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Crazy for Quinoa

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is one of the latest and greatest superfoods on the market today.

Its popularity stems from its super-grain qualities derived from the seed of the quinoa plant, which is connected to the spinach family. Centuries ago, quinoa was the major focus of the ancient Incan diet. Today, North Americas can’t get enough of the quinoa trend and the wide array of health benefits that come from eating it.

So if you’re not “crazy for quinoa” yet, consider these benefits:

  1. Packed with Protein – One cup of cooked quinoa has about 220 calories and more than 8 grams of protein. Unlike most grains, Quinoa contains all nine amino acids, making it a complete protein.
  2. Gluten Free – If you suffer from Celiac disease or gluten intolerance, quinoa will be your new food best friend. Quinoa is unrelated to wheat, making it the perfect substitute for pasta and flour. You can grind, boil, bake, steam and even fry quinoa.
  3. High in Riboflavin (B2) – Riboflavin improves energy metabolism within the brain and muscle cells. This essential vitamin also promotes vessel expansion in the brain to reduce headaches and migraines.
  4. Aids weight loss – Quinoa is high in fiber and low in fat. The little fat that is present contains essential omega-3 fatty acids, which promote further fat burning, while keeping you full much longer than dishes made with rice or pasta.
  5. Heart and Blood Vessel Function – This super-grain is good source of magnesium, a vital mineral required for optimal metabolism, cardiovascular and blood vessel function.

 

Not only is quinoa packed full of health benefits, it’s easy to cook and compliments any diet. So the next time you’re at the grocery store, try incorporating quinoa into your favorite meal to ensure that it’s protein-rich and full of vitamins.

Weekly Health Tips are brought to you by UCF Health, the College of Medicine’s physician practice. Offering primary and specialty care under one roof, UCF Health treats patients age 16 and up in primary care and age 18 and up for specialty care. Most major insurance plans are accepted. Two locations are now open: the original in East Orlando at Quadrangle and University boulevards just blocks from the main UCF campus and in Medical City at Narcoossee Road and Tavistock Lakes Boulevard. Schedule an appointment online today.

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