Quinoa, a popular and healthy ingredient to add to your dishes
This year has been declared by the FAO as the International Year of Quinoa and due to this, the popularity of quinoa has been expanding remarkably. Today we tell you about this pseudocereal that can be a popular and healthy ingredient to add to your dishes.
Quinoa and its properties
By definition, quinoa is not a cereal or a legume, but is called a pseudocereal that has very attractive nutritional properties for all types of diets, since it has a very particular and beneficial distribution of proteins, fats and hydrates.
Unlike legumes, quinoa has less protein, but it has higher protein content than cereals such as rice or corn. Likewise, the proteins that this pseudo-receal has are of good quality and contain amino acids that are absent in the most common cereals.
In addition, it differs from legumes and cereals by containing a higher proportion of fat, but most of these are of good quality, highlighting the contribution of omega 6 and omega 3.
Regarding its hydrate content, quinoa has a similar amount of this nutrient than legumes, therefore, its contribution is lower than that of cereals. Likewise, it is important to clarify that quinoa contains a greater amount of fiber than rice, corn or wheat, therefore, it is an excellent alternative to whole grains and has a low glycemic index.
Finally, despite containing more proteins and fats than cereals, quinoa does not have a greater energy contribution, but has a similar amount of calories per 100 grams. And as you would expect from this popular food today, it offers remarkable vitamins and minerals such as iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, selenium, zinc, vitamin E, and B vitamins.
As we can see, quinoa is not stingy in nutrients and it is a particular but very attractive combination of properties that it has to offer us.
Quinoa in the kitchen, at the service of health
Quinoa for all its qualities has a lot to offer to the health of the organism, since we can use it in the kitchen in different preparations and to satisfy different needs.
For example, quinoa can be the ideal substitute for many cereals for celiacs, as it does not contain gluten and we can use it in hot or cold preparations such as rice, or we can make sweet preparations with this ingredient, replacing oats with it. , for example.
Likewise, quinoa, because it is a low glycemic index ingredient, with a lot of fiber and quality proteins, is ideal for those looking to lose weight, as it noticeably swells absorbing a lot of water during cooking and satisfies us while offering good nutrients.
It is also a very noble ingredient in the diet of people with diabetes and high cholesterol, as it contains fiber and good fats that help improve the lipid profile without sharply increasing blood glucose.
Due to its insoluble fiber content, quinoa contributes to intestinal function, helping to prevent or reverse constipation and can also be of help for athletes, as it offers an ideal combination of hydrates, a source of energy, healthy fats, proteins and micronutrients that contribute neuromuscular functioning.
For vegetarians, this ingredient is very versatile and appropriate, as it offers good plant-based proteins and many other valuable nutrients.
We can begin to add this popular and healthy ingredient to our dishes through a soup for example, in a salad with chicken, in a plate as a garnish, or we can use it to make vegetarian burgers, a breakfast with milk and fruits, a sweet dessert, cakes, or to fill vegetables, for example, zucchini or aubergine stuffed with quinoa.
Quinoa clearly has not become a popular ingredient due to its worldwide promotion, but it has very good properties to offer us and therefore, we can begin to use it as part of our dishes in the service of health.