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Quinoa Nutrition – Cook Quinoa For A Healthier Lifestyle

Quinoa Nutrition is a new way to add a healthy food to your meals to help you live a healthier life style without sacrificing taste.

What is QuinoaQuinoa

Many people look at Quinoa and confuse it for some sort of grain, but it is actually a seed that originates from the Andes Mountains of South America. Quinoa was grown over 5000 years ago by the Incan people. It was known as the “the mother grain” in their language. It was a such an important part of the Incan culture, that every year the Inca king would plant the first row of Quinoa with a solid gold spade. The entire ancient Incan civilization spanning from the coast of Chile all the way to the snow capped peaks of the Peruvian Andes was fed by this amazing tiny little seed.

If this is your first time hearing about Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah), you’re not alone. It is just gaining more attention today and more people are learning about the nutritional value of this super food. Although it is probably rare to find in most people’s pantries, Quinoa will soon become a staple in most kitchens. The seed  has a pellet-like appearance with a slightly crunchy texture and a sort of nutty flavor. Some of Quinoa’s relatives include Swiss chard, beets, and spinach. This little seed, which was once referred to as the Gold of the Incas, is well on its way to becoming well known and a part of the worlds nutrition.

How Quinoa Is Grown

Many people in the United States have never heard of quinoa, but it has been around in South America for over 5,000 years. Residents of Peru, Chile, and Bolivia have been eating it as a staple of their diets for generations.

When the Spanish arrived in South America, they destroyed the quinoa fields and suppressed quinoa production, as it was associated with what the Spaniards perceived as non-Christian, indigenous, ceremonial backwardness. Thus, wheat was cultivated in the Andes region. Their use of the nutritious seed was almost entirely lost. But the knowledge was passed down, and in the 20th century, Americans began cultivating quinoa in the United States.

It is grown in areas of Colorado and once again prospers in the fields of South America. Most quinoa in South America is grown at high elevations of 12,000 feet or more. The arid conditions are just right for the quinoa plant, which thrives in the mountain regions unlike other grains such as wheat. The grain is harvested by hand, cleaned, and then refined for consumption.

Quinao Protein – A Super Food With Nine Essential Amino AcidsQuinoa Nutrition

Quinoa protein is one of the most complete types of protein you can get. It’s not hard to see why this food is considered one of the best super foods in the world when you take a quick look at the nutrients that Quinoa contains. What you are most likely to here about Quinoa is that it is a good source of protein, but it’s not just any old protein. Quinoa provides complete protein that contains nine essential amino acids. It provides more amino acids, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients than most other grains. This is why it is labeled so often as a super food. This alone makes it the perfect choice for health fanatics, vegetarians, vegans, or anyone concerned about getting a healthy dose of protein in their diet. The one amino acid that Quinoa is especially rich in is lysine. Lysine is the amino acid that is essential for healthy tissue growth as well as repair.

 

 

A quarter of a cup of Quinoa has 160 calories, 2.5 grams of fat (20 calories from fat and 0 grams of saturated fat), 5 mg of sodium, 39g carbohydrates, 3g fiber, 0g sugars, 6g protein.

 

Quinoa Nutrition Facts

Quinoa Nutrition Facts

 

 

 

What Can Quinoa Do For You

Quinoa nutrition has more benefits than most people know about. Other than being a complete protein with nine essential amino acids, it is loaded with calcium, dietary fiber, iron, and phosphorus. Magnesium which is also abundant in Quinoa has been recognized for being beneficial for relaxing blood vessels. Magnesium, along with riboflavin, appears to benefit those who suffer from headaches, even migraines. Manganese joins with copper to form an enzyme which guards against cell damage caused by free radicals.

 

 

 

 

The optimal profile of the essential amino acids, comprising a complete protein:

Essential Amino Acid mg/g of Protein
Tryptophan 7
Threonine 27
Isoleucine 25
Leucine 55
Lysine 51
Methionine+Cystine 25
Phenylalanine+Tyrosine 47
Valine 32
Histidine 18

Another added health benefit gained by eating Quinoa is the reduction of the risk of heart disease. More specifically, it not only helps reduce the risk of heart disease, but type 2 diabetes, cataracts, and gallstones as well. Quinoa nutrition provided in your meals is also great way to increase iron intake naturally, which is important for pregnant women to help increase their baby’s healthy development.

Many people substitute Quinoa in their diets with grains such as rice because it is lower in carbohydrates than grains. For those on a weight loss program or diet, adding Quinoa nutrition to your meal is a great way to manage your hunger since it is a very filling food that releases its energy slowly throughout the body. This will satisfy your appetite longer making it easier to keep your self from eating too much without feeling like you are starving.

