It has been 50 years this year since quinoa first appeared in the Western diet. At a time when the vegan movement was just emerging, this seed imported from South America immediately seduced by its richness in essential nutrients. Today, it invests the shelves of supermarkets and comes in almost all sauces. Nutritionists praise quinoa, and dieticians recommend it without hesitation. All seem to agree on the incomparable nutritional contribution of this cereal. So much so that quinoa is often described as the ultimate vegan complete food. But what can make such a small seed so exceptional? What are the potential benefits that this cereal can bring to our health? And how do you cook it to get the most out of it? Close-up on quinoa, the cereal that has become a superfood.
Why would everyone benefit from eating quinoa?
It must be said, quinoa is unanimous! This cereal with multiple virtues does not sport the elitist image that generally accompanies superfoods. No compromise between goodness and taste is necessary with quinoa. In fact, among vegans, quinoa is the ideal alternative for a balanced diet rich in proteins. While in everyday cooking, it enhances the flavor of dishes and brings a characteristic delicate aroma. It even gets the favor of big brands. As can be seen on https://www.tipiak.fr/produits/quinoa, the great restaurant classics are reinvented with quinoa. Ordinary dishes as well as elaborate recipes are enriched in colors, textures, but also in flavors thanks to quinoa.
In addition, quinoa enjoys such a reputation that it is beginning to appeal to French farmers. Indeed, a few farms are developing in the country, particularly in the Berry region and in Anjou for example. Quinoa rubs shoulders with wheat and barley all year round. Farmers make it a point of honor to produce fully organic quinoa made in France. In addition, the richness of the soil combined with a mild climate has given birth to a variety that is even more appreciated by gourmets. French quinoa can be recognized by its blond livery. It pleasantly surprises with its crunchiness and gourmet flavor which open up a new perspective on cereals. Today, quinoa made in France is carving out a place of choice on the cereal shelves. And he easily rubs shoulders with red and white varieties imported directly from South America.
What are the benefits of a diet that includes quinoa?
The title of superfood suggests the enormous potential of quinoa for health. In this tiny grain, nature provides a true concentrate of incredible properties. Packed with vitamins and a source of antioxidants, quinoa also has a moderate glycemic index. In addition, thanks to its fibrous texture, this cereal greatly improves digestion. However, quinoa stands out above all for its richness in essential nutrients. These are mainly amino acids and proteins that the body cannot make on its own.
A cereal providing a high level of amino acids
Quinoa alone provides 8 of the 9 essential amino acids the body needs. Currently, we only know one food from the plant world that can provide as much: soy. You should know that amino acids participate in cell construction . And that only a balanced diet can meet the daily intake necessary for better health on a daily basis. Among other things, a diet that includes quinoa provides sufficient amounts of lysine , an amino acid that is often lacking in most vegetarian diets. And yet, it helps build the immune system against infectious agents. Also, lysine is of paramount importance by its participation in the synthesis of growth hormone. On the other hand, methionine, cystine, arginine, histidine and isoleucine are among the beneficial contributions of quinoa. This cocktail of five essential amino acids ensures, among other things, the synthesis of red blood cells and the maintenance of kidney functions. Their presence also allows the body to make keratin, the building block for healthy hair and skin.
Quinoa for a diet rich in vegetable proteins
Quinoa is made up of 15% protein. That’s more than the average combined protein in pasta and rice! Along with soy, these are the two most protein-rich plant foods. The contribution of quinoa, both qualitative and quantitative, is similar to that of milk. Indeed, this cereal has the advantage of combining a well-balanced range of amino acids and a high amount of protein. Quinoa thus provides most of the needs for a healthy and complete vegetarian diet. Moreover, as the body does not store proteins, a balanced daily diet is essential. Without protein, the body would be unable to maintain the integrity of its muscle structure.
Quinoa, a gluten-free food
Like other superfoods, quinoa supplies essential nutrients to the body. However, it stands out for its low gluten content. Indeed, prolamins, the proteins at the origin of gluten are present in very small quantities. Quinoa is therefore the ideal answer for a gluten-free protein diet.
How to integrate quinoa into everyday cooking?
Quinoa can be enjoyed in almost any sauce for a varied, but balanced diet. In salads, as a garnish for meat or as a dessert, there is no shortage of ways to cook it. However, to retain most of its properties, prefer short cooking times. Also, the texture of your quinoa depends entirely on the cooking time. Allow 12 minutes on low heat for a firm and crunchy filling. On the other hand, it will take at least 15 minutes to bring out the sweetness and mellowness of this gourmet cereal.
Generally, a prior rinsing allows to reduce the natural bitterness of quinoa . Quinoa can be served both hot and cold: in salads, in verrines, in risotto, in gratin, in soup … Its crunchiness particularly enhances tender textures such as shrimp , avocado, salmon, etc. the mix of flavors and textures never ceases to amaze each time.