Health Benefits of Quinoa: Why You Should Be Eating It

Keen-wah is how you pronounce it, although I think the first way I ever said it sounds much better keen noah. However you want to say it, quinoa dates back thousands of years to the Incas. The Incas considered quinoa to be like gold for their ancient warriors keeping them strong and full of stamina. They called it the Mother of All Grains even though it’s not even a grain. Quinoa is actually a seed from the goosefoot plant.

It’s one of the best foods you can add to your diet because it’s a complete protein meaning it contains all the essential amino acids. Just one cup of quinoa contains 8 grams of protein, 30 milligrams of calcium and its rich in zinc, manganese, magnesium and potassium, thiamin (B1), vitamin B6, B9, and folate. Quinoa also provides small amounts of omega 3 fatty acids and alpha-linolenic acid.

One of the benefits of quinoa is that it is an excellent internal cleaner because it is high in fiber. If you eat it regularly, it can keep eliminate unnecessary bloating and constipation.  It is gluten free, so people with digestive problems including celiac disease can eat quinoa without any effects. It is also helpful in controlling blood sugar and lowering cholesterol and maintaining levels of HDL cholesterol.

Quinoa has anti -inflammatory benefits.  Research has shown that daily intake of quinoa lowers inflammation in the fat tissue (adipose) and the intestinal linings of laboratory rats.

Quinoa is very easy to cook.  Be sure to rinse it very well, otherwise the saponin coating on the seeds can give you a tummy ache. Then combine one cup of quinoa with two cups of water and let it boil, then cover it and let it simmer for about 12 minutes.  You will notice the germ of the seed forms a little tail. Quinoa is bland with a slight nutty taste and can be used with a variety of ingredients. You can use it as a morning cereal and add fruit, nuts and raw honey to it or add olive or coconut oil along with herbs, spices and vegetables for a lunch or dinner meal. It’s also a great addition for salads or soups.  I have also used quinoa as a rice substitute for sushi.

Here’s a dish of quinoa with raw organic kale, bok choy, spinach, onion, garlic, olive oil and spices. This was my lunch, doesn’t it look yummy?