Second only to kale perhaps, quinoa is the superfood of the decade. Super tasty, super easy to prepare and super nutritious… its general popularity makes it unlikely that you are a quinoa virgin. Maybe it makes a regular appearance in your home cooking? But do you really understand the stuff? Here are some important facts everyone should know about quinoa:
1. It is pronounced KEEN-wah… got it?
2. Qunioa was a staple in the Inca diet and referred to as ‘the mother of all grains’, but technically it is not a grain, quinoa is actually the seed of the goosefoot plant.
3. Quinoa is a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids… These are essential in your diet because your body needs them to build and repair muscles but cannot produce them itself.
4. Qunioa is naturally gluten free so if you are trying to reduce or eliminate gluten in your diet, fill your boots!
5. When you cook quinoa you will notice what looks like a small curly tail emerge… don’t panic, this is just the seed’s germ.
6. There are hundreds of different varieties of quinoa, but you have porobably only encountered the three main types: red, white and black.
7. Quinoa originates from the Bolivian Altiplano and thrives in harsh cold, desert conditions.
8. Peru is now in stiff competition with Bolivia over quinoa production. But Bolivia accuse Peru of over farming and using harsh chemicals to ramp up production and drive down prices.
9. NASA scientists are experimenting with quinoa as a suitable food to be grown in outer space.
10. Quinoa is a potent antioxidant and is particularly high in flavonoids, which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, anti-cancer and anti-depressant effects… in studies on animals, at least.
11. Quinoa is high in fibre and has a low glycemic index making it a great weight loss food.
12. Quinoa is really, really, really easy to prepare! Here’s how: Combine two parts water and one part quinoa, turn up the heat and simmer for about 15mins until soft and fluffy, then drain if necessary. #easy!
(Image from: Brainscape)