Health Food of the Week: Quinoa Here are 5 ways that incorporating Quinoa into your daily diet can benefit your health. I have also included my own personal Quinoa recipe below. Quinoa: pronounced (keen-wah) 1 lb of uncooked quinoa = $3.50 per/lb (average) at your local health food store. This protein-packed food, with its nutty […]
Health Food of the Week: Quinoa
Quinoa: pronounced (keen-wah)
1 lb of uncooked quinoa = $3.50 per/lb (average) at your local health food store.
This protein-packed food, with its nutty taste and chewy texture, is flavorful as well as filling. Here are a few of the roles quinoa can play in a healthy diet:
1. Protein Powerhouse
Quinoa has a higher protein content than wheat, barley or other major grains. One cup of quinoa has 9 grams, which trumps the protein-rich egg (6 grams). Quinoa, which contains all 8 of the essential amino acids, is a complete protein. It has become a favorite dish among vegans and vegetarians, but the pleasures and benefits of it are available to anyone seeking an alternative to meat, eggs and dairy products as a protein source.
2. Dieter’s Dream
Quinoa is a satisfying, low-cholesterol source of complex carbohydrates. Rich in fiber, it’s digested slowly and has a low glycemic index, helping you steer clear of the blood-sugar roller coaster. Its heart-healthy polyunsaturated fats will leave you feeling full while providing more nutritional content than breads or cereals made of refined grains. Quinoa can be eaten as a breakfast food to provide long-lasting energy and help you breeze through your morning workout. A meal of vegetables and quinoa, or quinoa and beans, is a dieter’s dream: high in vitamins, minerals and protein, while low in fat and calories.
3. Internal Cleanser/Detoxifier
As a complex carbohydrate, quinoa acts an internal cleanser, easing the progress of food through the digestive tract. Used regularly in your diet, quinoa can help keep you free of constipation and bloating. Unlike more common grains such as wheat, quinoa is gluten-free and can be enjoyed by people with digestive disorders, like celiac disease. This versatile seed can be used in breads, soups or other foods where grains are a primary ingredient, offering a steady source of colon-cleansing fiber. The vitamin B and folate in quinoa also help the liver in its role of eliminating wastes from the body, adding to quinoa’s detoxifying properties.
4. Bone Builder
For vegans, people with lactose intolerance or those who are simply looking for non-dairy sources of this vital mineral, quinoa is a flavorful source of plant-derived calcium. Calcium builds and maintains bones and teeth, helps regulate the contraction of the heart, and facilitates nerve and muscle function. One cup of cooked quinoa contains 30 milligrams of calcium. Quinoa also contains impressive quantities of potassium, magnesium and zinc, minerals that are crucial for heart, nerve and muscle function.
5. Brain Food
A cup of cooked quinoa offers 15 percent of the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance of iron, which helps to deliver oxygen to the blood, boosting energy and brain power. Quinoa’s vitamin B content can help keep the mind sharp, maintain brain volume and stabilize mood.
1 cup uncooked Quinoa
1/4-1/2 cup of fresh cilantro
1/2-1 lime (to taste)
1 teaspoon butter
1 zuchhini squash – sliced
Seasoning salt or sea salt
In small/medium pot, bring water to a boil. Add in cilantro and uncooked quinoa. Boil for approximately 5-7 minutes. Once quinoa is tender, drain the water, leaving the quinoa & cilantro in the pot.
Return to stove and add a teaspoon of butter.
Squeeze fresh lime juice over the quinoa. The amount you squeeze is dependant on your own personal taste. I personally, squeeze an entire lime on mine. Lime substitues as a salt and it adds a wonderful citrus flavor that compliments so nicely with the cilantro.
- While the quinoa is on the stove, grill your zuchhini. I personally grill mine on our George Foreman grill or griddle. I put a dab of butter or a small drizzle of olive oil on the grill to prevent it the zuchhini from sticking. I also sprinkle just a bit of seasoning salt or sea salt. Grill until tender.
On a plate, put a serving of quinoa and top it with fresh cilantro. Add the grilled zuchhini.
This recipe is SO healthy for you and it REALLY DOES keep you full for quite a long time! I encourage you to introduce Quinoa do your family’s dinner plate this week