Quinoa is a healthy alternative to rice. It contains more high-quality protein and fiber, but fewer carbohydrates and calories. Quinoa is used as a cereal, although in reality, it is not. That is why it is also called pseudo-grain. It is the seed of the quinoa plant.
As it is not a type of grain, it does not contain gluten. Therefore, it is ideal for people suffering from celiac disease or gluten intolerance.
Today it is on everyone’s lips and is a fundamental food for health-conscious people. This South American grain was banned after the Spanish conquest and lost its importance.
However, he has returned to the kitchens of the world to stay for good.
What is quinoa?
This plant comes from the Andean region and is related to beets, chard, and spinach. The granules have an average size of 1.3 to 2 millimeters and are among the most important staple foods of hill tribes.
There are a total of around 3,000 different varieties worldwide, with the so-called “royal quinoa” that only comes from Bolivia. This ancient grain is one of the oldest crops and was cultivated by the Incas thousands of years ago.
Of these, the grains were also called “mother cereals”. Unlike wheat, the grain is not only free of gluten, lactose, and cholesterol, but it is also rich in protein, iron, and calcium.
It is also suitable for a basic diet, keeps you full for a long time, and can be easily prepared. In terms of taste, it has a slightly nutty character and is very versatile. Both seeds and leaves are edible.
Nutritional values and ingredients of quinoa
The important amino acid lysine is also contained in this pseudo-grain. It ensures that the damage to the cells or tissues of the body is repaired.
Finally, the “gold” of the Incas also contains a large number of antioxidants that trap free radicals in the body. This slows the aging process and prevents many serious diseases.
Especially for people who eat vegan or vegetarian, the consumption of this type of grain ensures an optimal supply of nutrients, but of course, it is also recommended for all carnivores.
Due to the special nutritional quality, the grain has also become very interesting for many scientists and doctors. Not only that, but even astronauts also eat grains in space.
What benefits are there when eating quinoa?
It is said that the miraculous grain of the Andes has numerous positive effects on health when cooked, due to its ingredients and nutritional values.
On the one hand, it is said to help strengthen the immune system and help build muscle and regenerate cells. Due to the blatantly low glycemic index, it is even recommended for diabetics.
For all people who suffer from iron deficiency or magnesium deficiency, eating the granules can help correct this lack.
Studies from the British University of Newcastle have also found that migraine attacks can often be triggered by a lack of tryptophan.
The pseudo-grain contains a much higher proportion of the relevant amino acid tryptophan and other important nutrients, which in combination form the hormones melatonin and serotonin. By releasing these hormones, these pain attacks can be reduced and have a positive effect on the sensation of pain.
Due to the low amount of only 172 calories with a 180-gram serving, it can also be added to a healthy diet. The high proportion of proteins also makes you feel full quickly and for a long time.
Quinoa is one of the so-called complex carbohydrates, which are characterized by the fact that the grain provides a lot of energy. This causes glucose to breaking down and the body absorbs it very slowly.
This ensures that the grain gives it a lot of strength and that it will get rid of unpleasant cravings.
Help with celiac diseases
With food intolerance increasingly common in the modern world, grain has become more important than ever. Celiac diseases, which is a disease in which the intestinal mucosa of the small intestine becomes chronically inflamed, are becoming increasingly common.
With this intolerance, you cannot consume gluten to prevent consequences such as vomiting, loss of appetite, or diarrhea. Since this disease lasts a lifetime, it is difficult for many people to find a suitable grain-like product that can be eaten without any problem.
Quinoa helps because it is completely gluten free.
Another problem with the current civilization is the imbalance of acids, due to the intake of a lot of fat, coffee, and sugar. These form a large amount of acid in the body, which in extreme cases can lead to kidney and urinary disorders, cardiovascular disorders, and diabetes.
In this context, the pseudo-grain ensures that acidity is actively reduced because the grain is completely basic. An optimal acid balance can be achieved through regular consumption.
Eating quinoa can also help with high cholesterol levels. Due to high blood lipid levels, the risk of cardiac and circulatory weakness increases.
Thanks to a large amount of magnesium and fiber, cholesterol is reduced sustainably. Other positive effects include stimulating digestion and regulating the production of bile acids.
But not only high levels of blood lipids, but also excess blood sugar can have immense health consequences. Diabetes is one of the most widespread diseases today.
Since the grains have a very low glycemic index, the consumption of blood sugar after a meal does not increase uncontrollably.
Quinoa as a staple food
The pseudo-grain has been used as a staple food for more than 6,000 years. The miraculous grain of the Andes can not only be recommended to vegans and vegetarians because of its numerous amino acids, vitamins, and minerals but also offers many positive effects for any diet.
With the help of the grain, everyone who suffers from vitamin or mineral deficiencies can benefit. It is both tasty and good for your health.
Quinoa, which can usually be found in organic departments or health food stores, can be eaten as a substitute for rice or pasta. The caloric content of these garnishes is relatively similar, but it depends on the ingredients they contain.
These complex carbohydrates ensure that it stays full longer which has a particularly positive effect on the entire digestive tract.
