Five thousand years ago, quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) originated in the Andean region of Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru and Colombia. The Incas considered quinoa to be sacred, and they referred to it as chisaya mama or ‘mother of all grains.’ The Incan emperor would traditionally sow the first seeds of the season using “golden implements.”
Now science has shown the Incas were onto something: this ancient seed is actually a superfood! Quinoa is full of phytonutrients, antioxidants, high-quality protein and fiber, and can even help balance your blood sugar, a crucially important aim for dealing with dementia. You may or may not have heard of Diabetes III; it’s the term applied to brain cells that have lost their ability to consume glucose and are therefore dying.
Reducing the amount of refined or “white” carbs (wheat, rice, and corn) and replacing them with foods that both satisfy the mouth and support pancreatic and cellular health is imperative for avoiding Diabetes III. Quinoa is an excellent replacement for these hard-to-digest grains because it can be prepared to be light, fluffy, slightly crunchy, and always easy to assimilate.
What is Quinoa? A Gluten-Free Choice
Although it cooks and tastes like a grain, quinoa is actually a seed related to the beet and spinach family. (Grains like wheat, rye and barley come from grasses.) When cooked, quinoa is subtly flavored, making it an excellent replacement for grains that are difficult to digest or that feed the systemic fungal infection known as Candida.
Although quinoa is delicious, its flavor is only part of why quinoa is such an amazing “supergrain.” 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. In particular, it supplies:
- Complete protein. Quinoa contains all 9 essential amino acids that are required by the body as building blocks for muscles.
- Magnesium. A high magnesium level helps relax your muscles and blood vessels and lowers blood pressure.
- Fiber. Quinoa is a wonderful way to ensure that you consume valuable fiber that eases elimination and tones your colon.
- More minerals than any other grain. Quinoa also contains more calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, and zinc than wheat, barley, or corn.
Quinoa, in its unprocessed form, has been associated with the prevention and treatment of arteriosclerosis, breast cancer, diabetes, and insulin resistance.