Quinoa as a plant has been cultivated since the days of the Inca Empire. Its seeds possess great nutritional properties relative to their mass earning it the epithet of a “superfood”. Today, we present you with 7 Amazing facts about this amazing plant that you might not be aware of.
1. Contrary to popular belief, Quinoa isn’t a cereal!
Even though it is usually grown as a grain crop, the Quinoa is classified as pseudo-cereal due to the fact that is not a grass.
The quinoa plant is in fact a very close relatives to Spinach and other plants such as Amaranth and Beetroot.
2. Quinoa is one of the most nutritious grains out there
Quinoa seeds have higher nutritional value than other cereal grains. With its high protein value it overcomes many other cereals whose shortcoming is an inadequate protein content.
Quinoa is also a rich in antioxidants such as Vitamin B1, B2, B6 as well as minerals such as Manganese (58% of Recommended Daily Value (RDA)), Potassium (10% of RDA), Iron (15% of RDA), Phosphorus (28% RDA), Copper (18% of RDA), Zinc (33% of RDA) per 1 cup (135 grams) of cooked quinoa.
These high values of important nutrients have led Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of UN naming 2013 as “The International Year of Quinoa”.
But what about the plant itself?
3. Quinoa is one of the most nutritious grains out there
Quinoa as a plant has been cultivated in the Americas for more than 3 millennia. It can be grown on altitudes of up to 4.000m.
Depending on the plant variety optimal yields are grown in climate regions considered cool (with temperature variations ranging from -4C to 30C). The grains of quinoa are especially well protected by a coating of saponins (a bitter tasting chemical compound which makes the seeds unpalatable) which serves as a natural protection against birds.
Quinoa plantations require minimal protection. This coating is removed in the processing of Quinoa for commercial use.
In other words…
4. Quinoa is not only hardy, it is a true fighter for your health and well-being!
The health benefits of consuming Quinoa are many.
Since it’s usually organically grown and non-GMO, eating quinoa helps lower cholesterol, its high fiber and protein content are essential in regulating blood sugar (even though we have yet to see studies that measure the effects of Quinoa in lowering the risk for diabetes type 2) as well as its anti-inflammatory properties due to the high content of anti-inflammatory phytonutrients which protect blood vessels from cell damage, thus lowering the risks of cardiovascular diseases.
Quinoa also potentially reduces the risk of allergic reactions and in combination with its high digestibility it is perfect for consumption among children.
5. Quinoa is exceptionally easy to cook!
Quinoa seeds require little time to prepare and can be used in many meal recipes like:
salads, breakfasts, dressings and garnishes.
Quinoa is a gluten-free produce and serves as a perfect substitute of other grain cereals for people who suffer from gluten-related issues such as Celiac Disease.
Quinoa can be added in children’s meals to boost their immune systems as well as help in healthy physiological and mental development.
6. Quinoa promotes weight loss!
Due to its high protein and fiber content coupled with other nutrients quinoa can be considered as weight-loss-friendly food. The high content fiber and low calorie ratio produce a feeling of satiation without consuming unnecessary calories.
Proteins are a key factor in promoting the healthy regulation of metabolic processes.
Quinoa is also an excellent source of your daily needs of all essential amino acids, antioxidants and minerals.
7. Quinoa is a blessing to your taste buds!
Compared to other starchy grains, Quinoa seeds are genuinely rich in flavor.
That is to say,
If prepared correctly, the bitter taste of the saponins is removed by rinsing and boiling of quinoa leaving a creamy, mushy, grain with taste between brown rice, oatmeal and various nuts.
Many organic snacks are enriched with quinoa not only to boost the nutritional value but also add vibrant, rich taste.
Quinoa is also the grain of choice among vegans and vegetarians!
We at Midway Middle East offer the purest, non-GMO, highest quality organic Quinoa and products containing Quinoa so you can enjoy a healthy and tasty diet.
*This website is for informational and entertainment purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult your physician whenever you plan to make significant changes in your diet.