Quinoa Facts

Quinoa Facts
Quinoa is a flowering plant that belongs to the Amaranth family (it is not cereal grain). It originates from Andean region (South America). Cultivation of quinoa started 3000 to 4000 years ago. Quinoa was staple food in Latin America until the 16th century when Spanish conquistadors labeled it as "peasant food" and prohibited its further cultivation. Even though it exists for thousands of years, quinoa was "rediscovered" in the previous century. This plant grows on the well-drained, unfertile soil with little available water. There are more than 120 varieties of quinoa that are available today as healthy substitute for traditionally consumed grains.
Interesting Quinoa Facts:
Quinoa can reach from 3.3 to 6.6 feet in height.
Quinoa develops woody stem that can be green, red or purple colored.
Quinoa has green, lobed leaves that are alternately arranged on the stem. Leaves are shaped like goose feet, hence the folk name of this plant-goosefoot.
Quinoa produces simple, green colored flowers arranged in multi-branched, terminal inflorescences called panicles. Flowers are bisexual and able to perform self-pollination.
Fruit of quinoa is only 0.0079 inches wide and it can be yellow, green, red, purple, orange or black colored.
It takes half pound of seed to plant one acre of quinoa that in return produce 1200 to 2000 new seed.
Quinoa is often labeled as "superfood" due to high content of proteins and 9 essential amino-acids that cannot be found in other plants. It also contains dietary fibers, vitamins of the B group and minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus and iron.
Quinoa can be consumed in the form of flakes, whole grains or flour. It can be mixed with vegetables, meat, pastas, consumed in the form of breakfast cereals, or as an ingredient of breads and various sweet desserts.
9. Quinoa is gluten-free and it recommended for people diagnosed with celiac disease (person sensitive to gluten). Also, thanks to excellent nutritional profile, NASA proposed quinoa as ideal food for astronauts during long expeditions in space.
Quinoa and corn are used for the production of beer in South America.
Quinoa contains bitter-tasting compounds (called saponins) on the surface of seed to repel hungry herbivores from this plant. These substances can be easily removed by washing the seed. Commercially available quinoa is already processed (does not contain saponins) and safe for consumption.
Water that is left after rinsing the quinoa is used as natural shampoo in the Andean region.
Quinoa has numerous beneficial effects on the human health. It facilitates digestion, stabilizes blood sugar level and lowers blood pressure.
Peru is the greatest manufacturer of quinoa in the world. It produces more than 40 million metric tons of quinoa per year.
Quinoa is cultivated as annual plant, which means that it completes its life cycle in one year

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