Quinoa (pronounced "keen-wah") is one of the world's most nutritious and healthy foods.
Often referred to as a grain, quinoa is actually the seed of a plant related to spinach and swiss chard! Even though it is not technically a grain, it still counts as a "whole grain" food.
Quinoa was an important crop for the Inca Empire back in the day. They referred to it as the "mother of all grains" and believed it to be sacred.
NASA scientists have been looking at it as a suitable crop to be grown in outer space, mostly based on its high nutrient content, ease of use and how easy it is to grow.
Packed with goodness
This superfood is not only packed with fibre, vitamins and protein, but it can help you lose weight!
This superfood is absolutely loaded with goodness - protein, vitamins, fibre, magnesium, folate, iron, calcium . and so much more. It is high in minerals that most people don't get enough of, especially magnesium, potassium, zinc and, for women, iron. Quinoa appears to be very high in antioxidants, which are made more bioavailable by soaking and/or sprouting the quioa before cooking it. So what hasn't it got?
Well, gluten for one thing. And quinoa is non-GMO, and usually grown organically.
5 Ways Quinoa Can Help you Lose Weight
1. Low GI
Eating foods that are high on the glycemic index can stimulate hunger and contribute to obesity and so been linked to many of the chronic Western diseases that are so common today such as diabetes and heart disease.
Quinoa has a low glycymic index which means that it will leave you feeling fuller for longer and help curb the cravings. Quinoa is also a great choice for diabetics because it will not send their blood sugar skyrocketing. The glycemic index is a measure of how quickly foods raise blood sugar levels.
Quinoa is packed with protein, and has both more and better protein than most grains, which can both increase metabolism and reduce appetite significantly.
Quinoa is considered a "complete" protein, containing all the essential amino acids we need which helps build muscle, which is great for everyone - but especially vegans looking to tone up and lose weight.
3. High in fibre
Quinoa is much higher in fibre than most grains, helping reduce blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol, increase fullness and help with weight loss as you will feel like eating fewer calaories.
Quinoa is rich in Lysine, an amino acid which helps build and repair skeletal muscle tissue in the body. As a result, quinoa is a great compliment to your Pilates and cardio workouts, aiding the body's recovery after exercise and helping to get you back on the reformers sooner!
5. Internal Detox
Quinoa also acts a a detox, aiding the digestion of food. As such, quinoa can help reduce bloating, constipation and gas. Quinoa's high Vitamin B and folate levels also assist the liver in eliminating waste (is there anything it can't do?)
It's very easy to incorporate this fat-blasting food into your diet, and goes well with many foods. However, it's important to keep in mind that quinoa is still pretty high in carbs, so just watch your portion size.
Keep an eye out for the three main types of quinoa - white (most common), red (holds its shape better, so ideal for salads) and black (a little earthier and sweeter than white) - and serve instead of rice with your stir-fries or try making quinoa porridge for breakfast. Also, try these nutritious and easy recipes: