Quinoa was a staple food of the ancient civilizations of the Andes of South America and is mainly grown in the Andean Countries of Peru and Bolivia.
It is sometimes called a pseudo-cereal because of its grain like appearance.
Because of its high nutritional value, indigenous peoples and researchers often refer to it as “the golden ‘grain’ of the Andes.”
Highly prized as a nutritious food by nutritionists and doctors, Quinoa is renowned as a superfood and a favorite because of its great taste, high protein content, nutritional value, and ease of preparation and digestion. Its high in dietary fiber, abundant in vitamins and minerals, cholesterol free and low fat, with a low GI rating and is gluten-free.
Quinoa has a very delicate taste, often described as nutty or earthy. Quinoa contains saponins, which are normally removed mechanically prior to being sold, or otherwise need to be carefully rinsed off prior to cooking to remove their bitter taste. Quinoa has an interesting texture that can add crunchiness to almost any recipe. Quinoa can be classified into “bitter” and “sweet” varieties that reflect the saponin content, which is much lower in the sweet varieties.
Quinoa is gluten-free! In a study related to celiac disease. Researchers have discovered that people with a celiac disease depended heavily on rice. Integrating quinoa into their diet helps them meet their daily requirements of iron, vitamin B, calcium, protein, and fiber more easily.
- It’s naturally Gluten Free
- It’s a fiber dense, plant-based source of protein: 1 cup of cooked quinoa has 8 grams of protein, plus half the daily recommended amount of fiber intake.
- Quinoa contains all 9 essential amino acids that the body can’t produce on its own.
- These seeds are filled with vitamins and minerals: quinoa is high in vitamins B-6 and C.
- It’s a versatile pseudo grain that can be enjoyed for a sweet breakfast, savory lunch, crunchy snack, filling dinner and even dessert.
- It makes a great meal-prep staple that can be paired with almost anything.
Like all grains and seeds, quinoa has carbs. 1/4 of a cup of uncooked quinoa contains 10% of your required daily carbs. In these carbs, 12% are fiber and the rest are a combination of starch and complex sugars. Quinoa does not contain simple carbonate.
Quinoa is a super food which contains a very high level of protein and delivers almost all essentially amino acids needed from every human being. Therefore, Quinoa can be considered as the perfect protein source for the body and is seen as an important part of a balanced and healthy food.
Quinoa is rich of
- iron, which is important to build formation, oxygen transport and energy generation (quinoa delivers almost double of iron as wheat)
- calcium, which is needed for a healthy bone mineralization and muscle activity (also important for the heart)
- B-vitamins: for the nervous system (especially Thiamine), for cell regeneration (vitamin B3), for the cell metabolism und energy production in the body (vitamin B2 and B5, Riboflavin)
- phosphorus, potassium and zinc
- magnesium, which has a positive impact against vascular constriction and therefore effective against migraine and leg cramps
- manganese and cooper, which are antioxidants
Quinoa do have a low glycemic index, which means that high-grade carbohydrates and the high content of dietary take care of long saturation and a constant blood sugar level
A portion, consisting of 45 g (1/4 cup) of uncooked quinoa, yields 170 calories. Comparing the same number of calories to rice, quinoa has more protein, fewer carbohydrates, less sodium, more dietary fiber & iron.
Existing historical evidence indicates that quinoa´s domestication by the peoples of America may have occurred between 3,000- and 5,000-years BCE. There are archeological discoveries of quinoa in tombs of Tarapacá, Calama and Arica in Chile, and in different regions of Peru. Quinoa was well developed and widely cultivated over the Andes region, until being replaced by other cereal crops more preferred by the Spanish after their arrival in the Andes region.
No. Although amaranth (Amaranthus caudatus L.) and quinoa belong to the same family, and are both originally from the Latin American region, amaranth is a different crop species.
The year 2013 has been declared “International Year of Quinoa” by the United Nations in recognition of the indigenous peoples of the Andes, who have maintained, controlled, protected and preserved quinoa as food for present and future generations thanks to their traditional knowledge and practices of living in harmony with nature.
- Low water footprint: it requires 5 times less water than rice and half as much as wheat to produce quinoa.
- Lots of protein: quinoa contains all the essential amino-acids you need. It is an excellent source of protein.
- Lots of fibre: since quinoa is a good source of fibre, you’re sated more quickly and take longer to feel hungry again.
- Stress-resistant: quinoa can resist frost, drought and saline soil very well.