by Dietitian Ellen
Say “quinoa.” I dare you. :)
I’ll admit, when I saw “quinoa” for the first time, I said, “What is ‘quinn-oh-ah’?”
Try saying “keen-wa.” You will impress a dietitian, I promise.
Although technically the seed of a plant similar to spinach, quinoa acts like a whole grain and contains twice as much protein, per serving, as most whole grains like rice, pasta, couscous, or oats. Quinoa dates back to the ancient Incas of South America, where it was used as a primary staple of the diet.
Today quinoa is widely used in appetizers, soups, salads, entrées, and even breakfast meals. You will also find quinoa being added to healthier chip options. Don’t be surprised if you see quinoa available on restaurant menus, too! Due to its high protein, fiber, phosphorus, magnesium, and iron content, this food, with a nutty flavor and crunchy texture, is an athlete’s dream food. Quinoa can typically replace alternative grains in any recipe to boost the nutritional profile of that meal or snack. Quinoa is a complete protein, which means it contains all the essential amino acids, which are vital for the development of lean muscle mass.