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Everythings About Quinoa

WHAT IS QUINOA?

Most of them call quinoa (the South-American pronounced it as “keen-wah”) a grain, but it’s actually a seed — one that originated thousands of years ago in the Andes Mountains. Dubbed “the gold of the Incas,” it’s treasured because of its nutritive value (more protein than any other grain or seed!).

What quinoa looks like on a plant.

There are actually around 120 varieties of quinoa. The most commercialized types are the white, red and black quinoa. White quinoa are usually seen. You will find Tri-Quinoa (mixture of 3 colors) too in the market. Quinoa are used to make into quinoa flakes as well for easier consumption!

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF QUINOA?

  1. Complete Protein –  meaning it contains all nine of the essential amino acids which cannot be made by the body and therefore must come from food. Quinoa is also naturally gluten-free, so it’s perfect for healthy eaters. Bonus: This is great news for vegetarians looking to up their protein intake.
  2. High in FIber –  Quinoa contains almost twice as much fiber as most other grains. Fiber is most widely known to relieve constipation. It also helps to prevent heart disease by reducing high blood pressure and diabetes. Fiber lowers cholesterol and glucose levels, may lower your risk of developing hemorrhoids and may help you to lose weight as it takes a longer time to chew than does other foods because it makes you feel fuller for longer and is less “energy dense” which means it has fewer calories for the same volume of food.
  3. Contains Iron –  Iron helps keep our red blood cells healthy and is the basis of hemoglobin formation. Iron carries oxygen from one cell to another and supplies oxygen to our muscles to aid in their contraction. Iron also increases brain function because the brain takes in about 20% of our blood oxygen. There are many benefits of iron some more of which include neurotransmitter synthesis, regulation of body temperature, aids enzyme activity and energy metabolism.
  4. Contains Lysine –  Lysine is mainly essential for tissue growth and repair.
  5. Rich in Magnesium –  Magnesium helps to relax blood vessels and thereby to alleviate migraines. Magnesium also may reduce Type 2 diabetes by promoting healthy blood sugar control. Other health benefits of magnesium include transmission of nerve impulses, body temperature regulation, detoxification, energy production, and the formation of healthy bones and teeth.
  6. High in Riboflavin (B2) – B2 improves energy metabolism within brain and muscle cells and is known to help create proper energy production in cells.
  7. High content of manganese – An antioxidant, which helps to prevent damage of mitochondria during energy production as well as to protect red blood cells and other cells from injury by free radicals.

WHY QUINOA, NOT WHITE RICE?

White rice has a high glycemic index (GI) due to it is a refined starch. In other word, white rice isn’t a very good weight-loss food. The next time you plan to eat white rice, consider substituting quinoa as a high-protein, high-fiber alternative.

On top of all the mentioned,

  • Quinoa has 15 times less carbohydrates than White Rice.
  • Quinoa has 5 more grams of fiber than White Rice.
  • Quinoa has 50% more protein than White Rice.
  • Quinoa has 200 fewer calories than White Rice

Quinoa will be the best option if you require high intake for protein or you’re a vegetarian or vegan and can’t get protein from meat products. Quinoa does provide a complete protein on its own without a hefty amount of fat, calories, sodium or cholesterol.

HOW TO COOK / EAT QUINOA?

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  1.  
  2. Substitute as White Rice – You don’t need to replace your white rice actually. You can make it Half Quinoa + Half White Rice (to be more affordable, and getting the nutrition as well). Just cook like normal rice. [Rinse Quinoa > 1 cup Quinoa + 2 cups water > put into rice cooker]
  3. Toast Quinoa as Toppings – You can stir fry quinoa with some oil! Can be sprinkled on Salad / Bread / Soup / Rice / Noodles / Spaghetti [heat 1 tablespoon of oil > Stir continuously for 6 – 8 minutes > add in any desired flavor]
  4. Cook Quinoa Soup / Add into your Soup – Add quinoa into your soup to increase the nutrition / make you feel fuller. You can too use chicken broth / mushroom broth as a base to make quinoa soup / quinoa porridge!
  5. Quinoa for Sides / serve as Main Dish – After cooking quinoa, stir fry it with butter and add in vegetable to make it a “Fried-Quinoa” dish! Delicious yet healthy! Or just serve as a side dish with an addition of butter, salt and pepper!
  6. Surf to net to get more creative and easy ways to cook Quinoa! You will be surprise!

Ah! Not forgetting to mention, you will find the “Tail” in quinoa once they are cooked. It is actually the quinoa germ / quinoa bran.

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