Food of the week: Quinoa

Quinoa

Quinoa is something I introduced into my diet only a few years ago (it might as well be around 2013, which was recognised as “the International Year of Quinoa”). I fell for quinoa immediately and there are a few reasons for it:

  • it has a very delicate nutty flavour and bite-y texture
  • it’s super easy to make
  • it’s a great substitute for any grain as it makes delicious creamy “oatmeal” and “risotto”
  • it has all 9 amino acids which make quinoa a compete protein
  • it’s widely available in a form of a seed and a flour

My most favourite way of using quinoa is probably a vegetarian nori roll (e.g. seaweed, quinoa, hummus, raw vegetables), but basically you can’t go wrong by adding quinoa in a salad for an extra carb/protein/fiber boost, serving it as a simple side or as an alternative to a gluten rich flours.

But what is Quinoa to start with? Quinoa is typically consumed in the same way as the cereal grasses. However, quinoa is not a cereal grass at all, but rather a member of the same family that contains spinach, beets, Swiss chad and it leaves tastes similar in flavour.

Fun facts:

  • Among others health benefits of quinoa, the most striking health benefit provided by quinoa is its overall nutrient richness. Most grains are considered to be inadequate as total protein sources because they lack a decent amount of the amino acids lysine and isoleucine. By contrast, quinoa has a simnifically greater amounts of both and allow the protein in quinoa to serve as a complete protein source.
  • Quinoa is also considered to be a valuable source of certain health-supportive fats. About 28% of quinoa’s fatty acids come in form of oleic acid, a heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, and about 5% come in the form of alpha-linolenic acid or ALA – the omega-3 fatty acid moist commonly found in plants and associated with decreased risk of inflammation-related diseases.
  • The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients in quinoa also make it a likely candidate for cancer risk reduction in humans. Given the preliminary animal results involving the digestive tract, risk reduction for colon cancer may turn out to be a special area of interest.
  • Quinoa is a good source of fiber – one of the key macronutrients needed for a health blood sugar regulation. Strong intake of protein and fiber are two dietary essentials for regulation pdf blood sugar.
  • Decreased risk of allergy—especially for individuals who have adverse reactions to certain grains and seek practical alternatives. Already, several public organizations have recommended quinoa as a substitute for wheat whenever the avoidance of this gluten-containing grain is required. The low-allergy potential of quinoa—coupled with its relatively high digestibility—has also made it a food of special interest in the diet of children and toddlers.