What is Quinoa?
Pronounced keen-WAH, Quinoa is one of the world’s most popular health foods. Quinoa is a flowering plant that belongs to the amaranth family. It is an annual plant that is grown for its edible seeds, which is what is generally used. So, when we refer to the benefits of quinoa, we mean the benefits of its seeds. It is an excellent source of a complete protein. It also contains a good amount of fiber and minerals. The composition of quinoa is similar to wheat or rice when cooked.
What are the types of Quinoa
White Quinoa is the most common type of quinoa available in stores. It is also called ivory quinoa.
Red Quinoa is more suitable for cold salads or any recipe where a distinct grain is desirable. This grain retains its original shape (better than white quinoa) after cooking.
Black Quinoa is a little sweeter and earthier than white quinoa. This variety keeps its black color intact even when cooked.
Why is Quinoa so good for you?
Quinoa has plentiful benefits. Its fiber content makes it a great food for weight loss and treating other digestive issues. The fiber also protects the heart and prevents deadly diseases like cancer. The antioxidants this food contains work magically for skin and hair health. The seeds are rich in B vitamins, vitamin E, and other minerals like iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus. They are highly nutritious.
Quinoa is gluten-free, which means it is party time for individuals who are intolerant to gluten. And it has a low glycemic index – and this means party time for diabetics too. Given it is high in iron and magnesium, quinoa can have wonderful effects on an individual’s metabolic health.
What is the history of Quinoa?
It all started about 4000 years ago in the Andean region of Peru, Bolivia, and Chile – where humans had domesticated quinoa for consumption. However, archaeological evidence says quinoa originated over 7000 years ago. Around the time of Spanish arrival, quinoa was well developed technologically and well distributed within the Inca territory. It was believed to provide stamina to Inca warriors.