What’s high in protein and fibre, packed with vitamins and minerals, gluten-free and takes 10 minutes to prepare? A bowl of quinoa. Quinoa, pronounced keen-wha, is touted as the new ‘super-food’. But while many of us are just ‘discovering’ this nutritional powerhouse, the Incas in South America have long-revered quinoa for its health benefits.
Quinoa is often referred to as a grain but it’s actually the seed of a plant found in the Andes mountain range in South America. Known as the ‘Gold of the Incas’ quinoa was thought it increase the stamina of Inca warriors.
Nutritional Powerhouse Quinoa
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared quinoa an almost complete protein, as it contains all nine essential amino acids. It’s also chock full of other vitamins and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, folate and iron, is high in fibre, gluten-free and low GI.
Good for the Heart and Head
With its high magnesium and fibre content quinoa is a must for heart health. A diet rich in wholegrains and fibre reduces the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart attack. If you suffer from migraines the magnesium in quinoa may help reduce the frequency of attacks by preventing the constriction of blood vessels. Magnesium also helps process glucose and insulin and may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Manage Your Weight with Quinoa
Quinoa’s high fibre content and low-GI make it perfect for managing your weight as it sustains you for longer.
If quinoa’s nutritional checklist isn’t enough to entice you to try it, how about its versatility and ease of cooking? Quinoa’s slightly nutty flavour makes it a great replacement for rice and couscous; it’s delicious in salads or as an alternative to porridge. Simply rinse well, simmer for 10-15 minutes and serve!
With so many health benefits you really should make quinoa a regular part of your diet. So grab some quinoa and let it become your golden food too.