Quinoa; Things You Have to Know About it
Quinoa is one of those food types which the person might cook and know more about when it comes to the healthy eating habits which he/she might be following, but there is actually some information which the person should know about quinoa in order to increase the amount of knowledge he/she has. When it comes to the things which you are getting introduced to for the first time, it is always important to give yourself the chance to explore more about this thing which will eventually land in your stomach; what are the benefits that it will manage to deliver to your body, what are those risks which it might cause, and what are the other uses which you could follow when it comes to the other ways that it could be added to your life.
Quinoa is that type of food which could be done and prepared on its own as a meal all by itself and it could be also added to different other recipes as a side dish, and this might be one of the things that always attract people to it; it is easy to be prepared in no time and at the same time, it is one type of food that comes with a good and acceptable taste.
What is Quinoa?
Looking a little bit like couscous, quinoa is one of those food types which confuse people; they don’t know whether they are supposed to refer to it as a grain or else refer to it as a seed. Quinoa is not a grain and it is always referred to as a seed and is known as the “mother of all grains”. Quinoa has been known since a very long time ago by the Incas who used to grow it in the Andes. There are different benefits that come along with eating quinoa since it is a complete source of protein which carries all the essential amino acids and it also carries dietary fiber, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron.
Quinoa is easily cooked but at the same time it should go through the preparation phase, this preparation phase is about washing the seeds thoroughly and correctly in order to prevent the person eating it from getting that bitter taste which comes from the saponin coat that the seeds come covered with and which is important in order to protect those seeds from the insects coming their way. Washing the seeds happen by putting them in a fine mesh strainer and placing them under the water for a couple of seconds, using the hands to wash the seeds by rubbing them is also considered helpful and needed. At the end, you could try one seed only in order to make sure that you have washed it and the bitter taste is no longer there.
After that comes the cooking phase which does not take a lot of time, it might only take 20 or 25 minutes for the meal to be ready and fully prepared.
Things You Should Know About Quinoa Seeds
Understanding the body is one important thing that every single person out there should go through; any person out there should be well aware of the types of food which his/her body could accept, food types which the body might not accept or might turn out to be sensitive to it. After the phase of knowing more about the body comes the phase of knowing about the food which you are eating, when it comes to quinoa, there are different things you should be well aware of, such as:
- There are More than 100 Types of Quinoa
There are different types of quinoa out there or as they are known, there are different colors for it. Since not all of these different colors are found out there, or it sometimes depend on the country you are living in, some people think that there are only three or four colors of quinoa, which are the white, the red, as well as the black.
According to the Whole Grains Council, there are about 120 colors of quinoa out there, and even if they are not all commercialized, you have to know that it is not just about the three colors which you use and find. The white quinoa is considered the one most famous since it is the one most sold out in the stores, the red quinoa is the one most used in salads because it is the one that holds its shape better after being cooked and thus is usually used in other meals as well, and the black quinoa is used when you need an earthier and sweeter taste.
- Quinoa is Actually a Seed
Cooking quinoa and knowing about its benefits is not the only thing that you should be well aware of, but you should educate yourself about other things related to it, at least to be able to answer any questions asked to you from those who take your advice about it or for suggesting it for those who are trying to search for something healthy to eat.
We have already mentioned that a lot of people get confused when they get to know quinoa because they fail to know whether it is considered a grain or else a seed. We have to mention that quinoa is not a grain but it is actually a pseudocereal which means that it is a seed. It is important to know that quinoa is a seed and not a grain because there are a lot of those people who could not easily digest grains and thus will be allowed to eat quinoa easily without facing any problems.
- Quinoa was Sacred to the Ancient Incas
We have mentioned above that quinoa has been known from a very long period of time by the Incas, and now it is important to shed the lights on how they used to treat this type of seed or deal with it. Back in the old days, quinoa was considered a sacred seed to the ancient Incas who even used to call it the “mother grain” because it looks like a grain but at the same time it is considered a seed.
One of the things which you have to know about the history of quinoa at that time is how the emperor of the Incas used to sow the first seeds using a golden ceremonial spade. The quinoa seeds which the Incas used to harvest were cultivated at very high altitudes in the Andes, and it is believed that the best types of quinoa which people are still buying these days come from the same place in the Andes. The Spanish colonists at that time dismissed quinoa as the “food for Indians” and even for a time banned it and forced the Incas to grow some European crops as wheat instead, because it was held sacred in non-Christian ceremony.
- 2013 was the International Year of Quinoa
There are different benefits of quinoa to be mentioned out there and these benefits were the main reason behind naming the year of 2013 as the International Year of Quinoa. One of the most recognized benefits of quinoa is the complete protein profile that it carries which has the essential amino acids needed by the body since it could not produce them all on its own.
In addition to the benefits that this seed carries for the body of the human being, it was also recognized for this year due to its tolerance for stress and that it could be grown in marginal environments. Quinoa is one of the seeds that were paid attention to due to the nutritional benefits it has the chance to carry to the body and at the same time, due to the improvements it could cause for the economic conditions.
- Quinoa is a Nutritious Type of Food
If you are only searching for quinoa benefits and for the reasons why you are supposed to add it to your meals, then it is important to pay attention to the different nutrients and minerals which it could deliver to your body with even a small portion throughout the day. There are different easy quinoa recipes which you could depend on in order to gain all the benefits it could manage to deliver, which is one important thing to be mentioned especially for those who get easily bored from what they are eating.
In addition to carrying the nine essential amino acids needed by the body, there are also other nutrients and minerals which are found in quinoa and which are beneficial for the body. One of these nutrients is the fiber content found which helps in relieving constipation, preventing heart disease, lowering cholesterol and glucose levels, lowering the risk of developing hemorrhoids, and at the same time it might help the person in losing some weight.
It also carries some minerals like iron, magnesium, and manganese, which every single one of them is considered beneficial on its own way. Iron helps in keeping the red blood cells healthy, carries oxygen from one cell to another, and it helps in the function of the brain. Magnesium helps in relaxing the blood vessels, reducing type-2 diabetes, regulating the temperature of the body, as well as forming healthy bones and teeth. And finally manganese carries benefits like preventing the damage of mitochondria when it comes to the production of energy and at the same time it protects the red blood cells and other cells from injury.
Quinoa is also high in riboflavin (B2) and lysine which are essential for the tissue growth and repair and which are also beneficial for improving the energy metabolism in the brain and the muscle cells.
Thinking about whether to cook quinoa or not, we should say that you definitely have to go for it, not only because of the different health benefits related to it which we have mentioned, but also because of the different pieces of information which we have brought through the article showing how much it was considered sacred in the old days and how much the Incas used to appreciate its existence and thus we should be all doing the same these days.