Quinoa Facts

Recipes sometimes call for ingredients that you may not have heard of, like nutritional yeast or agar-agar. Some familiar ingredients like cauliflower, black beans, and lentils may be used in unfamiliar ways to make good-tasting plant-based dishes. You may not be aware of nutritional and medicinal properties of familiar foods like sweet potato or avocado. You can find links to this information on the Glossary page. If you have a question or want to see a particular ingredient featured, send an email to fruitandstuff@wfpbvida.com.

Quinoa (/ˈkiːnwɑː/ from Quechua kinwa or kinuwa) Chenopodium quinoa is a pseudocereal, a flowering plant related to spinach and amaranth. The gluten-free seeds are rich in protein, fiber, B vitamins, and minerals in amounts greater than in many grains. It originated in the Andean region of northwestern South America and was first eaten by human beings in the regions known today as Peru and Bolivia around three thousand years ago.

The United Nations (UN) declared 2013 “The International Year of Quinoa,” due to its high nutrient value and potential to contribute to food security worldwide. NASA scientists have been looking at it as a suitable crop to be grown in outer space, based on its high nutrient content, ease of use and simplicity of cultivation.

1 cup (185 grams) of cooked quinoa contains:

  • Calories: 222
  • Carbohydrates: 39 grams
  • Fat: 4 grams
  • Protein: 8 grams.
  • Fiber: 5 grams.
  • Manganese: 58% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA).
  • Magnesium: 30% of the RDA.
  • Phosphorus: 28% of the RDA.
  • Folate: 19% of the RDA.
  • Copper: 18% of the RDA.
  • Iron: 15% of the RDA.
  • Zinc: 13% of the RDA.
  • Potassium 9% of the RDA.
  • Over 10% of the RDA for vitamins B1, B2 and B6
  • Small amounts of calcium, B3 (niacin), vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids

Sources: Wikipedia / healthline