2013 was declared the “International Year of Quinoa” by the United Nations Agricultural Organization. Quinoa, which is used frequently by all European countries along with South America, is not well known in our country.
What is quinoa?
Quinoa is a type of grain. It is obtained from the fruits of the plant of the same name. Quinoa, which is becoming widespread day by day, is very rich in nutritional value. It can be cooked like rice and barley.
Quinoa plant is a perennial herb that grows up to 1-2 meters. Quinoa, which grows naturally on the barren slopes of the Andes in Bolivia and Peru, dates back to BC in this region, according to historical records. 3000-5000 It has been cultivated by the locals ever since.
Archaeological discoveries have been made that the plant was consumed as food in ancient tombs in Chile and Peru. With the arrival of Spanish explorers on the continent, quinoa spread throughout South America and then to Europe. With more than 3000 varieties, the most cultivated and popular types of quinoa are red, white and black. The most consumed is white quinoa.
Benefits of Quinoa
Quinoa also contains a high amount of protein. Quinoa, which is rich in protein, contains amino acids that the body needs. It is a very popular grain among vegetarians and is healthier than animal protein.
Black, red and white quinoa, which has more than one variety, is consumed the most. The nutritional content of quinoa varies according to their color. One study that specifically looked at red, black, and white quinoa found that black quinoa had the lowest fat content, while the highest omega 3 fatty acids. The vitamin E value in red and black quinoa is almost twice that of white.
The same study that analyzed quinoa found that the darker the color, the higher its antioxidant capacity.
It is a grain with high nutritional value.
Below you can see the nutritional content of a glass (185 g) of quinoa. These values are also valid for cooked quinoa.
- Protein: 8 grams
- Fiber: 5 grams
- Vitamins B1, B2 and B6
- Small amounts of calcium, B3 (niacin), and vitamin E
- With 39 grams of carbohydrates and 4 grams of fat comes a total of 222 calories.
- It also contains small amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.
Quinoa is non-GMO, gluten-free and often organically grown.