Quinoa (pronounce keen-wah) is perhaps one of the most perfect non-animal sources of protein on the planet. What makes quinoa unique is that it is the only plant source of complete protein. “Complete” means that it contains all 9 of the essential amino acids that are crucial to human function and health.
How Do You Cook Quinoa?
You cook quinoa exactly as you would cook brown rice. The measurements are two parts water to one part quinoa. For instance, if you were cooking 1 cup of dry quinoa, you would cook it in 2 liquid cups of water. It usually takes about 12-15 minutes to fully cook once the water comes to a boil. You want to be careful not to overcook it, as it can become soft and lose its shape if cooked for too long. When cooked, it has a wonderful nutty sort of flavor and is noted for the fine white string-like casing that is visible only when fully cooked.
Health Benefits of Quinoa?
It is a good source of calcium, which is extremely important for the growth of healthy teeth, bones and skin.
Migraines & Headaches
The seed has a good source of magnesium, which provides relief from migraine headaches, relaxes blood vessels, and decreases the risk of high blood pressure. Riboflavin present in quinoa reduces the frequency of migraine attacks, by producing energy metabolism within brain and muscle cells
Quinoa is known to prevent the clogging of arteries and veins which in turn helps to relieve stresses on the heart. The fat in Quinoa is good fat in that is low in cholesterol and can help reduce blood pressure thanks to the presence of potassium and magnesium. In other words it is a good source of protein without the drawbacks of too much saturated fat and cholesterol.
Quinoa is considered to be an excellent alternative to other grain foods that contribute to the growth of candida. Candida is a “bad bacteria” that causes or contributes to a range of health problems, most notably digestion and elimination issues in the human body. Quinoa is thought to be a “good bacteria” for the gut, the intestines and the colon.
Celiac Disease & Irritable Bowel Syndrome(IBS)
The grain is a boon for people who are allergic to wheat and are suffering from Celiac disease, as it is gluten free. Quinoa is a wonderful source of fiber for the body, which aids easy elimination and toning of colon.
Type 2 Diabetes
Quinoa is rich in magnesium which is a mineral that is essential in the body’s ability to deal with glucose and insulin. Yet again there is evidence that Quinoa, as part of a whole food diets aids in the digestion of foods. It is also known to increase Insulin sensitivity while reducing triglycerides (blood fats which need to be kept low in diabetics).
Quinoa is known to be an endurance food which gives energy. It is also known to be a good source of Iron which pregnant mums are always advised to increase in their diet. It is good for tissue repair and development of teeth and bones. Along with the other benefits of Quinoa, it is a useful source of goodness that forming babies will demand in plenty as they grow. It is also good for Mums when they are feeding as it will improve the quality of milk for new-born infants.
Quinoa is thought to help prevent cataracts and may aid those with the condition. Studies have shown that people who absorb about 99 grams of protein were only half as likely to develop nuclear cataracts(light is difficult to pass through the centre of the eye) while those with the greater polyunsaturated fats about 17 grams a day were 30 percent likely not to develop problems with the outer lens(corticular cataracts).
This is another surprising area where Quinoa is known to be useful. It may not get rid of gallstones but it can help protect their development. Indeed this is another case where a wholesome diet rich in fiber can aid in the digestion of foodstuffs. As it is a soluble fiber it speeds through the intestines and reduces the need of increased bile production. Too much bile production helps to develop gallstones so this is another natural remedy for our bodies.
Quinoa is also rich in lysine. Lysine is one of the essential amino acids of the nine, and it plays an important role in the absorption of calcium and the formation of collagen. It is also thought to be useful for the prevention of herpes breakouts, cold sores and boosting the immune system.