Have you heard of quinoa? Rich in protein and fiber, this little seed is a wonderful addition to any healthy diet.
Although quinoa is typically considered a grain, it is actually the seed of a plant that is related to spinach, beets and Swiss chard. When cooked, it has a fluffy, creamy consistency similar to rice or couscous. It is slightly crunchy with a light nutty flavor. Quinoa is gaining in popularity and may be found in health food stores or the health food section of your local grocery store.
Because quinoa is loaded with essential nutrients, many consider it a heart-healthy superfood. The protein it supplies is a complete protein, which means that it contains a full profile of all nine essential amino acids. Like tomatoes, quinoa is especially rich in the amino acid lysine, which promotes tissue growth and repair. Because this seed is packed with essential amino acids, it is an excellent source of protein for vegetarians and vegans. It is also gluten-free and easy to digest.
In addition to protein, quinoa is high in fiber so it will satisfy your appetite and help you control portion sizes. Quinoa also contains minerals such as manganese, magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus, which are valuable nutrients for people with diabetes, heart disease and migraine headaches.
Because of its taste and texture, quinoa is an excellent substitute for white rice as a side dish or in recipes. White rice is a refined starch that is high on the glycemic index, whereas quinoa is considered a whole grain and has a low glycemic index value. Plus, white rice has more calories and nearly 15 times the amount of carbohydrates per serving as quinoa. Not to mention quinoa has 5 grams of fiber and double the amount of protein per serving.
To lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and obesity, add quinoa to your diet today.