Quinoa boomed into popularity a few years back, so by now most of us have at least tried it and kind of know how to pronounce it (it's keen-wa). This South American grain took our grocery stores by storm because it's been heralded as a superfood, but do you know why? It's pretty simple, really -- there are four main reasons.
1. When it comes to quinoa, it's all about the protein. For some of us, getting our fill of protein in a way that doesn't involve fatty red meats can be a challenge. And that's why quinoa is so great. Unlike the other grains we eat, a serving of quinoa (about 100 grams) actually provides us with 8 grams of complete protein. A complete protein contains all nine essential amino acids your body needs, and it's tough to find in vegetarian form. But quinoa fits the bill.
2. Protein aside, quinoa is also full of fiber. It has almost twice as much fiber as most other grains we eat. Fiber's important because it can help reduce the risk of heart disease and lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
3. Quinoa is high in minerals, too. The ones that most people don't get enough of, like iron and magnesium to name a couple. Iron is essential because it helps keep our red blood cells healthy. And magnesium is good because it promotes healthy blood sugar control.
4. It's naturally gluten free. This is a huge benefit to anyone with Celiac disease or those who are simply gluten intolerant.
There are many other great benefits to eating quinoa, but above are the four main pillars. Now that you know, don't you just want to eat a bowl? Here are the recipes you need to make that happen in the most delicious way possible.
Do you want to be more mindful about eating healthy foods that’ll keep your mind and body at their best? Sign up for our newsletter and join our Eat Well, Feel Great challenge to learn how to fuel your body in the healthiest way possible. We’ll deliver tips, challenges and advice to your inbox every day.
Related on HuffPost:
All the meal hacks and indulgent snacks. You’re welcome. Learn more