Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Most commonly considered a grain, quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is actually a relative of leafy green vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard. It has a light, fluffy texture when cooked, and its mild, slightly nutty flavor makes it an alternative to white rice or couscous.

The protein content of quinoa is very high, and it is a complete protein, meaning that it includes all nine essential amino acids. This means it takes less quinoa protein to meet one's needs than wheat protein. Quinoa is especially well-endowed with the amino acid lysine, which is essential for tissue growth and repair. It is a good source of dietary fiber, riboflavin, and phosphorus, is gluten free and considered easy to digest. Because quinoa is a very good source of manganese as well as a good source of magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorous, it may be especially valuable for persons with migraine headaches, diabetes and atherosclerosis.

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