Quinoa: An In-Depth Guide to the Amazing Health Benefits, Uses, and Other Darned Interesting Facts of this Beloved Body Ecology "Grain"

Posted April 12, 2007. There have been 33 comments

Over 5000 years ago the Incas cultivated the grain-like seed quinoa as one of their staple crops.

Now science has shown that this humble "grain" is actually a superfood! Quinoa is full of phytonutrients, antioxidants AND can even help balance your blood sugar.

As a result, people everywhere are discovering the benefits of quinoa, a delicious whole "grain" that is easy to digest, full of high quality protein and fiber, and can form the basis for delicious Body Ecology meals.

You've probably heard that you should eat whole grains, but try the gluten free grain-like seed called "quinoa" instead of wheat. Quinoa provides more amino acids, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients than most other grains!

"Quin-WHAT?"

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is not a grain; it is actually a seed and related to the spinach family. When cooked, quinoa is light, fluffy, slightly crunchy and subtly flavored. It actually cooks and tastes like a grain, making it an excellent replacement for grains that are difficult to digest or feed candida (a systemic fungal infection).

But its flavor is only part of why quinoa is such an amazing "supergrain."

Some of the nutrients in quinoa include:

  • Complete protein. Quinoa contains all 9 essential amino acids that are required by the body as building blocks for muscles.
  • Magnesium helps relax your muscles and blood vessels and effects blood pressure. Quinoa contains high levels of this vital nutrient.
  • Fiber. Quinoa is a wonderful way to ensure that you consume valuable fiber that eases elimination and tones your colon.
  • Manganese and copper. Quinoa is a good source of these minerals that act as antioxidants in your body to get rid of dangerous cancer and disease-causing substances.

Compared to other grains, quinoa is higher in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, manganese, and zinc than wheat, barley, or corn.2

Studies have shown that quinoa has documented health benefits too!

Quinoa, in its whole grain form, may be effective in preventing and treating these conditions:3

  • Artherosclerosis
  • Breast cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Insulin resistance

Researchers attribute the health benefits of quinoa to its complete nutritional makeup.

Quinoa is close to one of the most complete foods in nature because it contains amino acids, enzymes, vitamins and minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients.

Quinoa: A Body Ecology Grain

We recommend quinoa because it does not feed fungal and bacterial infections in your body (and doctors estimate that 8 in 10 Americans have fungal infections, like candia!)1.

Quinoa has other qualities that make it an ideal "grain":

  • Quinoa acts as a prebiotic that feeds the microflora (good bacteria) in your intestines.
  • Quinoa is easily digested for optimal absorption of nutrients.
  • Quinoa is gluten-free and safe for those with gluten intolerance, people on a celiac diet, and for autistic children who follow the Body Ecology program for autism.

To learn more about Body Ecology "grains" read The Risks of Consuming Typical Grains & the Healthy Grains to Choose Instead.

Quinoa in the Kitchen

Quinoa is especially easy to cook and can be enjoyed year-round because it's versatile and light. You can use it in warming winter soups or refreshing summer salads.

Make sure you rinse your quinoa and then soak for at least 8 hours to remove the phytic acid that can prevent proper digestion.

We like to add B.E. Wholegrain Liquid to the soaking water to add some beneficial bacteria and further soften the "grains" before cooking.

Cook quinoa 15 minutes or less, and it's ready to mix with a variety of ingredients to create diverse and delicious meals.

Here are some ideas for your next quinoa meal:

  • Sautee garlic, onions, and spinach with coconut oil to top your quinoa.
  • Make a summery salad by chopping raw carrots, zucchini, cultured vegetables, and onions over quinoa.
  • Use quinoa with vegetable broth and your choice of vegetables for a nutritious soup.
  • Make a rich gravy for your quinoa for a satisfying alternative. This gravy recipe is easy and delicious.

Quinoa, a delicious gluten free grain-like seed, is full of nutrients and acts as a prebiotic to feed the healthy microflora in your intestines. Get high quality, organic quinoa delivered to your door today!

Quinoa makes a great breakfast meal and can be enjoyed in its wholegrain form or try quinoa flakes hot cereal as a wonderful replacement for oatmeal!

We also recommend eating quinoa in the evening. It is the ideal easy-to-digest food to eat in the evening because it encourages a good night's sleep.

To aid your digestion even more, be sure to add fermented foods and drinks, like cultured vegetables and probiotic liquids.

Quinoa can be your superfood: regulating your blood sugar, enhancing elimination, and keeping your heart healthy. Add this "mother grain" to your diet and enjoy the health benefits of quinoa, just like the Incas did thousands of years ago.

