By Shanel Sinclair
We’re always searching for new healthy, organic foods and recipes. If you’re looking to try something new, you need to try quinoa (pronounced kinwa). It falls under the superfood category–foods that are found in nature.
Quinoa is a crop grown primarily in South America. Even though the USDA lists this tiny powerhouse as a grain, it is in fact, technically a seed. Quinoa, a protein and antioxidant rich super-food is actually related to our green friends, spinach and beets. There is no comparison when it comes to the benefits of Quinoa versus grains.
Here are just a few:
- It contains all essential amino acids, which means this is a complete vegetable protein. One cup of cooked Quinoa yields 8 to 9 grams of protein; making it a great plant based protein source and alternative to grains.
- It is rich in minerals, such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, zinc, iron and phosphorous. These are needed for optimal muscle and nerve function, cardiovascular health and bone density.
- It is loaded with fiber and aids in blood sugar regulation. This seed, unlike most grains, is low on the glycemic index, which means it stabilizes blood sugar, improves energy, increases bowel regularity, all of which leads to a smaller waistline. A Win Win situation!
Quinoa can be eaten alone or accompanied by some great friends such as sautéed kale, swiss chard, beet greens or spinach. If you like to add a bit of crunch, try sprinkling some pine nuts on top. Also feel free to add some flax seeds, sunflower seeds, or walnuts for added Omega-3s. Quinoa can also be added to Chicken soup instead of rice and made as a side dish for a great piece of broiled Wild salmon or Red Snapper.
Don’t forget to enjoy this power seed for breakfast as well. Try a nice bowl of puffed Quinoa (Shiloh Farms) with some unsweetened Almond or Coconut milk, fresh organic berries, sliced almonds and a dash of cinnamon.
Cook with Quinoa-try these 25 recipes.
Enjoy and remember to ALWAYS CRAVE HEALTHY!
Shanel Sinclair is a practicing Clinical Nutritionist and a Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Spinning Instructor in New York City. She is active in several organizations such as the American College for Advancement in Medicine, a former Organizer for 4 years facilitating the NYC Celiac Disease Meet-up group and a Natural Figure Competitor with the INBF since 2007.
After completing her clinical nutrition studies, Shanel was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work alongside NYC Naturopath, Dr. Jose Salazar. During that time Shanel’s major focus was on providing her support and expertise on areas including Food Intolerance and Allergies, Auto Immune Disorders, Chemical Sensitivity, HIV Health Management, Weight Loss and Sports Nutrition.
Shanel currently works with Dr. Jeffrey Morrison, MD, CNS, Founder of The Morrison Center.