Why Quinoa?

Quinoa (KEEN-wah) is a food (actually a seed) that is:

  • a complete protein (contains all eight essential amino acids)
  • a decent source of fiber
  • a good source of iron
  • relatively low on the glycemic index

Quinoa is a great substitute for white rice and potatoes — foods with a high glycemic index. When you choose to put quinoa on your plate instead of white rice or potatoes, you are choosing to keep your blood sugar lower, and in terms of preventing cancer, that’s a good thing.

As reported on Dr. Servan-Schreiber’s website, anticancerbook.com, a recent Swedish study confirmed once again that there is a strong “…link between the consumption of foods with a high glycemic index and the risk of developing breast cancer.”

And…in addition to helping prevent cancer, there are lots of other good reasons for quinoa!  Read NPR’s summary about the health benefits of this wonderful food.

As you can see from the Nutrition Facts label, cooked quinoa contains 4 grams of fat per 185 gram serving (about 1 cup) and none of that fat  is saturated fat. So it must all be unsaturated fats (mono- and poly-unsaturated fat).

Unsaturated fats go rancid when stored for an extended period of time at room temperature.  That’s why I buy quinoa only from stores that have a high turnover of the product (for example, a thriving natural foods store) or from Costco which sells organic quinoa in four pound bags.

To keep the fat  in quinoa from going rancid, I store quinoa (uncooked) in my freezer. But if you don’t have a big freezer, just keep the uncooked quinoa in your refrigerator (along with the cooked quinoa).

Quinoa is the new superfood around my house! We use it in lots of different dishes — from soups to hot cereal (great mixed with steel-cut oatmeal), from side dishes to cold salads.

For how to make quinoa, see Monamifood: Quinoa-Plain and Simple.

Enjoy and be healthy,

~Leni

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