Why You Should Add Quinoa to Your Grocery List

Logo_Dave_AppleA client asked me a while ago if I could provide one suggestion for healthier eating that might have flown under the radar.

Based on a little bit of research, it seems like adding quinoa is a good idea. Here’s why:

Quinoa can be used for a pilaf as shown above.

Pronounced (KEEN-wah) , quinoa is a little known whole grain that was discovered about 5,000 years ago by the Incas.  The Incas referred to quinoa as the mother of all grains.  In modern times, research confirmed this ancient wisdom.  In fact, the United Nations referenced to quinoa as a “super crop” for its potential to feed the world’s hungry and NASA found it to be the ideal food for long-duration flights.  Even further, the National Restaurant Association named quinoa as the hottest trend in side dishes for 2010.

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Although it is technically the seed of a large plant called Chenopodium quinoa, a distant relative of spinach, beets, and chard, the US classifies it as a whole-grain.  Here’s why I’d recommend it:

  1. Quinoa is one of only a few plant foods that provide all the amino acids (protein building blocks) necessary for a “complete” protein.  Studies show a half-cup of cooked quinoa makes more than 4 grams of protein.
  2. Quinoa is documented to reduce risk for stroke, type-2 diabetes, and heart disease.
  3. Quinoa supports weight management as it helps you feel fuller, longer.
  4. Quinoa ranks the highest among all grains in potassium (159 mg in half cup), associated with a beneficial effect for lowering blood pressure.
  5. Quinoa is high in iron and most B-vitamins, which is good for energy, hair and nails as well as the nervous system and circulatory system.
  6. Quinoa is a good source of zinc, a trace mineral beneficial to prostate gland and reproductive organs.
  7. Quinoa is a good source of copper, an essential mineral for metabolic processes in association with amino acids and vitamins.
  8. Quinoa is a good source of magnesium, a vital mineral to heart function.
  9. Quinoa is a good source of manganese, a trace mineral involved in various metabolic functions such as formation of connective tissue (like tendons and ligaments), blood sugar regulation, immune function and fat and carbohydrate metabolism.

The only downside is for those who need to reduce oxalate consumption due to risk for kidney stones.  Quinoa does have oxalate, so consult with your physician or nutritionist if concerned.

Thank you for reading and best of health to you!

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About Dave Barnas, M.S., CES, NASM-CPT

Dave is a True Health Guru. He is the founder and owner of True Health Unlimited, LLC, a personal health and fitness company in Tolland, CT. Dave earned both a Bachelor's (1998) and Master's Degree (2000) in Nutritional Science from the University of Connecticut, and also holds certifications as a National Strength and Conditioning Association Certified Personal Trainer, National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist, Aerobics and Fitness Association of America Group Instructor, and Nutrition Specialist. He's also the lead author for four published works. Dave has over 18,000 hours of combined experience in nutrition counseling, dietary supplement advising, personal training, corrective exercise training, health coaching and public speaking. In addition, he's spent over 20 years studying spirituality, meditation, and personal growth strategies. Dave's clients are all ages: youth, college championship level athletes, folks in their retired years, and everywhere in between. He's worked with three of the nation's leading physicians as a dietary supplement advisor and been a guest lecturer at Harvard University, Yale University, UConn, St. Joseph College and various church groups, health clubs, and high schools. In 2013, he was invited to Whole Foods Market to share his Real Food Therapy Guide. And in 2015, Dave's funny "Snowga" (yoga in the snow) video caught the attention of The National Weather Channel, who aired it to shake off cabin fever and bring laughter. In 2016, Dave & Hollie (his beloved) began writing evidence-based Wellness Newsletters to spread a message of health and happiness to various small businesses throughout Connecticut.

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