Simply put, quinoa is a staple food because of its high-quality ingredients. It should not be lacking in any healthy and balanced diet and can help a diet have a lasting effect.
Pseudo-grain is also recommended for people with gluten intolerance, as well as for vegans and vegetarians. In addition, if you do the physical exercise you will also benefit from its consumption due to its high protein content.
Is quinoa a superfood?
Quinoa has been touted as a superfood for some time, but what is a superfood? Unfortunately, the term “superfood” is used too often for marketing purposes. However, real superfood must meet many criteria.
Unlike common foods, a superfood should contain significantly more nutrients and vital substances. In addition, it is as natural as possible and can be considered as an integral and healthy food. In this context, it does not matter if it tastes good, if it is easy to prepare or if it comes from distant regions.
The pseudo-grain contains all nine amino acids, which is otherwise extremely rare in other plant foods. It is also rich in minerals and vitamins, which have a particularly positive impact on the body.
Because of this and the ingredients that were previously examined in more detail, quinoa can certainly be called “superfood”.
But not everything is so beautiful. As pseudocereals are rarely grown in Europe these days, consumption does not necessarily contribute to a small ecological footprint.
To be able to eat the grain without any charge of conscience, you must be sure to buy only the grains in organic quality.
How can quinoa be prepared?
Basically, the pseudo-grain can be eaten both raw and cooked. Preparation is not at all anything from the other world and can be done by anyone.
Anyone who has bought the “miraculous” grain knows that there are several different varieties that often differ in their preparation and use.
For example, there is a white grain quinoa. This is the most commonly purchased by consumers because it is generally the cheapest. An advantage of this variety is that it is the least fat and has a fine nutty flavor. When preparing, a cooking time of 10 to 15 minutes should be expected.
The black variety cannot really be distinguished from the white one, although it is more difficult and it takes between 15 and 20 minutes to finish the grains.
Red quinoa is also available, and like black quinoa, it has a longer cooking time. Due to its appearance, this variety is often used for salads.
Last but not least, there is a swollen version, similar to popcorn, which is mainly used as an additional ingredient in muesli.
No matter what and how you use the beans, it is important to wash them beforehand with plenty of running water. When used as a cereal ingredient, pseudo-grain can also be crushed or soaked beforehand.
The most popular way to enjoy the pseudo-grain is to prepare it as a garnish. For this purpose, grains, similar to rice, should be boiled in a saucepan with twice the water.
The superfood is simmered for about 10 minutes and then has to swell for another 10 minutes on the heating plate that has been turned off.
To refine everything further, quinoa can be supplemented with salt and other herbs. However, always pay attention to the cooking time indicated on the package so that the granules do not soften too much.
Quinoa can not only be served as a side dish with meat or fish, but it can also be served as a complete vegan or vegetarian meal.
The pseudo-grain is particularly suitable for replacing minced meat. It doesn’t matter if you prepare the beans for a delicious Bolognese, chili con carne, or as a meat filling, it will definitely be a pleasure.
The grain of the Incas can also be turned cold into a true gourmet dish, for example, prepared as a salad.
To do this, cut the tomatoes into cubes, chop chives, and chives and evoke a marinade made from flaxseed oil, salt, and lemon juice, for example. In addition, you can also add more vegetables.
If you like your salad more exotic, you can add avocado and mango cubes to the cooked and cooled pseudo-grain.
Grains can also be used to prepare delicious rolls. For approximately nine servings, 200 g of quinoa should be cooked according to package directions.
Before adding the other ingredients, the oven should be preheated to 200 ° C. In addition to the cooked pseudo-grain, 150 g of low-fat cottage cheese, 150 g of low-fat yogurt, 4 eggs, 1 package of yeast are added powder, 1 tablespoon almond flour, 8 tablespoons psyllium husk powder and salt to taste.
Now mix everything well and divide it into approximately 9 equal portions and form rolls. These are baked in the oven for about 30 to 40 minutes until it turns a golden brown color and you just need to enjoy them.
Unfortunately, today, despite the fact that we can get food from anywhere, we often eat in an unhealthy way.
The reason for this is that we live in abundance and prosperity and can get all the food at any time. While there is an alternative to eating healthy, many still choose unhealthy foods because they simply are easier to get or taste better.
Because of this, the so-called “generalized diseases” are increasing more and more. These include, for example, diabetes or cardiovascular diseases. Unhealthy eating can also favor much worse diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, or cancer.
But that does not have to be the case, since there are all kinds of tools in the western world to eat a healthy and balanced diet. You do not need to demonize all your eating habits, it is enough to change small things. For example, valuable grain can be integrated into meals.
They have a mixture of minerals, vitamins, trace elements, and amino acids of very high quality. It helps reduce existing common diseases, such as high cholesterol, or prevents them from occurring in the first place.
Buying organic pseudo-cereals is often not that cheap, but it should be worthwhile for everyone to spend money on their own nutrition and health. Quinoa can be easily incorporated into the meal plan and can still do a lot of good for your health. It is not for nothing that it is called the “Gold of the Incas”.