(5 Minute Read)
Imagine you're standing at an intersection and at this intersection, there are five roads which all join together at one singular point. The roads are titled "Vegan", "Hyper Nutritional", "Delicious", "Reasonably Affordable" and "Gluten-Free". Now imagine you're at the grocery store, would you be able to pick out a food that matched all 5 of these "roads"?
Would you even believe us, if we said there is a food that could be described by all of these words? We wouldn't blame you if you answered with a resounding NO!
But, this food actually does exist…
You might’ve been able to guess from the title, but this food is non-other then Quinoa!
This article will explore the wonderful food and showcase why quinoa is one of our absolute favorite superfoods!
So, what even is Quinoa?
Quinoa is not classified as a grass, but rather, as a pseudo-cereal. The seeds from the quinoa plant are actually the delightfully tasteful edible part! Quinoa seeds are flat, oval, and usually pale yellow, though the color can range from pink to black. Also, its taste can vary from bitter to sweet.
(This picture shows what a fully-bloomed quinoa plant can look like, complete with all of its tasty seeds!)
Nutritionists and scientists have taken the labeling of quinoa one step further and they label it as a "whole grain".
While Quinoa is a whole grain, it has one key difference with the other foods in the same category. Quinoa is naturally Gluten-Free
! If you're interested in learning more about gluten, we published an article about gluten and some of its potential negative side effects. Click here for our in-depth
look into gluten.
Where did Quinoa even come from?
Quinoa is a plant native to Peru. Originally, it was grown as an important crop for the Incan Empire! Quinoa was actually referred to as “the mother of all crops” and it was believed to have sacred qualities. (And hey, after doing all this research about quinoa, we can see why the Incan's believed that!)
More recently, an explosion of interest has spread quinoa production to more than 70 countries!
What are some of the health benefits of Quinoa?
While there are many benefits of quinoa, we wanted to share our five favorite benefits! There are others out there, so we definitely recommend you explore the internet for some of the other great ones!
- As I mentioned above, quinoa is Gluten-Free! Quinoa-based products are well tolerated and may therefore be a more suitable alternative to wheat, both in its original form and in products like bread or pasta.
- Quinoa is a “complete protein”. This means quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids. Traditionally, it can be very challenging for people who follow gluten-free diets to get all of their essential nutrients. Because of this, quinoa is seen as one of the best protein sources, both for those eating Vegan or Vegetarian diets.
- Quinoa, along with other whole grains, has been shown to decrease the risk of inflammatory issues. Quinoa seems to have major anti-inflammatory benefits!
- Quinoa has an especially high fiber content, and its almost twice as high as most other grains! Fiber consumption is linked to relieve constipation, lowering blood pressure and fiber lowers cholesterol and glucose levels. There have even been a few studies which suggest that quinoa might help you lose weight.
- Quinoa is also a great source of antioxidants, vitamins and various minerals, including magnesium, copper, phosphorus, iron, fiber, folate and zinc! Quinoa has a higher content of these vitamins and minerals then most other common grains.
So.... Where can I get my hands on this superfood?!?
If you had asked us 20 years ago, it would’ve been much harder to give a universal answer. However, luckily for all of us, quinoa is much more widely available than it used to be!
You can find it in almost any grocery store and, thankfully, its use has started to skyrocket within the restaurant industry. It’s usually boiled and added to salads, used to thicken soups, or it can even be eaten as a side dish or breakfast meal.
Also, Live and Breathe Solutions
is proud to say that some of our most popular products utilize Quinoa as a key ingredient! Our Chocolatl Crunch Bars
are made primarily out of Quinoa and Dark Chocolate. The fusion of these two, gives a large amount of nutritional value AND
a wonderful “crunch” when you bite in.
(As you can see, quinoa mixes perfectly with our chocolate! We're excited for you to try some. The crunch sure is worth it!) To top it all off, we are very proud to share that the quinoa that we use in our products is Organic, Vegan, Non-GMO, Additive-Free and of course, Gluten-Free!
Tell us what you Think!
We want to hear from you! Comment down below what's your favorite part about quinoa.
Should we post some recipes that utilize Quinoa?