You may have been hearing a great deal about quinoa lately and wonder just what is quinoa grain? While quinoa is often referred to as a grain and is treated like one in cooking, in all actuality it is not a grain at all! Rather, quinoa is a seed that is related to chard, beets and spinach. Although the entire plant is edible, only the seeds are widely available. Although quinoa grain as not been available in the United States for long, cooking quinoa has recently become more popular. This is largely in part to a nutritional profile that is more than just a little impressive.
Quinoa is very often called a “super-food” and a “super-grain”, and not without reason! Quinoa is very unusual for a plant food, because it contains all nine of the amino acids that we need to survive. Unlike other grains, quinoa is an excellent source of lysine, an amino acid that our bodies rely on for cellular repair. The amino rich protein makes quinoa a complete protein source. While this is great for anyone concerned with their health, this is especially important to vegans and vegetarians who are concerned about getting enough protein.
The carbohydrate content of quinoa is low-glycemic. This makes cooking quinoa grain great for diabetics as well as anyone who is trying to watch what they are eating. The amazing quinoa nutrition facts don’t stop there however!
Quinoa and Migraines
Individuals who are suffering from migraines should consider making quinoa a regular part of their diets. This is thanks to the fact that quinoa is loaded with magnesium and riboflavin. Magnesium helps reduce the constriction in your blood vessels, because it relaxes them. Research shows that individuals who increase their consumption of magnesium have fewer headaches and the headaches that they do have do not last nearly as long. Riboflavin works to improve the energy metabolism in the brain this can decrease the frequency that you experience headaches.
Quinoa is loaded with other vitamins and minerals as well. It is a great source of manganese, iron, calcium, copper and phosphorus.
If you haven’t tried it yet, you will be happy to know that quinoa is very easy to prepare. In fact, anyone can learn how to cook quinoa perfectly! (In fact, I even taught my husband how to cook quinoa grain) It can be cooked on the stove top or in a rice cooker. You can even cook quinoa in a microwave rice cooker! It is one of the most versatile foods that you can ever hope to find. I like to use it in stir fry recipes, black bean recipes and to make a quinoa salad. Check out my favorite quinoa grain recipes below.
Quinoa Recipes to Try!
Wendy’s Favorite Quinoa Recipe