November 15, 2010
The other day I got an email from my very good client and friend Devin. He was wondering about the health benefits of Quinoa.
I’ve heard a lot about Quinoa lately.
I think that will be a great topic for a blog/email to hear about it from the Fitness Expert.
Should it be treated like a veggie?
Quinoa has been produced in South America since 3000 B.C., and although the Spanish conquistadors all but eliminated the existence of quinoa in an attempt to destroy the South American natives and their culture, quinoa is still an important seed crop for human consumption in the Andean region of South America.
Quinoa is able to grow in the severe cold and high altitude of the “altiplano” region of the Andes. Although quinoa is considered a grain, it’s technically the seed of a plant related to the beet, chard and spinach plants, and has been classified as a pseudo-cereal.
Quinoa can be substituted for almost any grain in any dish from soup to salad. The major quinoa producing countries are Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador, and although North American farmers are growing quinoa, they have been unable to match the quality of the quinoa grown in the Andean countries.
Quinoa contains more protein than most grains and offers a more evenly balanced array of amino acids, the building blocks of protein, making quinoa an excellent protein source for vegetarians. Quinoa is being considered by NASA as a crop for Controlled Ecological Life Support System (CELSS) because of its high protein value and unique amino acid composition. Quinoa is an excellent source of magnesium and manganese. It’s a very good source of protein, vitamin B2, vitamin E, and dietary fiber. It’s a good source of the minerals iron, phosphorus, copper, and zinc.
|Quinoa, uncooked||Nutritional value per
100 g (3.5 oz)
|Energy||1,539 kJ (368 kcal)|
|Dietary fiber||7 g|
|Thiamine (Vit. B1)||0.36 mg|
|Riboflavin (Vit. B2)||0.32 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.5 mg|
|Folate (Vit B9)||184 μg|
|Vitamin E||2.4 mg|
A comprehensive breakdown of nutrients can be found in the Nutrition database where this food can also be added to a meal planner.
Quinoa contains oxalate, and should be avoided by individuals with a history of kidney stones containing oxalate.