Sources:

  1. Quinoa, WHFoods.org.
    http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=142
  2. The Largely Unknown Health Epidemic Affecting Almost ALL Americans, BodyEcology.com.
    http://www.bodyecology.com/06/12/28/unknown_health_epidemic.php
  3. Oelke, E.A., et al, "Quinoa," Hort.Purdue.edu.
    http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/afcm/quinoa.html
  4. Quinoa, WHFoods.org.
    http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=142

Post Categories: Candida Fermented Foods Probiotics

33 Comments

  • Sorry to inform you Alex H but it seems that you have not done your research. Coconut oil , its milk and meat are very healthy for you.
    It contains medium chain fatty acids which are very beneficial to your health. Coconuts have healing properties and many health benefits. In my findings canola oil is bad due to the processing of the oil. Also you must make sure you are using the correct olive oil as well due to rancidity and gmo's. Im not trying to be rude at all just informative as I have read several books and done much research to back this up and suggest you do the same. Check it out for yourself. The info is all there!

    Posted on Jul 24 at 9:19 am

  • I use Quiinoa Flour, it can be added to many recipies. I make bagels and muffins with it. I try not to use too much as it affects the flavour slightly. I find it best to mix it with other flours. You may like the flavor though. I made a pizza crust all with quinoa and found that it had a strong flavour. I find even small quantities (1/2 cup per a dozen muffins give me noticable benefits - energy and seemly a blood sugar/awareness improvement)

    Posted on May 23 at 12:43 pm

  • I would agree with Bo that giving up yeast ie bread, although hard at first, appears to have been helpful too.
    i have discovered the delights of corn tortillas and of popadums. i feel satisfied but healthier in my food habuts.
    it is so quick to put corn in bowl, add a little water, mix with hand into pliable ball, and then divide firther into small balls. line each side if tortilla press with cling film, press and the ball widens into thin tortilla.
    this is a real find for me. dry fry each side for a very short time and ut is so versatile.

    Posted on Apr 3 at 7:37 pm

  • On Food Combining, may we eat quinoa with chicken or beef? Or only veggies? How about adding nuts to either?

    Thank you for your help,
    Valarie

    Posted on Jan 5 at 12:58 pm

  • My friend is from Peru where guinoa originated & she grew up eating quinoa. She said she washed the grains a couple of times, soaked it for several hours & then cooked it in different recipes. I buy organic quinoa from Peru & Bolivia but the instructions do not say to soak the grains but wash it then proceed to boil it in water for 15 minutes & add whatever you want to eat it. So soaking it for 8 hrs isn't suggested??

    Posted on Sep 26 at 11:13 am

  • Great depth :-)

    Posted on Sep 12 at 5:06 pm

  • Bo
    I too get sinus and thrush problems now due to extra steroid inhalers for asthma when I was ill - just a step too far for me......
    Many antibiotics, salt washes - including snorting - HORRIBLE.
    My dentist then said just stop eating mushrooms - the difference! I love them but I hate thrush so a simple choice really.
    What do you think - anyone had other advice?
    I have this yeast problem too - really sets me off! My sister has given me some rice crepe roll mix to try to use as bread wraps - I must admit I do like some sort of sandwich.

    Posted on May 24 at 3:44 am

  • I do hope that quinine is this good, as I am taking this regularly and it is great food!
    I do get mine from 2 excellent health stores (fussy and knowledgeable) and I always get the best quality produce from them above all the others BUT I still have t was that quinine really well.
    Check it for yourselves - the eliminating makes any rising water quite soapy and the water does not run clear until I rub it a little and rinse thoroughly.
    Further, I was told that soaking overnight then pertaining time and, strangely, somehow enhances the nutrients in these seeds. The cooking method is to use about 3 cups of water to one cup of quinine and stir often. It is worth it as it enables up to a week's supply if kept refrigerated.
    It may be used as sweet or savoury dish and I like to smother it in fruits or vegetables, hot or cold and I love the versatility, simplicity and speed = healthy fast food.

    Posted on May 1 at 2:43 am

  • My son is on GAPS .IS this grain recommended for him.

    Posted on Nov 11 at 4:45 am

  • The best thing on this page: "You giving your two sense is rude..."

    I so agree. You should give three of four sense at the least. Rude!

    Posted on Sep 27 at 4:48 pm

  • Soaking Quinoa.

    Soak the grain to remove any saponins, which can be a mildly toxic irritant to the eyes, respiratory system or gastrointestinal tract. Some store bought quinoa has been processed to remove saponins, but some has not. It is probably best practice to just soak it anyways, especially if you buy raw or in bulk.

