Wellness Wednesday by Nurse Fiona- Quinoa

 In Health & Wellbeing, Lifestyle, Nutrition


Quinoa is a 7000-year-old plant that originated in South America. It is commonly referred to as an ancient grain although it is not a grain, it is a seed and does not contain gluten.

Quinoa is a complete protein source meaning it contains all 20 amino acids needed for optimal health. 1 cup of quinoa contains 8 grams of protein, which is a large amount for a plant based protein. Quinoa is also a great source of fiber helping to cleanse our digestive system and great for feeding our good gut microbes or our ‘micro-biome’. To top it off this seed is rich in manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, folate, copper, iron, zinc and selenium!

Benefits of Quinoa

  • Antioxidant: Quinoa is rich in antioxidants. A diet rich in antioxidants can delay the ageing process and may help to prevent cancer.
  • Helps maintain gut function: Quinoa is known as a prebiotic. This means it feeds the beneficial bacteria living inside our guts. By feeding this commensal flora, we are strengthening our immune system and lowering inflammation.
  • Great gluten free alternative: Quinoa is naturally gluten free. It is a great gluten free alternative for those intolerant to wheat.
  • Supports healthy bones and teeth: Quinoa contains a high amount of manganese, magnesium and phosphorus. These nutrients are necessary for supporting bone and teeth health

How to introduce quinoa into your diet

  • Quinoa can be purchased at bulk stores. Nurse Fiona recommends opting for organic quinoa to ensure the grain is full of nutrients. Quinoa can be stored in cupboard for months so its best to buy bulk.
  • To enhance flavor of quinoa, add ¼ tsp turmeric, salt pepper & sprinkle of coconut oil whilst boiling
  • Quinoa can be used in a delicious salad, as a porridge substitute or to make delicious gluten free cookies or cakes
  • Rinse quinoa for 10 seconds prior to cooking
  • Boil for 10 minutes on stove top, turn off heat, cover and leave for 20 minutes. Cooked quinoa will keep for 3-4 days in fridge so you can use this in your lunches

Nurse Fiona’s quick Quinoa recipes

1) Boiled turmeric quinoa: This quick dish can be made in bulk then stored in jars or containers in fridge for up to 4 days.

1 cup quinoa

1/2tsp ground turmeric

1tsp coconut oil

Pinch salt and pepper

-Rinse quinoa for 10 seconds

-Add 1 cup of quinoa and 3 cups of boiling water

-Add turmeric, salt, pepper and coconut oil

-Boil for 10 minutes

-Turn off heat and cover pot. Leave for 20 minutes

-Enjoy hot or cold quinoa

-You can add freshly squeezed lemon or salad dressing to add further taste to the quinoa

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