Why Quinoa is One of The World’s Healthiest Foods

“The only plant food that contains all the essential amino acids, trace elements and vitamins, plus no gluten”

What Is Quinoa?

Quinoa (pronounced as Keen-wah) is an ancient South American grain that was first grown for food 7000 years ago in the Andes. The Incas called it “the mother grain” and believed it was sacred[1]. Although it’s now grown around the world, the majority is still produced in Bolivia and Peru. It was unknown to the rest of the world until very recently and hailed as a “superfood” due to its high nutritional content[2].

Botanically speaking, quinoa is not a grain but considered a seed and classified as whole-grain. There are more than 3000 varieties of quinoa ranging in colour and flavor, but it usually has a slightly nutty taste on its own[3].

Is Quinoa Good for You?

 Quinoa is a grain rich in protein, fibre, good fats, vitamins and minerals. To highlight, it is a rare plant source that contains all 9 essential amino acids (complete proteins), which your body cannot produce them, and you must get them from your diet[4]. At such, it has gained a worldwide reputation as a healthier substitute for white rice and pasta, which make a perfect choice for vegetarians, vegans and people trying to eat less meat.

Not just that, quinoa appears to help lower blood cholesterol; and due to its high content of antioxidants, it also helps reduce inflammation in the body[5]

Is Quinoa Better than Rice?

Quinoa, although less popular than rice, it can be a more nutrient-dense alternative. For a 100gram serving, quinoa has double the amount of protein (14g versus 7g) for approximately the same amount of calories. It also has 2.5times the amount of fibre than rice (7g versus 3g)[6].

Is Quinoa Gluten-Free?

Quinoa is naturally gluten-free, thus, it’s safe choice for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Plus, it’s higher in folic acid than the refined grains like rice or corn. This crucial vitamin plays a role in neurological function and immunity4.

How do you cook Quinoa?

Quinoa is versatile and easy to prepare. It has a nutty flavor and a chewy, fluffy texture. You should rinse quinoa before cooking it to remove the outer coating, called saponin, which can leave a bitter and soapy taste. Cook quinoa just like rice, with two parts liquid to one part quinoa, preferably with broth or adding different seasonings for even more flavor. It can be served plain, as a side dish or incorporated into other recipes.

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Fried Rice Quinoa

Our Quinoa top dishes:

  1. Fried Rice Quinoa
  2. Kale Quinoa Salad
  3. Nasi Lemak Wrap
  4. Protein Power Bowl
  5. All Super Poke Bowl

By: Quesilla Ho

[1]  “Quinoa: An ancient crop to contribute to world food security” (PDF). Food and Agriculture Organization. July 2011. Retrieved 22 May 2018

[2] Front Plant Sci. 2016 May 9;7:622. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2016.00622. eCollection 2016

[3] J Sci Food Agric. 2010 Dec;90(15):2541-7. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.4158

[4] Jancurová M., Minarovičová L., Dandár A. (2009): Quinoa – a review. Czech J. Food Sci., 27: 71–79

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24445568

[6] https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/cereal-grains-and-pasta/10352/2.