Quinoa (just to impress your friends, its pronounced KEEN-wah) is gluten-free, high in protein and one of the few plant foods that contain all nine essential amino acids. It is also high in fiber, magnesium, B vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E and various beneficial antioxidants. Quinoa is high in anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, which make it potentially beneficial for human health in the prevention and treatment of disease. Quinoa contains small amounts of the heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids and, in comparison to common cereal grasses has a higher content of monounsaturated fat.

As a complete protein, quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids – including the lysine and isoleucine acids, which most other grains lack. Naturally high in dietary fibre, quinoa is a slowly digested carbohydrate, making it a good low-GI option.

One cup of cooked quinoa contains:

  • 222 calories
  • 4 grams of fat
  • 13 milligrams sodium
  • 39 grams carbohydrate
  • 5 grams fibre
  • 8 grams protein
  • 1.2mg manganese (58% RDA)
  • 118mg magnesium (30% RDA)
  • 281mg phosphorus (28% RDA)
  • 77.7mg folate B9 (19% RDA)
  • 0.4mg copper (18% RDA)
  • 2.8mg iron (15% RDA)
  • 0.2mg vitamin B1 (13% RDA)
  • 2mg zinc (13% RDA)
  • 0.2mg vitamin B2 (12% RDA)
  • 0.2mg vitamin B6 (11% RDA)
  • 318mg potassium (9% RDA)
  • 5.2mcg selenium (7% RDA)
  • 1.2mg Vitamin E (6% RDA)