The Health Benefits of Quinoa



By Jordan Miller;

Although not as popular as some other commercial grains (wheat), quinoa (this 5000 year old pseudo-grain) is quickly becoming understood as a food that packs quite the nutritional punch. This ancient South American grain was once called "the gold of the Incas" as it was recognized for its value in increasing the stamina of the Inca soldiers. Not only is quinoa prized for its protein, but the protein it supplies is complete; meaning it carries all 9 essential amino acids. Not only does this "superfood" grain contain an amino acid profile that is well balanced, making it a perfect food for many vegans concerned about their protein intake, but it contains an important amino acid (lysine) which is essential for tissue growth and repair. Quinoa also contains an array of other important ingredients such as manganese (nearly 50% of your daily value in 0.25 cups), magnesium, copper, iron and phosphorus. Surprisingly enough, quinoa is actually a close relative of leafy green vegetables like spinach or Swiss chard which helps us understand why there is such a high manganese/magnesium content. Quinoa is highly beneficial for people that are prone or are suffering from migraine headaches, cardiovascular disease, and provides substantial antioxidant protection. Quinoa can be found today in many health food stores across the world.

Helps Ease Migraine Headaches

If you suffer from migraines, quinoa may be the perfect remedy.  As quinoa is an excellent source of magnesium, an important mineral that helps in the relaxation of blood vessels, it helps in preventing in the constriction and rebound dilation of one's blood vessels which is characteristic of migraine sufferers. By increasing one's intake of magnesium, it has been reported to be related to a reduction of the frequency of headaches. Furthermore, quinoa also contains riboflavin (vitamin B2); this vitamin is necessary for proper energy production within cells. This important vitamin has also been shown to help reduce the frequency of migraine attacks by improving the energy metabolism within the brain and muscle cells.

Cleanser/ Detoxifier

Quinoa acts as an internal cleanser, easing the progress of food through the digestive tract. Adding this beneficial food to your diet can free your body of constipation and bloating. Quinoa is highly sought after by people who suffer from digestive disorders (like celiac disease), unlike many grains, it does not contain gluten. This amazing grain can be used in a variety of different preparation such as breads or other recipes which grain is the primary ingredient. Many of the micro nutrients within quinoa (notably b vitamins) help the liver in eliminating wastes from the body. Quinoa provides an excellent source of fibre for the body which aids in the toning of the colon.

Other Benefits

  • Quinoa has a high content of the trace mineral manganese; with this, it acts as an antioxidant in the body helping the body rid itself of dead or diseased cells.
  • The presence of high amounts of potassium and magnesium in quinoa prevents clogging of arteries whereby relieving unnecessary stress on the heart.
  • Quinoa is a great source of plant based calcium which is extremely important for the development of healthy teeth, bones and skin.
  • It is a good source of insoluble fibre that helps avoid gallstones, especially in women who are more prone to them.
  • The high content of copper present in it helps in oxidizing glucose, produces skin coloring agent melanin and acts as catalyst in the formation of hemoglobin.

Tips for Cooking

  • Most commercially available quinoa has already been cleaned, but you should still give it a thorough rinsing before cooking to be sure to remove any remaining saponin. Combine one cup rinsed quinoa to two cups water or broth, bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until the seeds become translucent and the germ of the seed uncoils to form a little "tail."
  • Quinoa can be served at breakfast as porridge, by adding nuts and fruits to it.
  • It can be enjoyed as salad by combining chilled and cooked quinoa with pumpkin seeds, pinto beans, coriander and scallions.
  • Quinoa flour can be added in cookies and muffins recipes, to impart a different flavour. It can also be used as delicious thickener in soups.

Add this ancient super food pseudo-grain to your diet and start reaping the benefits today. Always listen to your body when it comes to fueling it with the proper foods.

Your questions: Do you eat quinoa? If so, how often? (post your comments below)

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About the Author : Jordan Miller is the co-founder of guidinginstincts.com. He has overcome illness through dietary/lifestyle changes, and practicing a positive mindset daily. Jordan is currently learning about traditional North American medicinal herbs, in hopes of becoming a Certified Herbalist.

1 comment:

  1. That sounds, and looks amazing! I have a Quinoa recipe that I love, but yours has me wanting to try something new. With weather like ours we can never have enough Quinoa recipes.

    ReplyDelete

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