Products such as goji berries, spirulina or amaranth have become popular on celebrity tables. How do we know about it? The celebrities of this world are happy to share their “super-meal” photos on their social profiles. Their impeccable figures, energy and vitality beating from the photos, constitute a living (and very suggestive) advertisement of the beneficial properties of a healthy diet.
One of the products included in superfoods is quinoa (kee-wa) , which occurs under the name exotic for us. Just a few years ago, most people asked about the meaning of this foreign-sounding word, would probably be frantically searching for associations with the African dialect. Today, many of us, especially those who attach importance to nutrition and a healthy lifestyle will share tried-and-tested recipes for dishes using it. Where does this popularity come from? First of all, lets check what is that all about!
Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa; (/ˈkiːnwɑː/ or /kɪˈnoʊ.ə/, from Quechuakinwa or kinuwa) is a flowering plant in the amaranth family. It is a herbaceous annual plant grown as a graincrop primarily for its edible seeds. Quinoa is not a grass, but rather a pseudocerealbotanically related to spinach and amaranth (Amaranthus spp.).”
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Quinoa grains resemble rice, grains of cereal or grain. At first glance, small and inconspicuous, they contain many important nutrients.
Quinoa is grown (from about 3-4 thousand years!) In South America. It is assumed that it was the basis of the diet of the ancient Inca who called it, apparently, the “mother of cereals.” No wonder – quinoa is a source of wholesome protein, healthy fatty acids, many vitamins and minerals.
It also contains saponins, thanks to which it can have antiallergic, anti-inflammatory, antifungal and immunostimulating properties. In addition, the seeds of quinoa contain an extremely high amount of flavonoids (of which quercetin and campferol dominate). Therefore, quinoa has antioxidant properties. It should be emphasized that traditional cereals do not contain flavonoids, which makes the quinoa so special .For some time, due to its pro-health properties, it begins to grow in Europe and North America.
It is a source of high quality vegetable protein. It contains a set of amino acids that should be taken with food. It helps in the construction of cartilage, which is not found in vegetable products – therefore it is recommended to people on a vegetarian and vegan diet. It also works well as an addition to children’s dishes – it is rich in vitamins, and stimulates growth hormone. It also facilitates the absorption of calcium. It is a source of methionine – an amino acid necessary for the proper functioning of the body, which also improves the appearance of hair, skin and nails.
What’s more, the quack is used in the prevention and fight against various diseases:
- it has anti-cancer effect
- is rich in unsaturated fats, whose consumption contributes to lowering cholesterol,
- reduces the risk of atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular diseases
- is a source of fiber that lowers blood glucose – it can also be used by diabetes
Equally important, quinoa is a gluten-free product, so it can be eaten by people suffering from celiac disease without worries.
The glycemic index of quinoa is only 35, so it is a product that does not cause deposition of adipose tissue. What’s more, people who are on a reduction diet can eat it without any worries. This is important because often, during weight loss, we give up carbohydrate products, ie just min. cereal. Quinoa can make up successfully such “deficiencies”, probably unusually troublesome for some.
Let’s taste it!
Quinoa can be used in many ways. There are three types of grains – white, red and black. Each has a slightly different taste, otherwise it behaves also during cooking.
White quinoa – is the most delicate in taste. Before cooking, rinse it thoroughly with a dense strainer, then pour over water and cook for about 15 minutes. After this time, you can remove it from the gas and leave it for about 10 minutes under the cover to rest and absorb more water. Quinoa is ready when the grains become transparent and glassy. It will be great as a soup for soup, for dishes with sauce, for baked or stewed vegetables. Also suitable for sweet dishes.
Red and black quinoa – virtually does not swell during cooking, preserves hardness and crunchiness. These two types of beans are suitable as an addition to salads, soups, yoghurts and sweet dishes. They are very decorative, they can be a delicious dish finish. It is cooked for about 20 minutes. They should be left to rest for a while under cover, just like white quinoa.
Certainly, this little, inconspicuous grains contain a powerful ammount of nutrients nessesary to keep your body healthy and its pro-health properties make this superfood suitable for vegans, diabetic, people with gluten intolerance, cardiovascular diseases or on reduction diet and in my opinion it should become a part of your diet too!
Keep it healthly!
Are you fancy to find out some recipies with this gorgeous ingridient!? Comming soon!