Quinoa is a pseudocereal (broadleaf plant used in the same way as cereal) originated in South America and brought in Europe by Spanish colonists. Quinoa’s white-yellow-grey seeds are really nutritious and healthy, rich in proteins and fat free. It wasn’t appreciated those days so the colonists grew corn instead but the seed gained its popularity recently after some studies showed The Health Benefits of Quinoa: nutritious, healthy , very useful in kidney problems or in high cholesterol caused problems.
Did you know:
1. Quinoa is almost one of the “most complete food in nature” ?
2. Conquistadors burned the quinoa fields and banned people to grow quinoa seeds? (in order to annihilate the incas culture)
3. Quinoa can be found in many colors (red, purple, yellow, green) not just off-white?
4. Before cooking you have to rinse well quinoa seeds to remove any remaining saponins which can make the dish taste bitter ?
5.Quinoa flour is great for cookies, bread and muffins?
6. One cup of cooked quinoa contains 30 milligrams of calcium?
7. Quinoa was named by the incas “chisaya mama ” ( mother of all plants) ? ( a name quite appropriate, don’t you think?)
8. 2013 has been declared the International Year of Quinoa by the United Nations?
Quinoa – the”superfood”
Why is quinoa called a superfood? Because it is full of nutrients. Quinoa contains 9 essential amino acids useful for our body’s muscles. The high levels of magnesium contained in seeds help our muscles and blood vessels relax. Fibers consume eases elimination and tones colon so quinoa becomes the perfect seed to eat in order to consume fibers.
Usually quinoa seeds are boiled, rarely they are roasted and are used in dishes like risotto, pilaf, pudding, salads, the same way the rice is used. But unlike rice, quinoa’s amidon content is lower so the finished product is loose and not sticky. It can be a delicious breakfast consumed as porridge with fruits or it can be eaten in the evening because it is a really easy-to-digest food. When making cookies or muffins in the composition can be added quinoa flour for a different flavor. It is also excellent for making noodles, providing a nutritious pasta dish. For a tastier dish you can always cook quinoa with spices, chicken broth or add mushrooms or cooked veggies. In any form, the food will taste awesome.
If we compare quinoa to other grains like corn or wheat we’ll find out that it contains higher levels of calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, potassium, phosphorus, copper and manganese, which are very important for muscle, heart and nerve functions. Because of its content of calcium quinoa becomes a great food for vegans and for the ones wo are lactose intolerant.
Studies showed that quinoa may prevent and treat artherosclerosis, breast cancer, diabetes and insulin resistance. Also, it treats bacterial infections and fungal infections ( candia ), acts as a probiotic which helps the micro flora (useful bacteria) in your intestines to develop, it is gluten free so it is safe to eat for people with gluten intolerance and for people on a celiac diet.
Also, quinoa contains lysine. This amino acid is essential for humans as it helps calcium absorption, recovering from surgeries, building muscle protein and it is mainly essential or tissue growth and repair. The contained vitamin B gives us an energy boost, the magnesium relieves us from migraines and the combination of fiber and protein becomes a great solution for diet. Even studies showed that quinoa is a more filling food and may allow our body to keep the hunger pangs at bay.
With all these benefits is no wonder why this seed is called the “super food”.
In the end, it looks like we found the “superseed” that can give us power, strength and health just like it did for the incas, many , many years ago.
Recipes with quinoa: