Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is one of nature’s miracle foods, packed with vitamins and minerals as well as high protein content. Botanically, quinoa is not actually a grain, but a seed that belongs to the goosefoot family. An unsung hero in many dieters’ plans, quinoa is a versatile food that can be cooked in different styles to suit varied palettes. This super-food is loaded with health benefits and can easily be included in your everyday diet. What makes it even better is that it tastes great.
So, how does Quinoa help?
Rich in fibre, quinoa has a lower glycemic index that controls unhealthy blood sugar rushes. As a low-cholesterol source of complex carbohydrates and polyunsaturated fats, quinoa gives you a feeling of fullness and keeps hunger pangs at bay for much longer, which means less unhealthy snacking between meals. Quinoa also has more protein than grains like barley and wheat. A cup of quinoa has almost 10 grams of protein -much higher than the same amount of egg whites or chicken. High in vitamins, minerals, and proteins, and low on calories and fat, Quinoa is a dieter’s dream!
If you are a vegan, lactose intolerant, or just want to keep away from dairy products, quinoa can be the perfect substitute to give your body some much-needed calcium. A cup of cooked quinoa can provide as much as 30 mg of plant-derived calcium (and an impressive quantity of magnesium, zinc, potassium and other minerals).
The high vitamin B content helps keep the brain sharp and acts as a mood stabilizer, while vitamin B2 helps with energy production. With a nutty taste and a chewy texture, quinoa is tasty and makes for a filling meal. Surprisingly, this seed is not too difficult to cook and can easily become part of a balanced diet. Quinoa cooks - and even tastes - like other grains. Once the bitter coating is removed by steaming or soaking, the seeds can easily be cooked along with vegetables or served as a healthier
Substitute for rice, wheat or corn. Serve it hot like oatmeal - with nuts, fresh fruits, and milk - or as a side dish with your main meal. Bite into a quinoa cookie, because this seed is a healthy option in every way.
- Alekhya Reddy and Pic Courtesy: pixabay.com