6 benefits of quinoa and how to consume it from nutritionists

May 30, 2023 0 Comments

Quinoa is a flowering plant of the amaranth family that originates from the Andes Mountains of South America. This plant produces edible seeds in a variety of colors such as red, black and white. After the seeds are harvested, they are processed to remove the outer coating of saponins (bitter-tasting compounds that act as a natural pesticide for the plant).

Quinoa seeds act like a grain when cooked, certified nutritionist Isabelle Smith, RD, CDN, told mindbodygreen. Quinoa is considered a whole grain; however, since it’s technically a seed, it’s actually a pseudograin—a food that can be used just like cereal grains.

“Quinoa has a mild nutty flavor and a pleasant chewy texture. It’s easy to incorporate into your diet because it’s so versatile,” says Jen Sheinman, MS, RDN, functional nutrition coach.

Although it tends to be more expensive than other grains such as rice, the higher price tag may be worth it because it is a high-quality source of nutrition. It is a gluten-free whole grain that is low in fat and an excellent source of fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

“Quinoa is a nutrient-dense food, meaning it contains a variety of nutrients that are important to our bodies,” says Jordan Hill, MCD, RD, CSSD, a registered dietitian nutritionist who specializes in sports nutrition.

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