Facts You Need to Know About Quinoa
Although the quinoa craze may have died down a bit, there’s still a lot of good to come from this little super food. In fact, I really don’t foresee a day when quinoa is not on my list of top health foods.
If you’re new to this healthy carb-alternative, or you just need a healthy reminder to keep it in your diet, here are 5 facts about quinoa you may not know.
As you’ll see, quinoa is called a superfood for some pretty good reasons!
5 Important Health Facts about Quinoa
Quinoa Fact #1: It’s Not a Grain at All
That’s right, although it makes for a great alternative to wheat and rice, quinoa’s technically not even a grain. Quinoa is actually a relative of chard, beets, and spinach, and the part we eat is just the seed, which is why it’s totally gluten-free. The nice part about quinoa is that it cooks up just like rice (even easier, in my opinion), and it can be substituted in recipes pretty much the same way.
Quinoa Fact #2: There are Actually Over 100 Kinds of Quinoa!
That’s right, in reality there are about 120 varieties of quinoa that have been identified. As far as what you find in the store, you’ll typically come across white, red, and black quinoa. I recommend giving them all a try. Black quinoa is a bit sweeter, while red quinoa works well in salads because it holds its shape a little better. When it comes to your health, variety is a good thing, not only for preventing boredom but also for keeping your metabolism in high gear.
Quinoa Fact #3: You Can Bake With It
In addition to all the varieties of quinoa, it also comes in many forms. Quinoa flour is one way that this seed has really transformed the way we think about food. Used in baking, quinoa flour offers a healthy, gluten-free alternative to more traditional types of flour. It’s a bit more expensive, but it’s worth the health benefits.
Quinoa Fact #4: Quinoa is a Complete Protein
Unlike most other plant-based foods, quinoa is extremely high in protein, making it an ideal ingredient on any healthy diet (or more importantly, on a vegan diet, if that’s your preference). It’s a complete protein because it contains all 9 essential amino acids, offering total support for muscle repair and recovery in addition to other key bodily processes. No matter your health goal or lifestyle, the protein support offered by quinoa is extremely effective.
Quinoa Fact #5: Quinoa is High in Fiber
The other major nutritional component of quinoa is fiber, and this is an important one for your health. Fiber is a key part of any healthy diet, playing a role in cardiovascular health and fending off cravings when you’re trying to lose weight. This is a good thing, because one of the reasons whole grains are often recommended is for these very health benefits. But quinoa offers a healthier alternative.
Quinoa Fact #6: You Should Probably Rinse it First
Most companies now rinse quinoa before packaging it, but it’s still a good idea to give it a quick rinse before cooking it. This is because dried quinoa seeds are coated with a substance from being dried, and it can taste a bit bitter. So follow this simple tip to get the most out of this superfood.
Whichever way you decide to include it, quinoa is one of the healthiest foods on any healthy diet. Add it to your grocery list, and make sure your cupboard is well stocked. This one’s not going away any time soon!
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