If you need to eat a gluten-free diet, then this is a new food that is necessary for you. There are numerous ways to add quinoa nutrition to you diet and in your recipes. Since it is gluten-free, and has many of the same characteristics of grains most people normally eat, it can easily be a replacement for those items.

Cooking Quinoa

quinoa nutritionCooking Quinoa is very easy. Most raw quinoa you buy in the stores is most often pre-rinsed. If it isn’t then all you need to do is rinse it in a colander lined with cheesecloth. Most of the stores that sell Quinoa in a package come with instructions as well. Simply follow the directions on the package. If you purchase it from a bulk bin, then Quinoa is cooked similar to rice; add two parts water for every one part Quinoa. Bring it to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer and cover with a lid. It usually only takes about 15 to 20 minutes to cook. It will absorb all of the water just like rice and should have a light, fluffy appearance. Once Quinoa is cooked it will have a nice light texture and a mild, slightly crunchy and nutty flavor.

Once cooked, you can substitute quinoa into any of your recipes that call for rice or it also makes a nice side dish all alone. You can use quinoa in many pilaf dishes, adding vegetables, and seasonings to taste. Try adding herbs and seasonings to it and serve it alongside fish, chicken, pork, or beef for a tasty side dish with great crunchy texture.

Serving Quinoa cold in salads is another favorite way to get a nutritious meal. Try adding ingredients such as spring onions, sweet corn kernels, green bell peppers, kidney beans, and celery into a bowl of cooked and cooled quinoa, toss, mix in a balsamic vinaigrette dressing for some pizzazz, and you have a light salad that’s full of flavor.

You can serve Quinoa at any meal, and is available in several forms, such as flakes and even flour. Use the Quinoa flakes to make a breakfast cereal similar to the consistency of malt-o-meal and add berries, nuts, and milk. The flour can be used for baking along with whole grain wheat or as a substitute. Fitting Quinoa nutrition into a healthy diet is not at all difficult with the number of choices you have.

If you look in your local grocery store around the grain section where you find the rice, you can usually find Quinoa products available. Some of the products available that make it easy to add to you meal are the instant bags that you can cook in your microwave for 90 seconds. They are typically a delicious mix of brown rice and Quinoa. They are very convenient and taste great with just about any meal you can think of serving up.

When you start to add Quinoa nutrition to you diet, you will be looking for all sorts of ways to serve it. If you just look around, you will find all sorts of ways to make healthy, nutritious meals to your diet. It won’t be long before you are making room in you pantry for this very versatile super food.

 

Quinoa Recipes

Quinoa Tacos are one of my favorite dishes to make. They are quick, easy, healthy and taste great. If you want the recipe check it out below.

 

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There are usually some great Quinoa recipes on the back of the packages of Quinoa products that you purchase. Take the time to try them out. They are very easy to make and tasty as well as nutritious.

Here are some examples of the recipes for Quinoa that you will find on the back of the packages.

 

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
Ingredients:
  • 1 Cup Quinoa
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 4 large or 6 medium Green Peppers
  • 1 medium Onion, diced
  • 1/2 sb. fresh Mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. Butter
  • 1 – 28oz can Tomatoes, coarsely diced (reserve juice)
  • Garlic Cloves, crushed
  • 1 – 12oz jar of Mexican Salsa
  • 2 Tbsp dry Sherry
  • 10oz Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
Directions:
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Cook Quinoa as normal. Steam 4 large or 6 medium green peppers until soft but not limp. In a large skillet. saute’ onions and mushrooms in butter. Add the crushed garlic and Mexican salsa. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add the sherry and simmer 10 more minutes. Fold in quinoa. Place peppers in baking dish and fill with quinoa mixture. This will take about half the mixture. Thim remainder with reserved juice and pour around peppers.
Sprinkle shredded mozzarella over peppers and bake in 325 degree oven for 30-35 minutes.

 

Quinoa Pilaf
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup Carrots, diced
  • 1/2 cup Green Onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup Celery, diced
  • 1/4 cup Green Pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup Red Pepper, diced
  • 6 cups Quinoa, cooked using basic recipe
  • 1/4 cup Butter, or Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves Garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup Almonds, sliced
  • 1/4 tsp. Oregano
  • Salt to taste
Directions:
Saute vegetables in butter or oil until crisp: stir in oregano. Add sauteed vegetables to cooked quinoa, mix well. Salt to taste, Add almonds. Serves 6.


10 Responses to “Quinoa Nutrition – Cook Quinoa For A Healthier Lifestyle”

  1. Laila says:

    I wanted to know if someone has high blood pressure and eats Quinoa …well it drop.the blood pressure a lot since they eat this and take pills at the same time? I really appreciate an respond.

