Quinoa (KEEN-wah)

By Cody Frank

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Quinoa pronounced KEEN-wah not kwin-oh-ah (like I used to say…haha). It is a health food people have been raving about. A whole grain that is from South America. Found by the Incas 3,000-4,000 years ago. It’s a great super food to add to your diet. Why? For starters:

1. Protein rich food that contains all 9 essential amino acids which makes it a complete protein.

2. Alkaline forming. Lowers the acidity in your body.

3. Low caloric count per serving. 172 calories per 1/4 cup of dry quinoa. An energy dense food that makes you feel more fuller for longer.

4. A complex carbohydrate with a low glycemic index. It has double the fiber of most other grains. Fiber lowers blood cholesterol and blood glucose levels.

5. Contains riboflavin (B2) which helps improves energy metabolism in between brain and muscle cells. This can help to create proper energy production in cells.

6. Is rich in Iron. It helps to keep red blood cells healthy and is the basis of hemoglobin formation. Iron improves muscle contraction, brain function, neurotransmitter synthesis, enzyme activity, energy metabolism, and regulation of body temperature.

7. Lysine is found in this grain which is essential for tissue growth and repair. (Important for dancers!)

8. Contains magnesium. This helps to relax blood vessels, transmission of nerves impulses, body temperature regulation, detoxification, energy production, and formation of healthy bones and teeth.

9. Gluten free – for all of you with a gluten allergy or sensitivity. This is a great substitute.

10. Simplicity to cook. Rinse and drain 1 cup of quinoa until the water runs clear. (The seeds are coated with saponins. A naturallly-occuring plant chemical that keep insects from eating the plant. You rinse the quinoa to decrease the bitter taste). For every one cup of quinoa add 2 cups of water into a saucepan. Place in a saucepan and bring to a boil; reduce heat to simmer. Cover and cook about 15 minutes or until the water is absorbed and the quinoa looks translucent. You will see the white outer germ forming a ring around the grain. Feel free to add a pinch of salt or herbs.

Quinoa may not look power packed with nutrients but it’s a good thing for your body. In addition, it blends easily when cooking with other foods and not expensive.

Thanks to Forbes, Whole Foods, and Huffington Post for the above information.

Cover photo via Rabbit Food Health Blog.
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