Dear Doctor, Should I be eating Quinoa?

Quinoa (keen-wa) is all over social media these days. It’s one of the latest superfoods, so I figured I would join in the hype and test it out.

What is Quinoa? 

It is a seed that is almost like a grain but isn’t a grain… little bit confusing right? It originates from South America and comes in different colours, black, white and red.

It is gluten-free, high in protein, fibre, magnesium, B-vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus and vitamin E.

Why is Quinoa good for you?

There are lots of benefits to eating quinoa. 

1. It is high in protein. Not only do you get a lot of protein, it actually contains all the essential amino acids that we need to provide our bodies with, in order to make more protein. 

2. It contains large amounts of flavonoids, including quercetin and kaempferol. These are plant antioxidants with health benefits. It can also be high in oxalates though which is not advised for people with kidney stones.

3. It is high in fibre, so it is good for the digestive system. 

4. It is gluten-free and perfect for people with gluten intolerance.

5. It has a low glycemic index, which is good for blood sugar control. However, it is still relatively high in carbohydrates.

6. High in important minerals like iron and magnesium and also high in antioxidants. 

How do you prepare Quinoa?

Put 2 cups of water in a pan turn up the heat. Add 1 cup of raw quinoa (presoaked) with a pinch of salt. Boil for 15-20 minutes.

What does it taste like?

To be honest it really doesn’t taste of much. It has a slightly nutty flavour but it is not a strong flavour. It reminds me a bit of couscous. I think it can be easily incorporated into lots of meals. I tried it with salad and actually really liked it, much to my own surprise!

So should You be eating Quinoa? 

I think they call it a superfood for a reason. There’s so much goodness packed into those little seeds and they don’t even taste bad. 

So why not try it out? Add some to your salad and let me know what you think!

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