QUINOA – THE ANCIENT SUPERFOOD
Quinoa (pronounced as KEEN-wah or ke-NO-ah) has always been admired amongst the health-conscious community. Often described as a "superfood", it’s packed with protein, fibre, vitamins, and minerals and is recommended for people who are on a gluten-free diet.
Contrary to popular belief, quinoa is not a grain or a grass, rather it is a seed. With a history dating back 5,000 years, it is one of the oldest crops cultivated by man in the South American civilizations. Quinoa was a sacred crop for the Incas who referred to it as chisaya mama, the mother of all grains. Well, if nutritional and dietary science is to be believed, the Incans may have been on to something.
Quinoa is one of the few crops that contain complete proteins, i.e. supply all essential amino acids. These acids cannot be produced by the body, as such, we need a ready-made supply from the complete proteins that contain all of them in a nearly equal proportion. Like all whole grains, quinoa too contains 25 percent more protein than refined grains
Gluten-free products and diet made with rice, corn, potato, and even almond flour inherently lack many vital nutrients. As such, mixing quinoa to these products amps up their polyphenol content, preventing tissue damage. Quinoa based gluten-free products are far richer than other non-quinoa gluten-free products in terms of their antioxidant content.
Aids Digestion & Cholesterol
Quinoa is rich in fibre making it good for metabolism and weight-loss. Fiber promotes digestion, which requires bile acids, which in turn utilize cholesterol. As our digestion improves, the liver extracts cholesterol from the blood to produce more bile acid, ultimately reducing the amount of LDL or bad cholesterol.
Chronic inflammation is one of the factors that result in autoimmune disorders like asthma and rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, lupus, and Chhorn’s disease. Quinoa is known to reduce the risk of chronic inflammation by enabling the body to cultivate healthy gut microbes.
Improves Heart Health
Reducing LDL cholesterol level is also beneficial for our heart. Quinoa is advantageous for our precious ticker in more than one way. It helps the body produce heart-healthy monounsaturated fat via its oleic acid content, as well as omega-3 fatty acids and alpha-linolenic acids. Unlike, many grains and vegetables that lose their healthy fatty acids when oxidized, quinoa's nutrients hold up to boiling, simmering, and steaming.
Although, quinoa can be consumed in many forms and ways such as salads, pulao, upma, baked, etc, the easiest, quickest, and the most satisfying way are in the form of snacks. This way you can not only fulfill the daily dietary requirements for our body but also quench those pesky in-between-mealtimes cravings and hunger pangs.
There are many quinoa-based snacks out there, one of them being The Green Snack Co’s Quinoa Puffs. It’s made with the goodness of ragi, amaranth, and soy along with quinoa, making them a power-packed with proteins and fibre. It’s roasted and not fried, gluten-free, MSG-free, preservative-free. It’s light, crunchy, and fulfilling. It comes in five scrumptious flavours including blissful dark chocolate! Do give them a try.