Quinoa: The Perfect Food

Sabrina Taylor

Most people aren’t sure of the pronunciation and even more underestimate the greatness of this food. Quinoa is a nutritional powerhouse that is like no other traditional grain.

Quinoa is a tiny gluten-free seed that is loaded with minerals and vitamins. Containing all 9 essential amino acids, it is the perfect protein for vegetarians and vegans. Unlike most grains, quinoa is a great source of lysine which plays a valuable role in cellular repair, but that’s not all…

Your body needs magnesium to aid with muscle contraction and this grain is a great source. It also has a healthy dose of iron which helps oxygenate your blood. The higher the oxygen level, the more energy you will have to work out and live an active lifestyle.

Sometimes our bodies need to detox a little. Regular exposure to free radicals can cause oxidative damage and it’s our duty to help flush these toxins out regularly. Rich in the antioxidant vitamins B and E, quinoa can not only cleanse your system, but help reduce inflammation as well.

Healthy fats and fiber are a vital part of our diet because they promote gut health and overall mental and physical health. One cup of cooked quinoa alone can give you 5g of fiber. Did I mention it is an awesome source of protein? Providing 8g per cup, what other grain do you know that can do that?

For fitness junkies like myself, this grain is a staple in my pantry. For those fearful of carbs, don’t be. Quinoa is one of those good-for-you carbs that absorbs slowly into your system so your blood sugar doesn’t spike, but also keeps you fuller for longer. This means you are less likely to cave on cravings and gorge on junk food.

One of my favourite things about quinoa is you can eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Cooked into muffins, burgers, salads and so much more, I’m going to share my post-workout mash recipe with you.

Quinoa Mash Recipe

Ingredients:

– 1/2 cup cooked Quinoa
– 5-10 Cherry Tomatoes
– 1/2 cup diced Bell Peppers
– 1/2 cup chopped zucchini
– 1 tablespoon Low-Fat Cream Cheese
– 1/4 small chopped onion
– 1 clove crushed Garlic
– a pinch of Cayenne Pepper

Step 1: In a frying pan, brown your onion and garlic in a little olive oil. Be sure not to burn it.

Step 2: Add in your remaining vegetables with a tablespoon of water and stir frequently for 3-5 minutes.

Step 3: Once your vegetables have softened up a bit, add in your cream cheese, quinoa and cayenne pepper. Stir until the cream cheese has melted then place in a bowl and enjoy!

I can eat this dish for any meal. It is satisfying and delicious, filled with my favourite veggies and the pinch of cayenne really revs up my metabolism. If you’re not a quinoa convert after this, I’d be shocked.

Author Bio: Sabrina is a clean eating, weight lifting, gym junkie who loves sharing gluten-free recipes and fitness tips at CarryOnDiet.com. As a celiac and fair-weather vegetarian, she knows the importance of maintaining a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle to stay fit and young at heart. Stay connected via Facebook and Twitter.

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