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Quinoa Is the Cereal Superfood

Quinoa Superfood Salad

Quinoa, often described as a superfood, recently gained popularity for its many health benefits. Due to its high nutritional value, quinoa has been shown to promote cardiovascular protection, antioxidant and immune health, and increased insulin sensitivity. But what gives this superfood such high nutritional value? A 2014 review published in the journal Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition revealed that when compared to other cereals (such as rice, wheat, barley and maize), quinoa provides a greater source of protein; fiber; vitamins B1, B2, B6, C and E; and minerals -- especially calcium, phosphorus, iron and zinc. Quinoa is a rich source of protein due to the excellent balance of all essential amino acids, especially lysine, which is uncommon in plant based foods. Quinoa is also gluten free, making it a great, nutritious choice for those with Celiac disease.

Quinoa can be easily incorporated into your diet. For perfect quinoa, use twice as much water or broth as quinoa and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat so liquid is simmering and cover for 15 minutes until the quinoa has absorbed all the liquid. It’s as easy as making rice!

Here are some ways you can incorporate quinoa into your daily diet:

1. Add to salads

2. Mix into gluten free pancake mixes to increase protein content

3. Add to stir fry

4. Use in vegetable wraps

5. Make a veggie burger

Bottom Line: Quinoa is a great nutrient-dense food that is rich in protein. It's easy to add quinoa into your diet to increase the nutritional value of your meals. Replace any grain with quinoa when possible.

Written by: Lisha Andrew, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern

Try this refreshing Quinoa Mixed Fruit Salad recipe to get started.

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