Nutritional Benefits of Quinoa

As quinoa gains in popularity, here's why you should add it to your diet

Credit: Flickr/Kristen Taylor

The quinoa we eat is actually the seed of the quinoa plant

Foods, like fashion, cycle in popularity. So it is with quinoa (pronounced keen-wa), a grain-like food once revered by the Incas

Quinoa “grains” are really seeds harvested from the quinoa plant – a relative to Swiss chard – and can be cooked just like rice.

Why Quinoa is Good for You

Unlike rice and wheat, which lack the amino acid lysine, quinoa offers a complete source of protein, as well as iron, magnesium and fibre. It’s also gluten-free.

Quinoa has a slight nutty flavour. It can easily be transformed into a side dish by adding lemon, parsley and garlic, or diced tomato, cilantro and jalapeño.

Try boiling it in reduced-salt vegetable or chicken broth. Use quinoa in stir-fries or stews, or add cooked, cooled quinoa to a fresh salad.

Originally published in Wellness Matters, Canada Wide Media’s quarterly newsletter on health and wellness.