Rice and beans are considered to be a complete protein, as their combination provides all 9 essential amino acids. Namely, most grains do not contain the amino acids lysine and isoleucine, so they need to be combined with a legume in order to be “completed”.
Quinoa, is a seed high in nutrients, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and low in fat, and with a low-glycemic index. It has been a staple in South America for four millennia.
It is frequently mistaken as a grain which does not contain gluten, but it is, in fact, a vegetable seed, extremely high in nutrients. Therefore, it is a vegetable related to spinach and beets, which provides a rare vegetable-sourced complete protein with all 9 essential amino acids.
Hence, it is not a grain, but it is often called “the mother of all grains” and “chisaya mama”. Moreover, it has been even believed to be sacred, as it thrived during the extremely high temperatures during the long summer, and in the case of a drought, its harvest doubles, while other plants weaken.
The quinoa is harvested just before the winter when people need fats and proteins the most.
It is still regarded to be low in fat, but it is higher than other grasses, such as wheat. It is abundant in oleic acid, a heart-healthy monounsaturated fat found in olive oil and contains some (ALA) alpha-linolenic acid, a heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acid.
Unlike other fats, these fats remain stable and do not get oxidized during the cooking process. According to experts, this is due to the great amounts of antioxidants.
Namely, this seed is extremely rich in the alpha, beta and gamma forms of vitamin E, polyphenols, and flavonoids, such as quercetin, which prevents rancidity of the seed and prolongs its shelf life.
Despite all this, quinoa is a low-glycemic food, and it is beneficial for the blood sugar. As it is rich in fiber, it decelerates the sugar absorption from the digestive tract into the bloodstream, and it exerts little blood sugar stress on the body.
One research showed that its effects on blood sugar levels and body weight are more powerful than 10 other Peruvian grains. It is also abundant in magnesium, which maintains healthy blood sugar and blood pressure levels.
Therefore, as quinoa is a complete protein, a natural antioxidant, anti-inflammation food, rich in fiber, minerals, vitamins, heart-healthy fats, and that is just loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, heart-healthy fats, its incorporation in your diet will significantly boost your immune system and enhance your health.
This is how to prepare it in order to enjoy its numerous benefits:
- Its skin has a bit bitter taste, so make sure you wash it away with a fine strainer, as it holds lots of water.
- In one cup of quinoa, add 2 cups of water and boil.
- Cover the pot, and leave it to simmer on low heat, for 15 minutes.
- Again use the fine strainer to strain it again.
- Place the cooked quinoa in a warm pot, and leave for 15 more minutes, in order to make sure it is light and fluffy.
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