- Jul 15, 2015
- Posted by: Melissa Albers
- Category: Articles, Fruit and Vegetables
Quinoa is a healthy alternative for other grains such as rice. But what is it and why is quinoa a real super food? Quinoa is often called grain, but this is not. Quinoa is a plant that has similarities with some types of grains, so it is called often “pseudo grain”. You can eat quinoa so instead of rice, couscous, bulgur, etc. Many consider quinoa as a superfood and this has its reasons! The seeds of the quinoa plant have many positive features.
Quinoa health benefits
Quinoa is well-known in South American since decades. Since 5,000 years, quinoa is grown in the Ecuadorian Andes, but also in Argentina, Peru and Bolivia. Originally, the Incas cultivated quinoa. The name “Quinoa” means “Super Grain” (or “Mother Grain”) and comes from the original language of the Inca people who cooked the seeds of the quinoa and ate like rice. Already in that time, quinoa was regarded as a sacred, very special food and until this day, this pseudo grain is praised for its exceptional nutritional value.
Quinoa is healthy!
Quinoa is rich in dietary fiber, high in protein, vitamin B2 and E and minerals like magnesium, iron and copper and magnesium. In addition, it is quinoa also gluten-free. This makes quinoa an excellent food for people with gluten intolerance (celiac disease), or persons who are sensitive to wheat. The high nutritional value quinoa is a complete and well-tolerated alternative over rice, couscous, bulgur and millet or wheat grains.
Quinoa nutritional value
Quinoa contains more than 16 grams of protein per 100 grams of product. This is considerably more than the protein content in potatoes, pasta, rice, couscous or bulgur, which contain between 2 and 9 grams of protein per 100 g. In addition, the proteins from quinoa have a much higher ‘absorption value’ than the above-mentioned organic foods. The higher the absorption value of a protein, the better is can be absorbed by the body. The amount of the absorption value of the proteins (also referred to as AV) is determined by the combination of amino acids (the building blocks that proteins are made up). The higher the AV, the better it is. Eggs have an AV of 95, for example. This is the highest AV of all foods. This means that for every 100 grams of protein eaten 95% (= 95 grams) can be absorbed and utilized by the body. Quinoa has an AV 75 and therefore scores higher than milk (AV 72), meat (AV 60), wheat (AV 60) or corn (GQ 44). The high AV content of quinoa makes it a great alternative for meat. A dish with quinoa, fresh vegetables and maybe some legumes and / or nuts is a balanced meal that contains all the nutrients you need. Cooking with quinoa makes vegetarian food so very delicious and easy!
Quinoa is a very versatile food that can be combined lots of ingredients. Quinoa can be used in sweet and savory dishes. The ways you use quinoa in your meals are endless and because of the simple and rapid preparations (you need to boil quinoa for only 10 minutes!) it is very easy and quick to create a healthy and delicious meal.