Quinoa, pronounced as keen-wah, is a pseudo-cereal but is cooked like a cereal with similar nutritional profile. Quinoa is gluten free like rice, rye, oat , barley and buckwheat. Although there are several species, Quinoa is popularly available as black, white or red quinoa . They all taste the same with a nutty flavour and somewhat gritty texture.
Peculiar nutritional benefits of Quinoa
- It is rich in proteins with right proportions of essential amino acids. This high protein content is beneficial for weight loss, blood sugar control and to overcome malnutrition
- Quinoa is a rich source of antioxidant called quercetin . This antioxidative effect can help provide relief in inflammatory conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, cancers and cardiovascular diseases.
- Quinoa, being gluten free, can be used by all and may be preferred over other gluten free grains due to its high protein content and antioxidant activity.
- The high fiber and protein content of quinoa makes it a very satiating food. Research studies have found that meals containing quinoa helped to ward-off hunger for longer time compared to wheat and rice.
- Quinoa is known to cause lower production of free fatty acids and triglycerides thereby having a favourable effect on lipid profile
Quinoa cooks really quickly. Just rinse the quinoa and boil it with 2-3 times the amount of water.
Once cooked, quinoa can be used as a replacement for rice, oats or any other grain.Quinoa salad with veggies is most appetizing and makes for a complete meal in itself. Boiled quinoa can be added to patties, pancakes batter, energy bars, khichdi, porridge, etc
Quinoa does not have a very overpowering taste of its own and hence can be incorporated into any regular dish and can be combined with different spices to impart a zesty flavour. So go ahead and add this newly discovered pseudo-cereal to your grocery list. It is surely a great option for the calorie conscious group packed with wide range of vitamins and minerals.
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