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Quinoa: The Perfect Grain

Quinoa: The Perfect Grain | Mr Vitamins
Quinoa is a tiny gluten-free seed grain from South America that packs a huge nutritional punch. High in protein, fibre and has many essential minerals and vitamins, the United Nations even gave quinoa its own year in 2013 to raise awareness of the grain's amazing health benefits and for its value as a high quality food source.

Quinoa can help:

  • Reduce inflammation
  • Fight heart disease and cancer
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Reduce allergies
  • Regulate blood sugar levels

What makes Quinoa so good for you?

  • Protein Protein is vital to your bod's overall health. It is needed for the growth and production of cells, muscle and bone. Quinoa contains 8 grams of protein per cup, cooked, making it an excellent source of protein. It is unique when compared to other grains, as it is a complete plant protein that contains all nine essential amino acids. Most grains are lacking one or more amino acids that prevents your body from being able to use all the available protein in the grain. Grains like rice or wheat need to be paired with beans, nuts or other sources to make up the missing amino acid to become a complete protein. This grain is a perfect choice for vegetarians, vegans, and those who need low glycemic index carbohydrates.
  • Fibre Your body needs fibre to keep your digestive system healthy. A half-cup of quinoa contains over twenty percent of the recommended daily allowance of fibre. Quinoa has both insoluble and soluble fibre making it good for both your colon and your cardiovascular system. Adding insoluble fibre to your diet can help lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, which makes your heart and arteries very happy.
  • Blood sugar regulation Quinoa has a low glycemic index of 53 and is high in both fibre and protein making this grain the better choice than other grains to help regulate blood sugar levels. Consuming foods high in protein and fibre can also reduce your risk of developing diabetes as well as helping you lose weight.
  • Antioxidants Quinoa has one of the highest antioxidant profiles for grains. Your body uses antioxidants to protect itself from cellular damage, disease and inflammation. It has antioxidant flavonoids, kaempferol and quercetin, that are known to reduce inflammation, fight cancer, reduce depression and help fight virus’.
  • Vitamins and minerals Many people are found to be deficient in the vitamins and minerals that quinoa contains. This grain is high in many minerals such as: iron, calcium, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc. It also contains the following essential vitamins and fatty acids: vitamins A, B, E, lutein, ALA omega 3 and 6.

How to add Quinoa to your diet

Quinoa is easy to cook. Add 1 cup to 2 cups of boiling water and simmer for 15 minutes. A tell tale sign of quinoa being ‘done’ is that the white outside edge of the grain pulls away from the centre. This nutty tasting grain can easily be substituted for rice or couscous and can be eaten either hot or cold. Try mixing it with fruit for a protein filled breakfast treat or try our healthy winter salad. 'Ask a naturopath' about more surprising foods that can help you stay healthy and fit.