Quinoa: The Ultimate Superfood?

Apr 05, 2013

Photo used under Creative Commons from SaucyGlo

North Americans have only recently discovered quinoa, but it has been revered for centuries dating to the time of the Incas.

Originating from the Andes region of South America, quinoa is a tiny, easy-to-cook seed that’s often misidentified as a whole grain.

Quinoa is gluten-free, cholesterol-free, kosher (according to some authorities) and usually organic, making it an option for many people on strict diets.

Quinoa is considered a complete source of protein, has valuable fats in small amounts and is rich in nutrients including vitamin E, calcium, magnesium and potassium.

Health benefits

  • Digestion. The high fiber and starch content of quinoa make it easily digestible and good for the digestive tract.
  • Heart health. Quinoa’s high magnesium content helps to relax blood vessels and enhance blood flow.
  • Exercise recovery. The potassium and vitamin B in quinoa are good for muscle recovery. Potassium helps the body pump fluids to the muscles more quickly and prevents cramping.
  • Weight maintenance. Quinoa is high in protein, which helps with satiety, but has low calorie and carbohydrate counts.

Fun Fact

Thanks to its exceptional nutritional content, quinoa is often included in astronauts’ meals on space missions.

Recipe: Red Quinoa & Black Bean Salad

Quinoa is a healthy alternative to whole grains. When paired with high-fiber black beans, quinoa is a great backdrop for a healthy and unique salad. Serve this salad as a side dish or pair it with crusty whole-grain bread for a light meal.

Recipe Key: C = cup | T = tablespoon | t = teaspoon | oz = ounce

1 C red or regular dry quinoa

2 C water

⅔ C salsa

1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed

2 green onions, thinly sliced

3 T cilantro, chopped

2 T grated soy cheese

Rinse quinoa thoroughly, then add it to 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until all the water is absorbed (about 10–15 minutes).

Place the cooked quinoa in a medium-sized bowl. Add the salsa and black beans, and gently mix until combined. Place in serving bowls. Garnish with green onions, cilantro and soy cheese. Makes four 1-cup servings.

Per serving: 264 calories; 3 grams (g) fat; 12 g protein; 48 g carbs; 8.4 g fiber; 0 milligrams (mg) cholesterol; 192 mg sodium.

Source: Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine.


www.oaquinoa.com/quinoa-facts www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?dbid=142&tname=foodspice www.mnn.com/food/healthy-eating/stories/quinoa-nutrition-facts bodyecology.com/articles/quinoa_benefits_guide.php

Research by Jessica Cline, IDEA Editorial Assistant



© 2015 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

1 Comment

  • Log In to Comment
  • User

    Quinoa is great! I've been eating it most every morning fir breakfast with an added spoonful of EAS protein powder and blueberries and crushed almonds. I then pour on a little almond milk. We also make a cold quinoa salad with craisins and walnuts as well as chopped red and yellow peppers.
    Commented Apr 15, 2013

Trending Articles

Eight Fascinating Facts About Fascia

Fascia has been enjoying the limelight in the fitness industry as one of the hottest topics in recent conference programming, workshops and ...

Health Benefits of Mediterranean Diet

Crous-Bou, M., et al. 2014. Mediterranean diet and telomere length in Nurses’ Health Study: Population based cohort study. British Med...

Excessive Thoracic Kyphosis: More Than Just Bad Posture

Excessive thoracic kyphosis (ETK) is a disproportionate forward rounding or curvature of the middle and upper back, also known as the thorac...

Breathe to Lose Weight?

When a person loses weight, have you ever wondered where it goes? Scientists at the University of New South Wales in Australia have put toge...

Wake Up Your Glutes!

It’s a sad fact of modern life that the gluteus maximus, the largest muscle in the body, often becomes inhibited and “turns off.” Ironically, this inhibition can be the culprit behin...

Does Exercise Order Really Matter in Resistance Training?

Research on resistance training design finds that the chief variables include intensity, volume, recovery between sets and exercises, workout frequency, equipment and speed of movement (Simão et al....

Cardio and Creative Core

Group fitness participants can’t seem to get enough of creative core and cardiovascular exercises. If you need innovative ideas to cha...

Hip Stretches for Men

Many men struggle with inflexibility and diminished joint range of motion, especially as they age, and stretching is often the most poorly p...

Proven Benefits of Pilates

Did you know that Pilates continues to grow in popularity, and its practice is now familiar to people around the world? Maybe you’ve a...

Liver Injury Due to Herbals and Dietary Supplements Is Up

If you regularly take herbals and dietary supplements, it may be time to reevaluate why you take them and what the potential cost to your he...