Superfood tip: Ancient seed offers contemporary option for protein
Looking for a way to ditch grains while increasing protein and fiber in your diet? Consider a flowering plant in the amaranth family, believed to have been grown by the Aztecs and Mayans.
Quinoa is a seed, but not a grass, like wheat or rice. It doesn’t contain gluten. Rather it’s a pseudocereal botanically related to spinach.
The experts at WebMD offer five reasons to try quinoa:
• It’s packed with protein: Quinoa will help your muscles grow. Rarely do you find all nine essential amino acids in one little, plant-based food.
• It helps beat diabetes: It’s a great grain for people with diabetes due to its high-fiber content and helps maintain good blood sugar control.
• It’s mom’s milk: It’s a great fuel for lactating mothers, because it’s so rich in iron, B vitamins, zinc, and calcium.
• It helps you stay alert: The high iron content helps oxygen reach all parts of the body — especially the brain, which boosts alertness.
• It helps fight headaches: The magnesium-rich super seed helps fight migraines.
To cook it, treat it like rice, and add two cups of water for every cup of quinoa, or buy one of the many quinoa products available, including pasta, flour, and breakfast cereals.