This amazing little grain has reached super-food status for good reason!
Largely unknown in the US until about 15 years ago, it has been consumed for thousands of years in South America. An important crop for the Inca Empire, Quinoa was referred to as the “mother of all grains” and was believed to be sacred. It technically isn’t a grain, but a pseudo-cereal, which basically means it’s a seed and its health benefits are numerous.
Quinoa is a complete protein source, particularly when compared to most plant foods. It contains all the nine essential amino acids that we need. The glycemic index of quinoa is around 53, which is considered low. That’s important because eating foods that are high on the glycemic index can stimulate hunger and contribute to obesity. Packed with vitamins and minerals—especially Magnesium, Potassium, Zinc and (for women) Iron—as well as being high in antioxidants, it’s also much higher in fiber than most grains. Quinoa is naturally free of gluten and using it instead of typical gluten-free ingredients can increase the antioxidant and nutrient value of a gluten-free diet.
All this makes it a perfect healthy snack food, which is why Quinoa is at the heart of NUWI.