There is one small, incredible grain that is often forgotten, overlooked or underestimated for what it can do for our health. Labeled superfood, the quinoa is one of the very rare grains that hold such a high quantity of protein, vitamins and minerals – in such a tiny package! Shaped like the seeds of a green pepper and with a taste very similar to rice, it is versatile, easy to cook and so healthy, you will wonder why you never tried it before – or why you aren't eating more of it! I can say, though, that I lift my hat to those who cultivate it as it is quite a load of work to shell. Apparently, there are machines for that, but I worked for a couple of months on a farm that grew it and since it was so tough to get the grains out, half ended up being fed to the chickens.
This plant has been cultivated and eaten by the Inca for over 5000 years. One of their staple foods, they raved about how quinoa grains were the secret to how they managed to stay so healthy and full of energy. This must surely be because they are packed with phytonutrients, antioxidants and help balance blood sugar levels – an essential part of keeping your energy levels up. And, being so easy to digest, your body keeps this reserve of energy for other tasks.
You also get the benefit of eating this grain as a whole. Well, if you have seen them before, you wouldn't be surprised that companies haven't started splitting them yet. Furthermore, they contain more amino acids, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients than almost all other grains. It contains complete protein (perhaps the only grain with that quality), magnesium, fiber, manganese, copper, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, iron and zinc, and more so than wheat, barley or corn. It helps maintain weight and fights arthrosclerosis, breast cancer, diabetes and insulin resistance. Researchers say that it can fight quite a lot of diseases because it is such a complete food, one of the most complete ones found in nature.
It also acts as a prebiotic that feeds the microflora in your intestines, is easily digested for optimum absorption, is gluten-free.
Use it like you would use any other grain, such as rice, barley, wheat or corn. It works great in soups, saues, as a side dish and many more creative ways you can think of!
Oh, and the plant is a beautiful shade of fuscia-purple!
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