Quinoa, referred to by Incas as the mother of seeds, was considered sacred. Its history dates back 3000 to 4000 years and has been the staple food of the Incas. When the Spanish conquistadors came, they prohibited the cultivation as they see it as an inferior food and insisted on growing wheat instead. Fortunately for us, some brave Incas continued to grow them.
Quinoa is native to Peru, it is farmed as a food source due to its palatable starchy seeds. A wonderful substitute for flour, it is so tasty and also gluten-free which makes it great for pancakes! In its natural form, cooking takes only about 15 minutes.
Technically speaking, grains are grasses and quinoa is not a grain. In fact, it’s a seed from a non-grass species of Chenopdium plant. But I guess the name “grain” has stuck to it.
What this superfood has to offer in terms of health is enormous. It contains all nine essential amino acids and one of the most protein-rich food you can find. It has all the essential vitamins and minerals needed for good health. Quinoa has lysine, which is essential in tissue growth. It is high in Riboflavin that improves energy metabolism in the brain cell including muscle cells.
Quinoa is also packed with manganese, an antioxidant which helps mitochondria, the digestive system of the cells that generate the energy needed by the cells in performing their job. It also protects the red blood cell from harm caused by free radicals.
It is rich in magnesium that helps regulate our body temperature, alleviate migraines by relaxing blood vessels. By maintaining blood sugar level, it helps people with Type 2 diabetes.
This super seeds can keep our blood cell healthy and sustain a good supply of oxygen to our brain and body cells because of its iron content. Iron aids the body in promoting energy metabolism and enzyme activity. The fiber content of quinoa is twice as much as most grains. As we all know, fiber can help us lose weight by keeping us feeling full longer. It can relieve constipation and reduces the risk of high blood pressure and diabetes as it lowers the cholesterol and blood sugar in the body.
Do you know that the sticky and soapy film called saponins that prevent birds from eating quinoa in the fields are also used in the production of wash clothes detergents in South America?
I guess the Incas were right in calling quinoa “the mother of seeds”… and that’s a thumbs up!
Planning to join the next marathon?...Build up your endurance with quinoa!
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