The history of quinoa roots in the Aden region of South America, currently divided between the Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Columbia, Ecuador, and Peru. Quinoa was one of the two mainstay power foods for the Inca Empire. Quinoa was a food that could survive in a wide variety of growing conditions and combined with its unusual nutrient richness it gain popularity among the Incas for hundreds and hundreds of years.
The word "quinoa" is pronounced "KEEN-wah." It comes from the Spanish word, quinua, which itself comes from the word "kinwa" or "kinua" in the Quechua dialect.
Where as most grains are considered to be inadequate as total protein sources, quinoa is actually considered a complex protein source for our diets. This is great news specially for vegetarians looking for healthy protein alternative.
In terms of fat content, unlike most grains, quinoa is typically considered to be a valuable source of certain health-supportive fats. About 25% of quinoa's fatty acids come in the form of oleic acid, a heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, and about 8% come in the form of alpha-linolenic acid or ALA—the omega-3 fatty acid most commonly found in plants and associated with decreased risk of inflammation-related disease.
Although not consider a good source of vitamin E by the WHFoods rating system (and neither any other grain) quinoa contains significant amounts of certain tocopherols (vitamin E family members) largely absent from most grains closely associated with certain anti-inflammatory benefits in health research. Quinoa is also a good source of RDA nutrients like folate, copper, and phosphorus in contrast to whole wheat, which does not qualify as a good source in our rating system.
Additionally, another highly important mineral - calcium - is specially concentrated in quinoa in comparison to other grains: as an example, it provides over twice the amount of calcium founded in whole wheat.
Quinoa’s antioxidants properties are outstanding: It provides a variety of antioxidant phytonutrients and many members of the vitamin E tocopherol including important amounts of gamma-tocopherol. Quinoa is a very good source of antioxidant-promoting manganese. Resent studies have taken a close look at certain antioxidant phytonutrients in quinoa, and two flavonoid - quercetin and kaempferol - and found in especially concentrated amounts, sometimes greater than in high-flavonoid berries like cranberry or lingonberry!
Further research also shows that the unique combination of anti-inflammatory compounds in quinoa may be the key reason for decreased risk of inflammation-related problems (including obesity) on animals feed quinoa daily. It is also a good source of heart-healthy magnesium, folate, and fiber, as well as bone-building phosphorus and copper.
The list of health related benefits of quinoa intake goes on and on, making it undoubtedly unique and special among all grain-related foods. For us, the overall level of nourishment provided by quinoa itself, make it one of our all time favorite cooking ingredients, well beyond being just a non-gluten food source. Gluten Free Cuenca invites you to give quinoa a try, whether in your salad, morning cereal, or of one our many nutritious products!