    Posted on Sep 7 at 7:15 am

  • FYI re: candidas...there are good and bad carbohydrates! When addressing candidas...you must eliminate ALL sugar and bad carbs. White flour, pasta,rice,etc is the culprit!!
    Stick w/ good carbs like green leafy veg, etc. If you juice, you can substitute a pear or red pepper vs carrots,etc that are high in sugar.

    LISA...the atkins diet is the worse diet ever...you need to watch "FORKS OVER KNIVES" ( netflix ) and read the "China Study". I suggest you seek out an excellant Naturopathic,Acupunturist, or alternative medicine related to address yr candida if you have had this for 13 yrs. DIET is the utmost important.

    Posted on Sep 6 at 9:08 pm

  • Here's how I cooked my quinoa:
    1) A tbl spoon of olive oil
    2) add garlic and onions to taste
    3) add one cup of quinoa
    4) briefly mixed them all together
    5) add 2 cups of hot chicken stock /or vegetable. Salt to taste
    6) cook in low heat for about 15 minutes
    7) add shredded cooked chicken breast
    8) once it's cooked, remove from heat, add arugula, green onions, shredded carrots, tiny pcs of tomatoes w/o seeds.
    9) mixed them all together. You can eat it hot or cold once left in the fridge. I bet you'll love it.

    Posted on Sep 5 at 7:57 am

  • Quinoa is AWESOME!! I do it post workout and also in the morning for breakfast. Usually with some unsweetened almond milk.

    Posted on Aug 26 at 5:30 pm

  • First amongs quinoa recipies suggested on this page is:
    "Sautee garlic, onions, and spinach with coconut oil to top your quinoa."
    Pity no-one was thinking much when suggesting using coconut oil for low-heat sautee!
    Coconut oil is very UNhealthy - 86% saturated fat, and practically no polyunsaturates, and one of those healthy omega-3. Canola (Rapeseed), Sunflower seed oil even Olive oil would be a healthy choice to sautee here.
    Incidentally, soaking an washing may not be necessary if the seeds have been "polished" before packaging. Read the instructions - gently simmering (save energy) without soaking for 15mins works fine for me.
    Enjoy.

    Posted on Aug 22 at 6:29 am

  • I soak my quinoa for 15 min and then rinse it. I also cook mine with equal parts water ex: 1c quinoa and 1c water, it turns out perfect and fluffy.

    My favorite thing to do with quinoa is eat it for my breakfast. I make a big batch of quinoa to use during the week and I love it in a cold cereal, I use quinoa, strawberries, banana, splenda and skim milk.

    Posted on Aug 21 at 5:28 am

  • Connie. Please stop giving out crappy advise. We get good advice from educated sources not from you. Donna gates said to soak it therefore you giving your two sense is rude and contradictory. There is a plethora of bad advice out there. We don't need more mass confusion.

    Posted on Aug 20 at 6:12 pm

  • NO NEED TO SOAK QUINOA. USE ONE CUP QUINOA TO TWO CUPS OF WATER. A4 A LITTLE BILLION, BRING TO A BOIL, REDUCE RIGHT AWAY TO A SIMMER, PLACE A LID ON THE POT, COOK FOR ABOUT 15 TO 20 MINUTES, AND EAT

    Posted on Aug 16 at 8:29 am

  • I wish someone would submit answers to the questions submitted! It would be most helpful.

    Posted on Jul 6 at 9:32 am

  • Quinoa is both healthy and enjoyable but it ia not a cure for diabetes and diabetics experiencing any rapid weight loss or gain should undergo a health check that includes a blood sugar check over a 24 hour period, not one-off. Diabetes is a potentially lethal conditon and needs expert care and regular monitoring apart from a healthy diet. It would be irresponsible for promoters of any food to suggest that their product could remedy chronic illness.

    Posted on Jul 2 at 1:30 am

  • Can someone please post the exact cooking directions? Thanks!

    Posted on Jun 15 at 6:27 pm

  • I have just staring eating Quinoa. I boil it in chicken stock for taste. Then addred it to a chicken casserlole after draning off the excess water. Very tasty and filling. I also avoid carbs, so a grat source of fibre. I have moderately high chlesterol so I am waiting to see if this reduces at all

    Posted on Mar 28 at 11:41 pm

  • Nicole,
    I've also had a candida/sinus problem since my teens, thus most of my life... (Now 64)
    The medicine they give you to clear up the sinus infection kills the micro-flora, (good bacteria) in your intestines that is necessary to keep the candida from forming an overgrowth issue in your digestive tract... As a result you end up with candida overgrowth... I've had four (4) operations on my sinus's over the years to remove my sinus polyps...