    Thank you

    Laila Sabetimani

    • Anthony says:

      Quinoa is a great addition to your meal plan if you are looking to lower high blood pressure, because of its low sodium content.

  2. Paula says:

    I guess then that 1.5 cups of cooked quinoa is about 330 calories?

    Very nice website. I and vegan 5 years and just started substituting quinoa for rice and just love it. I think it’s more nutrient dense than brown rice, no? How does it compare?

    • Anthony says:

      Quinoa is definitely a little bit above brown rice as far as the nutritional value you get. Don’t get me wrong, brown rice is great and I love mixing quinoa in with it to get a bit more variety in my meals. But if you compare the nutritional values of the two, you will see that as far as protein is concerned, Quinoa offers a much more complete protein profile. Both brown rice and quinoa are extremely healthy, and equally tasty.

  3. all recipes says:

    You only helped me satisfy my hunger. Nice info on the topic, keep up

  4. Calories in 1/3 raw (uncooked!) quinoa says:

    Hello,
    I would appreciate if you could kindly tell me how many calories are there in 1/3 cup raw UNCOOKED quinoa
    and how many in a 1/4 cup of raw UNCOOKED quinoa.
    Please make sure while answering, my question refers to an UNCOOKED seeds of quinoa.
    I hear so many numbers ans so I would like to know once and for all for sure.

    Many thanks in advanced

    Best regards,
    Gila

    Also, how much is one serving size recommended?
    Again, uncooked – raw please

    Your answer would be very appreciated!!
    Thanks again!!
    Gila

    • Anthony says:

      1/3 cup of raw uncooked quinoa will be approximately 208 calories and 1/4 of a cup of raw uncooked quinoa will be about 156 calories. I’m not sure what you are referring to as far as how much is one serving size recommended. Serving size should be determined on your goals, weather you are trying to lose weight or just eat healthier. You should find out what your caloric intake should be and plan out your meals according to how many calories you want to eat through out the day. It is all going to depend on you and your goals. If I was eating 1500 calories a day and I wanted to add quinoa to my meal then I would figure out the serving size based on what other foods I was eating with it. I hope this helps.

  5. Brian says:

    A the bottom of the Essential Amino Acid Chart, the article says “it is lower in carbohydrates”, but in the blue Highlighted area, it says “a quarter cup of Quinoa has 29g of carbohydrates”. Now, if you want to lose weight, isn’t that a little too high, and what about the Fat Content, isn’t that a little too high, also? In the Nutrition Chart, it says the serving size is 185g. So what measurement is that? Is it a 1/4 cup or a 1/2 cup? Looking at the Nutritional Chart, one can see that Quinoa is NOT nutritional as they say, but if you add the Essential Amino Acid Chart, one could get a better picture? Wouldn’t you say so? And based on these findings, isn’t it better to stick with Brown Rice than Quinoa? I think Brown Rice does not have the Fat and Carbohydrate Content like Quinoa.

    • Anthony says:

      Great question, It looks like I have a typo in the blue area that needs to be fixed. Thanks for catching that. Here is the information that you need to know about brown rice vs. quinoa. According to the USDA, 1 cup of cooked brown rice has about 215 calories, 5 g protein, 1.75 g fat, 45 g carbohydrates, 3.5 g fiber and 1 g natural sugar. A cup of cooked quinoa has 220 calories, 8 g protein, 3.5 g fat, 39.5 g carbohydrates and 5 g fiber. Quinoa is in fact slightly higher in fat, but it beats brown rice in the amounts of protein and dietary fiber per serving. Quinoa is a much better choice for vegetarians or vegans since it is more difficult to get enough protein in those types of diets. Quinoa has all of the essential amino acids in it, whereas brown rice doesn’t make up a complete protein on its own.

      It is important to remember that cutting carbs out of your diet completely isn’t the proper way to lose weight. If you are looking to lose weight you should eat healthy. I recommend counting how many calories you eat every day and limit it your caloric intake to what is recommended. I typically eat about 1500 calories a day in healthy foods.

      I also recommend to avoid any simple carbohydrates such as those that come from processed flour such as white bread. Eating carbs from foods like brown rice and quinoa isn’t going to cause you to gain weight because they are complex carbohydrates that your body doesn’t break down as quickly. This is another reason why brown rice or quinoa is recommended over white rice.

      You should also avoid any foods high in processed sugar. You have to be careful because foods like ketchup and BBQ sauce contain a lot of sugars. Processed flour and sugar are two of the biggest reasons why so many people are over weight. They are every where and are difficult to avoid if you aren’t monitoring your diet very closely.

  6. Franny says:

    Is quinoa a good substitute for gluten intolerances? I had food intolerance tests done at my naturopath as my body also reacts to gluten free products. I have never heard of this product – has anyone experienced success in switching to quinoa?

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