Quinoa is similar to a grain, it almost looks like rice and has a slight nutty flavor. It's a complete protein, meaning that it has all 9 essential amino acids, which is usually rare in grains. The actual part of quinoa that we eat is the seed. It's easy to cook and takes on the flavors that you put with it (think olive oil, lemon, dried cranberries, chicken, parsley, mint, etc). My favorite, for now, is Quinoa Pasta from Whole Foods. It takes about 9 minutes to cook and has a great flavor and texture that is sometimes lacking with other gluten free pastas.
Quinoa was once called "the Mother grain", and "the gold of the Incas". Quinoa is high in lysine (helps repair tissue), calcium, phosphorus, fiber, magnesium and iron. Don't forget that it's gluten free and easy to digest.
PLF Daily Tip: Add this super grain to your diet once or twice a week and here are the benefits your body will be getting:
- Decrease in migraines and headaches
- Cardiovascular health
- Protects your body from oxidative damage and free radicals
- Reduces the risk of childhood asthma
- Lowers your risk of cancer
- Lowers risk of type 2 Diabetes
- "One type of phytonutrient especially abundant in whole grains such as quinoa are plant lignans, which are converted by friendly flora in our intestines into mammalian lignans, including one called enterolactone that is thought to protect against breast and other hormone-dependent cancers as well as heart disease."