However, this protein-packed, whole grain has been around way longer. It is thought to have been first cultivated 6,000 years ago as a staple in the Incan region of the Andes mountains.
The quinoa seed looks like a larger version of a poppyseed and has several color variations.
So, why try this ancient grain? Here are six nutritional reasons:
- Quinoa is a unique grain in that it has all nine essential amino acids (making it a complete protein)
- Quinoa is higher in protein than similar grains (7 grams protein per ¼ cup dry)
- Quinoa is notably rich in polyphenols (phytochemicals known for their potentially protective antioxidant activity) compared to other grains
- Each serving also adds 3 grams of fiber and 10% of the daily value for iron
- Quinoa is gluten-free
- Quinoa is recommended for those living with diabetes over white rice because it is high in fiber and releases sugar into the bloodstream more slowly.
Interesting in knowing more about foods with the most nutritional benefits? The YMCA of Greater Cleveland offers nutrition counseling services. Email us for more information.
Already a quinoa connoisseur? How do you prepare it? Tell us by commenting below.