The final post in our culinary trends series features a grain that has become increasingly popular in recent years: quinoa. It was first domesticated 3,000 to 4,000 years ago by the Incas in South America, who coined it the “mother of all grains”. The quinoa plant with its edible seeds was praised by the Incas then, and is wildly popular now among people of all backgrounds and ethnicities. In fact, it is one of the most consumed superfoods on the market today!
Quinoa is an excellent source of protein and contains all the amino acids the body needs to help keep you fuller longer than other grains. Lysine, an amino acid in quinoa, helps the body build lean muscle, strengthen the immune system and boost serotonin levels.
Quinoa is also fiber-rich; a single cup of quinoa serves a fifth of the recommended daily amount (RDA) of fiber, which helps promote healthy digestion and keeps energy levels elevated for longer. Quinoa has a low glycemic index and won’t spike and crash your blood sugar levels like some other simpler grains, so it is a good choice for diabetics and any other individuals that want to regulate their blood sugar.
Quinoa is also vitamin-rich and supplies 15% of the recommended daily amount of iron, which boosts brain health and promotes muscle function. It contains a third of the RDA of magnesium, which helps stave off osteoporosis and heart disease and regulates blood pressure and diabetes. It provides almost half of the recommended amount of manganese, an essential nutrient that affects blood pressure, brain function, hearing and more. Quinoa is also rich in B vitamins, providing antioxidants that optimize oxygen delivery throughout the body. Flavonoids in quinoa reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and inflammatory conditions.
Lastly, quinoa is gluten-free, making it ideal for individuals with Celiac Disease or other gluten sensitivities or allergies. With so many benefits, eating quinoa will make you feel better and full of energy. Try our delicious and easy recipe for a Quinoa Breakfast Bowl:
3 cups milk (can substitute almond or soy milk if you prefer)
½ cup quinoa, rinsed
½ cup steel oats
¼ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ cup flaxseed meal
4 tsp maple syrup
1 cup fresh blackberries
¼ cup dried apricots (coarsely chopped)
- Combine 2 cups milk with the quinoa, oats, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and then reduce heat to medium-low for 15 minutes.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and let it stand for 5 minutes. Stir in the flaxseed meal.
- If storing, let cool then place in a container and refrigerate. If serving immediately, divide into four bowls. Top each bowl with 1 tsp maple syrup, ¼ cup blackberries, 1 tbsp dried apricots and ¼ cup milk. Enjoy!
Alternately, try topping a bowl of cooked quinoa with scrambled eggs and fried vegetables for a savory breakfast treat. A serving of quinoa is an excellent, nutrient-packed way to start any day.
As part of our mission to change the way the world ages, we are dedicated to promoting happy and healthy lifestyles. Our holistic approach to care through our Balanced Care Method™ encourages positive habits like following a healthy, balanced diet to promote longevity and quality of life.