Most people who have heard of quinoa think it’s a grain, and judging by how it’s pronounced, some assume it’s from the Orient. But technically, quinoa is a seed, not a grain and it’s grown high in the Andes Mountains of South America. Quinoa plants have been cultivated at altitudes of well over 10,000 feet and have been considered a superfood for at least a few millennia — in fact, the Incas cherished it as a superfood of their own.
Eat one cup of quinoa (a single serving size), and you’ll consume:
- 220 calories (70 percent carbs, 15 percent fat, 15 percent protein)
- 40 grams of carbohydrates (13 percent daily value)
- 8 grams of protein (16 percent of daily value)
- 3.5 grams of fat (5 percent daily value with no saturated fat)
- A glycemic load (blood sugar spike) of only 18 out of 250
- 5 grams of fiber (20 percent of daily value)
- 20 percent of daily value of folate (various forms of Vitamin B)
- 30 percent of magnesium daily value (beneficial for people with migraine headaches); 28 percent daily value of phosphorous; iron (15 percent); copper (18 percent); and manganese (almost 60 percent)
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