quinoa, for potential type 2 diabetes-relevant antihyperglycemia and anti-hypertension activity. Results showed that quinoa was rich in the antioxidant quercetin. Quinoa had the highest antioxidant activity among the grains studied. This led researchers to conclude that quinoa has the potential to help manage type 2 diabetes and associated hypertension.
Quinoa is a gift to soup, as it functions as a thickener that doesn't become gummy or pasty. Have some at hand if you've added a little too much water to soup. You'll increase your nutrition as well.
The grain Quinoa has 160 calories per quarter cup uncooked, 10 percent of your daily Fiber and about as much protein as in an ounce of fish. At 8 milligrams of iron per half cup, quinoa is a good source of iron as well as Copper, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium, and Zinc.
Quinoa with Parsley, Mint and Lemon
In a large bowl, whisk 3 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 teaspoon mustard, 1 minced clove garlic and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Add 3 cups cooked quinoa, 1 pint halved grape tomatoes, 1 diced cucumber, 1/2 diced red onion and 1/2 cup each chopped parsley and mint. Toss and top with grilled chicken.
Chia-Quinoa Porridge Recipe
Two superfoods pair up in this powerful porridge. When teamed up with chia, the two create one of the most nutrient-dense breakfasts around.
Place the water or milk in a small pot over medium high heat. When the water comes to a rolling boil, add the quinoa, salt, and butter or coconut oil, if using. Stir once, cover, and reduce the heat to lowest setting. Check after 10 minutes. If the grain is soft, remove from the heat, stir in the chia seeds and serve immediately.
Quinoa Scallion Salad Recipe Card
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