Quinoa has been rated by the WHO as possessing a quality protein which is similar to cow’s milk. It has been classified as a super crop by the United Nations because of its nutritional value: high protein levels, minerals and vitamins. .Quinoa is not a grain (as often indicated commercially) it is a pointed, oval and flat seed. It may be pale yellow, red or even brown in colour. It is unpalatable in its natural state – it contains saponins which impart a bitter taste (these protect the seeds from birds) You can remove the taste by soaking the quinoa seeds in water and rinsing it out a few times. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, offers benefits to the heart and is also easy to digest. It is gluten free.

In Bolivia it is recommended for inclusion in the diet of nursing mothers.

It is a good source of:

  • Minerals – phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, copper and manganese
  • Vitamins – B6, Niacin and Thiamin
  • Complex carbohydrates (dietary fibre)
  • Lysine – an essential amino acid for creating protein
  • And low in fat.

In early times, quinoa was cooked and ground to a paste and applied on bruises. It’s medicinal uses ranged from treating motion sickness and appendicitis to bone problems and for nursing mothers. In fact a poultice of quinoa flour was applied on broken bones. Quinoa is ideal for those suffering from allergies to the grass family since it is a leafy plant seed.