Quinoa is a gluten-free pseudocereal (rather than a grain) from the family of beets, chard and spinach.
It is high in protein and contains all 9 essential amino acids, so is a complete protein. These amino acids can’t be produced by the body so must be provided for in the diet.
Quinoa is rich in phytonutrients, which help fight inflammation. It also has higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fat than other grains. In addition, quinoa is a good source of lysine, unlike many other grains, and this is needed for the synthesis of proteins.
Quinoa has a high fibre content with 5.18 grams in a 185-gram cooked cup, which helps support healthy digestion. It has a low glycaemic index (GI) and is naturally gluten-free so is suitable for those with coeliac disease or gluten intolerance.
Quinoa contains prebiotic fibre which feed the beneficial gut bacteria we have, which help support immunity. It is also rich in vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant. Quinoa is a source of manganese which is needed for development and metabolism, specifically for enzyme function.
In addition, it contains iron which is needed for oxygen transport. Finally, quinoa contains 2 flavonoids called quercetin and kaempferol which have anti-inflammatory effects.