Quinoa is a relatively new food for us, however, it is gradually becoming popular and even FAO has designated 2013 as the international year of quinoa , we tell you all about this food, its properties, benefits and its use in the kitchen .
Quinoa – Its properties and benefits
Quinoa or quinoa, ( Chenopodium quinoa) , is usually considered a cereal but in reality, it is much more than that, it is a very complete superfood as it concentrates the eight essential amino acids for the human organism , which makes it capable of providing components that the rest of cereals do not have.
Anyway, more than as cereal should be classified as a seed, but the fact that it is used in conjunction with the first, officially makes it a pseudocereal.
If you are thinking of changing your eating habits, in quinoa you have a “golden opportunity” to do so. Taking care of yourself while your palate enjoys is a dream that, with this food, you are already taking time to fulfill. Stay with us and make quinoa the best ally for your health.
What is quinoa?
In general, we can say that quinoa is a superfood that is being introduced into our life habits by forced marches. If we weren’t familiar with the term before or it was hard for us to find it, now we hear about it everywhere and there is no supermarket where we don’t see it exposed next to other cereals like rice. For something it will be, don’t you think?
If we analyze the causes of this change we see that it is because quinoa is:
- The superfood par excellence , as it is one of the most complete foods on the planet
- Especially suitable for children and pregnant women although, in general, it is suitable for people of all ages
- Ideal also for people suffering from depression, constipation or high cholesterol
- The best complement when considering weight loss through a healthy and balanced diet, or what is the same, without taking unnecessary risks
- A food that the Incas already used , considering it sacred, since it has been consumed for thousands of years in the Andes
- An ingredient that transcends any passing fad or trend, quinoa has come into our lives to stay!
- A food that has managed to gain a place in our kitchens , although it was not usual in the Mediterranean diet
As we know that that of infant feeding is a subject considered as “sensitive” and that usually requires a specific explanation, we will tell you that what makes quinoa highly recommended for children is its extraordinary nutritional properties.
The one that contains all the essential amino acids for the organism and its out of series balance of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, make it a superfood where there are those that, by their own merits, have conquered us. Then, more reasons to encourage you to try it, if you have not done so yet.
What makes it so popular?
The so-called “gold grain of the Andes” reaches such high levels in terms of nutritional levels, that they are in everyone’s mouth. The common thing is to reach many Spanish homes and see that it is already part of their daily diet.
As if that were not enough, there was the circumstance that an agency of the stature of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) considered that 2013 was the International Year of Quinoa , a distinction granted because it is the only plant-based food that binds all essential amino acids, vitamins and trace elements .
Along with this, it highlights its sensational ability to adapt to different ecological environments, as it is capable of withstanding the most encountered climatic conditions, which is why it is considered a very effective weapon to fight hunger in the world.
Despite the above, more than 80% of the world’s quinoa production comes from Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia. Among its peculiarities is that your plant reach a height of up to three meters.
Its meaning is that of “mother grain” since for the Inca civilization it was a sacred food that was applied for medicinal purposes. It is consumed in a similar way to other cereals such as rice, wheat or corn.
Properties of quinoa
We already know that quinoa can not be missing in your shopping cart, and not only because it is delicious, but because its benefits on your health are undeniable. If its multiple properties already in themselves, they will not allow you to pass without it in your day to day, the visual and flavor touch that will give your dishes will finally convince you.
Containing the eight essential amino acids for the human body , it is a very complete and easily digestible food. Among them, lysine , fundamental for brain development, and histidine and arginine , essential for development in the first years of life , are worthy of special mention .
To this we must add its exceptional balance of proteins, unsaturated fats, fiber and minerals.
As you are checking, you cannot have a better cover letter …
The 10 incredible benefits of Quinoa
If the properties of quinoa have already convinced you that it is an indispensable superfood in your diet, wait to read what we have to tell you about its 10 incredible benefits and you will no longer want to do without it to provide your dishes with A touch as exquisite as healthy:
1st. You will lose weight eating what you like
The low glycemic index of quinoa if compared with other cereals, which is due to its high protein intake and high fiber content, make it very advisable for all those women who want to lose weight by eating healthy and without giving up pleasant doses of flavor . The same can be indicated for those with diabetes .
To the extent that it also provides a high fiber content, it helps improve intestinal transit, thus preventing uncomfortable constipation.
2nd. You will keep your cholesterol levels at bay
Its content in fiber and unsaturated lipids, make this seed help keep blood cholesterol levels controlled, while favoring the lipid profile in the body , thus preventing cardiovascular problems.
