Have you ever wondered whether the cereal you are consuming at breakfast is high on nutrition or not? Well, quinoa (pronounced as keen-waah) is a healthy breakfast option that includes all the nutrients found in a healthy cereal and more. Quinoa is a seed native to the Andes mountains in South America and used to be a staple food for the locales. Now it is emerging as a super food globally and is gaining immense popularity among health fanatics and food lovers alike.
First of all, the misconception about quinoa is that it is a cereal. It is not. Neither is it a grain. It could be called a “pseudo cereal” because of its nutrients, similar to those found in most cereals. The unique quality of quinoa is that it can be eaten just like other cereals but is comparatively much higher in nutrition. It is a rich source of protein, complex carbohydrates and iron. It can be also called a complete protein as it contains all the essential amino acids needed by our body, therefore it is even a great food for vegans. Quinoa is becoming more and more accessible as it can be found in most supermarkets.
Another interest fact about quinoa is that it does not contain gluten, so it can be consumed by suffers of the celiac disease. Quinoa can be prepared in a manner similar to rice. You might experience some bitterness in quinoa, which is due to the presence of saponin in its natural state. Saponin even acts as a natural pesticide for Quinoa. It had been found that a pre-rinsing of quinoa with water before cooking is sufficient to remove the saponin. There is no need to soak further.
You can easily incorporate quinoa into your breakfast cereal, cookies, porridge, sprouts, pies, multigrain bars, cake flour, stew, salads and fritters. Quinoa can even be popped like popcorn. One serving of quinoa can give you 8.14g protein, 4.6g iron, 7g dietary fibre, 222kcal energy, 31mg calcium and 318mg potassium. Apart from these nutrients, quinoa contains magnesium, manganese and riboflavin too in good amounts. With a glycemic index of 53 and a glycemic load of 13, quinoa is quite low on the glycemic index, making it suitable for diabetics too.
Quinoa can be a good alternative to rice, as it contains much more protein than rice and wheat. Also, rice and wheat have a higher glycemic index than quinoa.
According to research studies, quinoa seeds contain good amounts of anti-inflammatory substances. Quinoa possesses various health benefits such as promotion of bone health, help in reduction of cholesterol, prevention of gall stones and is even a good source of dietary fibre. Saponin present in quinoa is found to be a very potent antiseptic for healing skin infections.
If you can access quinoa easily, incorporate it into your daily diet to reap its various health benefits.