Quinoa has been touted as a “superfood” in recent years, becoming increasingly trendy due to its reputation for being highly nutritious. But why is it so healthy, are there any downsides to eating it and is there a convenient way to take advantage of all its benefits?
The Nutritional Benefits of Quinoa
When I worked in the city it seemed like quinoa suddenly exploded in popularity, popping up in healthy cafes, Instagram feeds and blogs. Quinoa is so good for us the UN named 2013 “International Year of Quinoa” in recognition of its nutritional value, but what is it that makes quinoa so great? Well firstly, quinoa is what is called a “complete” source of protein. Proteins are made from amino-acids, nine of which are termed “essential” because we can’t fabricate them so need to get them from our food. Quinoa contains all nine of these “essential” amino acids, meaning it is a “complete” source of protein, and one of the few which is plant based as opposed to animal based. Protein helps us maintain muscle mass and normal bones, so it’s a really important part of our diet.
Quinoa is also a great source of magnesium, which contributes to a reduction of tiredness and fatigue, phosphorus, which contributes to normal function of cell membranes, and manganese, which contributes to a normal energy yielding metabolism. Incredible how much one small grain can help us function at our best!
To top it all off, quinoa is also a whole grain and so high in fibre. All of which make quinoa a great way to start the day!
Why British Quinoa?
Quinoa has been grown in Latin America for thousands of years, and was known in the Inca empire as the “mother of all grains”, well before millennials coined the term “superfood”! However, Western demand for quinoa has driven up the price to such an extent that poorer people in countries such as Peru and Bolivia can no longer afford to eat it, which is contributing to problems of malnutrition in these areas. High quinoa prices have also incentivised farmers towards bad practices such as overuse of pesticides and poor crop rotation, which are having a negative impact of the local environment. Channel 4 did a great feature on this you can watch here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hdl8tzldsDY
When we were developing the idea for Quoats we knew quinoa had all these great nutritional benefits, but the implications of using it didn’t sit very well with us, which is why we were so excited to find Peter Fairs growing quinoa in Essex! Peter grows all sorts of different crops, and was growing quinoa well before it became trendy on social media. As farmers, we believe strongly in knowing where your food comes from, as well as using great British produce, which is why we were determined to use British quinoa in our Quoats pots.
When I was working in my office job I really wanted to eat a healthy breakfast to get a great start to the day, but I never had time to make one and the options on offer didn’t seem particularly nutritious. That’s why we created Quoats – it’s a super easy way to get the nutritional benefits of quinoa in a convenient way! Our pots contain British flaked quinoa (you can see the difference between the flaked and whole quinoa below), as well as oats and flax, meaning you can simply add boiling water, stir, and they’re ready in three minutes. All that goodness in the time it takes to make a cup of tea – let nature do the hard work! Convenient, healthy and tasty - buy your Quoats here: www.quoats.co.uk/Shop-1
Did you know?
Quinoa is a pseudo cereal, and from the same plant family as beet, chard and spinach?!