Quinoa | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content


Now recognized as the world's most nutritious grain, quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) has been cultivated in the Andes Mountains for more than 5,000 years. As a whole grain, this seed-like South American fruit is unique. Quinoa has about twice the protein of other grains, fewer carbohydrates, and more healthful fats. It's also a complete protein: like meat, eggs, and dairy products, it contains all eight essential amino acids. This supergrain is gluten-free and rich in iron, calcium, potassium, fiber, and lignans. A 2007 study at Osaka City University in Japan found it high in antioxidant activity too, making it exceptionally heart healthy.

Choose It & Use It
Find quinoa in natural food stores or supermarkets. Enjoy its delicate, nutty flavor in sweet and savory dishes; enrich it by toasting first. Substitute quinoa for pasta, couscous, rice, or oatmeal: simmer 1 cup quinoa in 2 cups liquid 15 to 25 minutes for 4 cups cooked. Quinoa's chewy texture enhances pilafs, salads, and stews, and contrasts crunchy nuts nicely. Rinse it before cooking, and remove any black grains.

Health & Nutrition: 

Comments on this Article

Anyone who uses quinoa as a major diet staple should be aware that saponins in quinoa can contribute to leaky gut syndrome. If you have celiac, or an auto-immune condition, avoid foods with saponins and lectins.

'leaky gut syndrome' is a fake diagnosis designed to sell remedies. There is no such medical diagnosis. This food is perfectly safe to eat and healthy for anyone.

No one should rely on any one grain to be a major diet staple. This is true for any grain/vegetable etc. Each food has it's good nutrients and bad if consumed too much and often.