3rd. You will purify your body
Its composition, in which considerable amounts of flavonoids abound, such as quercetin and kaempferol, which are powerful antioxidants , greatly contribute to purify your body and improve your overall health.
4th. Food par excellence of athletes
As a source of energy for sports lovers, it is priceless because it contains minerals, proteins and complex hydrates, making it a very valuable food for them. Nutrition experts claim that it has 8 grams of protein per cup, almost double that of other cereals. The result: if you want to achieve one optimal muscle building and fast recovery from hard workouts , nothing like taking Quinoa.
5th. It is suitable for coeliacs
Its composition, without gluten, makes its intake recommended to people with celiac disease and those who observe diets without such protein. More abundantly, being naturally gluten-free , it is healthier than any synthetically prepared gluten-free food.
6th. It will strengthen your hair
Its combination of nutrients makes quinoa end up with damaged hair, strengthening it and giving it softness. Apply it as a natural mask that you will get by mixing its boiled seeds with a pinch of olive oil, although it is convenient to consult with a dermatologist before starting any hair treatment.
7th. Will take care of your body
Be clear that this superfood will not only influence your health but also your beauty, since as you introduce it into your diet, it will help you fight against the sagging skin .
Cellulite and stretch marks will also improve in appearance because their high content of proteins and vitamins will make your bodybuilding tone, thus preventing these undesirable imperfections. Get ready to wear palm heart!
8th. It will hydrate your skin
Dry and cracked skins are in luck because of the high protein content of quinoa, which makes it an unrivaled source of hydration . We will apply it in the form of a mask, for which we will boil the quinoa grades for fifteen minutes in a small amount of milk and then let it cool.
The next step will be to extend it across the face and let it act for half an hour. Again we remind you that, before starting any skin treatment, you should consult a dermatologist.
9th. It will reduce your migraines
If you tend to suffer from this condition, quinoa consumption will help you fight it because it has a high level of magnesium, a mineral that helps to relax the walls of blood vessels, reducing the blood pressure that causes migraine.
10th. It will act as a natural anti-stress
If you get used to making infusions based on quinoa grains , your stress level will be regulated. Taken before bedtime, this infusion will help you relax all night.
Who is it recommended for?
A compilation of everything we have been saying in this post, will lead us to conclude that quinoa is recommended to:
- Celiac: because it is a cereal that does not contain gluten and that, on the contrary, has a high protein and healthy fat content in the style of omega 3 and omega 6 acids.
- Diabetics: for having a low glycemic index that makes it ideal for those with diabetes
- Any person who wishes to lose weight: its low glycemic index, its high amount of protein and its few carbohydrates, as well as its high fiber, which helps to satiate, make quinoa the favorite candidate to be present in all diets of slimming
- Those who practice sports: this superfood seems to be designed for athletes, because it is as complete as you can imagine, because it has a wide variety of proteins and micronutrients among which potassium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, zinc and vitamins stand out A, B and E.
- Vegetarians: its suitability is beyond dispute for those who do not eat meat, because its high protein content and spectacular nutritional qualities make quinoa the perfect substitute for meat and with the additional advantage of not having saturated fats of this last. Regarding its protein quality, it is also superior to that of meat and even milk.
- Babies, children and pregnant women: this superfood is highly recommended in the first years of life and for mothers who are pregnant. At the same time, since it does not contain gluten, it is perfect to be added to the preparations that include baby purees , for whom it is a deposit of qualities.
Argidine and histidine are phenomenal for the development of children and folic acid is essential for pregnant women. On the other hand, it has been found that hyperactive children who consume omega 3 regularly, fatty acid containing quinoa, have improvement.
That said, do you really think there is someone who does not like quinoa?
How to prepare Quinoa?
Before starting to wash the quinoa, it is very important to wash the seeds well, rubbing them gently with the hands, under running water , so that the layer of saponins that cover their seeds is detached, because if not, it would have a bitter taste .
You have to be careful because the seeds are very small. It would not hurt to perform this operation on a sieve. Remember to wash and rinse , not just soak.
Then, boil the quinoa as you do with the rice, for a period of time that varies between 15 and 20 minutes or until you see that the seed has opened. Cuela and you have it ready!
Make with it all the dishes you can think of, from salads or hamburgers, to delicious cakes. Another good idea happens because you take it for breakfast instead of oatmeal.
Here is an article that will explain exactly how to prepare quinoa .
Watch the video of “The 5 benefits of quinoa”
References and sources:
- Mineral content in grain, flour and bran of quinoa varieties.
- Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) And its wild relatives
- Nutrition Facts of Quinoa
- Quinoa Nutrition Facts
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