    In an effort to lose weight I stopped eating breads and started eating Soft Tacos/Tortillas... Since my last operation +/- five (5) years ago, my doctor was astounded that I had no polyps at my last checkup... When I told him I had eliminated yeast from my diet he said he was going to let all of his other ENT Doctor associates know about it so they could tell their clients to try it... I don't know if he did or not as I have moved from Tucson, AZ where he practiced, back to North Carolina, but I do know that I've never had a sinus infection or sinus headache since I've eliminated yeast from my diet...

    Just wanted to share this experience with you and our fellow sinus sufferers...
    Try it, breathing through you nose again is truly a wonderful experience, especially while your sleeping... NO YEAST, NO HEADACHES, NO CANDIDA OVERGROWTH...

    Wishing you the best... Please share with your friends...

    Bo

    Posted on Mar 6 at 8:45 am

  • I've had very severe candida 13 yrs. Too many carrots, peas, peanuts, or snap peas make me sick. I can't have any cheese or cream even. I've been on a fairly strict version of the Adkins diet for 8 years, because otherwise I get sick.

    I was very surprised when quinoa didn't make me sick--at all! I was so happy to be eating something like a grain, I tried eating a lot--no problems at all! I have no idea how that works when Adkins diet people say you can't eat it because of the carbs. Somewhere I read it normalizes blood sugar? I don't know, thankfully, it never gives me problems!

    I just soak it for 45 min to an hour (or a bit over) then strain. I am too worried soaking overnight/8 hours will grow some nasties on there, and I can't have that :P

    Posted on Feb 27 at 9:21 am

  • How much of the CocoBiotic would I use in accordance with the Quinoa soaking process??

    I plan on soaking 1 1/2 cups dry Quinoa (6 cups cooked), so how much of the CocoBiotic should I incorporate??

    Posted on Feb 9 at 12:11 pm

  • I am a diabetic with levels of 7.9 .
    I ate Quinoa for 3 months (minimum 1 meal a day) and my diabetes dropped to 7.0!

    The best thing about Quinoa is also that I am losing weight.

    i would sincerely say that this is one of the best food in the world to eat.

    Posted on Jan 14 at 12:43 pm

  • I'm confused about the soaking and then cooking. You are supposed to soak it for 8 hours prior to cooking and you use twice as much water as you do the quinoa.

    How much water do you use to soak the quinoa?

    Do you dump that water out prior to cooking because it has the phytic acid in it?

    If you dump that water out, how much more clean water do you add to it for cooking?

    When you are ready to cook, do you take the amount of water that you are adding back into it to boil first and then add the wet/soaked/drained quinoa to?

    Do you boil the water first and then add the quinoa and then cook for 15 minutes?

    I tried making it last night. It tasted pretty good, but I don't want to overcook it and destroy all the nutrients and I don't want to cook it in the phytic acid water if it's not supposed to be.

    Thanks,
    Liberty

    Posted on Nov 11 at 11:07 am

  • I love this little grain! I cook it half and half with wild rice, add dried cherries or cranberries and some soy or rice milk, a little honey, and it makes a great breakfast or mid day snack!

    Posted on Oct 24 at 8:33 am

  • I have used it and know of its goodness. Also Irish moss is great for reducing your weight, and adding several minerals to your body. It contains zinc, iodine and iron and b vitamins. It is a great source for women for we reduce in iron on a monthly basis so it is vital to replace it. It helps with weight loss, pms, mood swings and iodine issues.

    Posted on Oct 22 at 5:07 pm

  • I take medicine for my thyroid, since quinoa is related to the spinach family is it wise to eat this grain

    Posted on Sep 16 at 7:41 am

  • After a workout I blend cooked quinoa in with some cottage cheese. I also add the cooked quinoa into my blender breakfast drink.

    Posted on Jun 30 at 7:05 pm

  • I make a healthful breakfast cereal by combining equal parts millet, Buckwheat groats and quinoa and cook in water(covered pot), for about 10-15 mins.

    Posted on May 17 at 7:02 am

  • Thanks for your information! I love quinoa, and have a chronic candida sinus infection I am trying to rid! I did a year ago for a few months and it started clearing up! I WAS eating quinoa! I just get confused though with many websites saying any carbs feed the fungus.... but I do not believe it does!! If anyone can elaborate on this, that would be fantastic!! ;)

    Posted on May 12 at 10:58 pm

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