I bet quite a few of you have been wondering what’s up with quinoa (pronounced “Keen-Wah”). Quinoa has become popular over the last few years because it has more protein than any other member of the grain family. In fact, it can contain up to 50% more protein than common grains and is higher in many other nutrients as well!
Quinoa: Whole Grain or Not?
Interestingly, quinoa is considered a “pseudo grain”. Pseudo grains, like amaranth, flaxseed and buckwheat, are technically not grains as they come from a broad leaf plant. Our more familiar wheat, corn, rice and oat grains come from a grass plant.
Quinoa is actually a fruit! However, nutritionists still consider it a grain and in its unprocessed form are considered a whole grain.
Nutrient Profile of Quinoa
There are many different varieties of this grain including white, sweet, red and black. Although different varieties will have slightly different nutrition, they are all a great source of protein at over 8g per cooked cup, which is 16% of the daily value!
Quinoa also contains:
- Saponins (a phytochemical)
- 15% of the daily value for Iron
- 5 g fiber per cooked cup
- 30% of daily value for magnesium
- 28% of daily value for phosphorus
- 58% of daily value for manganese
- 18% of daily value for folate
- > 10% of daily value for thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin b6, zinc and copper