Helthcare & Wellness

Apr 1, 2017

QUINOA - INCA'S GOLD

The Inca Empire was the largest and longest in South America pre-Hispanic era, spreading along the Pacific Ocean coast since southwestern Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina, between the years 1438 up to 1533 A.D. The Incas called their empire Tahuantinsuyo, which means four parts of the world.

<

However, it's not about the history, habits or culture of this people, considered by their enemies as cruel and bloody, we will talk. Rather about the plant this people considered to have such importance they considered it a sacred food.

And, considering what we know today, maybe they weren't far from the truth.

Quinoa (Chenopodium Quinoa), is a pseudo-cereal that does not belong to the grasses family, where the traditional cereals are sorted. Nevertheless, it's high value of starch turns its food usage much identical to the ones of other cereals.

Its nutritional value is such, the Incas gave it a high value in times of famine, similar to gold, having even built temples in its honour. With the arrival of the Spanish conquerors its plantation nearly got prohibited and traded by other cereals, as wheat.

Its survival is due to its capability to grow in hard climate conditions. Unlike wheat and rice, quinoa grows in salted soils and weakly fertile, and in great altitude, under low temperatures.

The presence of toxic chemicals in their seeds, called "saponins", are responsible by the bitter taste its grains hold. Recently, a scientist team lead by biologist Mark Tester, from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, in Saudi Arabia, identified the gene which can be manipulated in order to smooth the bitter taste of this incredibly high nutritional value plant.

Treating the grains

This food can be easily bought both in grain as in powder (it looks like ground oats) in most of the supermarkets and natural food stores.

As a pseudo-cereal it is, quinoa's grain can be cooked just as like any other cereal. However, the grain must be thoroughly washed and dried before cooking. The best way to do it is to place the wanted quantity of quinoa's grains into a high container and cover it all with water.

While the grains are dipped in the water, they must be stirred for some minutes before draining them. It's advisable to repeat the process for two or three times, in order to remove the "saponins".

After this procedure, quinoa can be cooked just like, for instance, rice. Dipped into water and boiled for 15 minutes. It is also possible to give it a toasted scent, by simply frying it in a skillet or a pan before cooking.

Once cooked, quinoa grains are translucent and they drop a sap at the end. To prevent this sap to "glue" the beans, simply stir with a fork during cooking.

Quinoa can be added to the regular food in various ways: in salads, to balance the spice or adding it in grain or flour to the other vegetables; mixed with milk or yogurt, just as any other breakfast cereal; as a substitute to wheat flour for making cakes, pies bread or cookies; diluted in the form of flour, in natural juice or vitamin supplements; or added to fruits salads.

In the sourced countries, quinoa is frequently added to soups and fermented for the production of beer or "chicha", the traditional Andes beverage. Another typical food from the mountainous region of South America is "peske", which is prepared with milk, quinoa and cheese and can combine with fried egg or roasted meat.

Health benefits

Although much under used, quinoa contains the same nutrients as other cereals as rice or wheat. It is a high value biological food, what means it contains all the vitamins and proteins needed for the right functioning of the body.

Thanks to its high values of calcium and proteins, it helps strengthening the bones and muscles, which is essential for those who practice physical exercise, preventing sicknesses such as osteoporosis. Also its high values of Omega 3 and 6 is a powerful ally in preventing hypertension, cardiovascular accidents and reduction of cholesterol.

Only, this pre-Columbian treasure doesn't stop it there: complex B vitamins are essential for better function of the nervous system, muscle maintenance and stability in the hormone production. It is rich in zinc, which acts directly in the immunity system and in the healing processes.

As if all of this was not, by its own, enough, the fibres grant the consumer a satiety feeling, essential for more aggressive diets. And it is especially advisable for people with Celiac disease, as it contains no gluten.

No counter indications are known for the consumption of quinoa. As it is a highly calorific food, one should have some precaution with the daily dose for consumption which, according to nutritionists, should not overcome two soup spoons a day.

Medical application

Most of the Andes peoples also uses quinoa as a natural medicinal plant. Is can easily be found in cosmetics, soaps, or sun protectors. It is especially recommended for sensitive skin, dry, malnourished or rash and, thanks to its natural oils, in skin hydration.

When mixed with other plants in cataplasms it is, also, used for healing abscesses, wounds and bone fractures.

Some academic studies conclude that, given the enormous concentration of Phytoestrogens, it can prevent the appearance of breast cancer and other female disturbances caused by the lack of estrogen in the menopause period.

More Articles

FeaturedArticles

  • _slc114_33093997

    Food & Beverage

    Apr 1, 2017

    PREPPER - DOOMSDAY MEALS

    Thanks to National Geographic's Channel popular show, "Doomsday Preppers", the prepper phenomenon went from a small North-American niche market focused on the United States of America and Canada to a global market with enthusiasts...

  • GallerySlide1

    Technology

    Jul 1, 2017

    IT'S NOT BIG, IT'S HUGE

    Imagine an airplane which looks like two airplanes glued to each other by the wing. Them add six Pratt & Whitney engines, like the ones used by Boeing 747. The result is 580 tons of weight at maximum takeoff.

  • Cb_z-_QUYAAQW51

    Luxury & Fashion

    Mar 1, 2017

    ROTHY'S - STYLE: RECYCLABLE

    Are you tired of those brand sneakers which look the same as all the other from your best friends?! Yes, the ones you wear when you reach the end of the day and you need some rest for your feet. So, this article is for you, discover...


  • Depositphotos_96937952_xl-2015

    Luxury & Fashion

    Apr 1, 2017

    CAMEL WOOL - FROM HOT TO HOTTER

    If you already felt the chill when looking at the price of a camel wool coat, just think of the comfort such investment can bring you in the coldest nights. Camel wool is a soft, cute, comfortable warm and breathable fabric.

    ...

  • Prokudin-Gorskii-02

    Culture & Art

    Mar 1, 2017

    SERGEI MIKHAILOVICH PROKUDIN-GORSKY - ONE SPECIAL MAN

    The entrance of a new century always brings additional motivation to experiment and explore new worlds and new techniques. Some end up being vain and even futile. Others, however, cause real and true revolutions in people's lives...

  • 1

    Business & Industry

    Dec 18, 2018

    AZERBAIJAN

    The ancient, the new and the future

    "Azerbaijan is a country that impresses in many ways and is relatively unknown in Western countries. Starting from the fact that – contrary to what many think – it is not close...


  • Royal Caribbean International

    Lifestyle & Travel

    Mar 1, 2015

    New Residents at Sea

    The growing community of seagoers couldn't be happier. Until 2020 they will witness an increase in 76.818 berths onboard the twenty six new ships so far announced by major cruise lines and new players. Today we give you a taste of the...

  • 1. Permanent-Makeup-Always-Trust-Your-Looks

    Luxury & Fashion

    Nov 1, 2017

    ALWAYS TRUST YOUR LOOKS

    It's kind of a worldwide stereotype, the long wait for your girlfriend before you leave home for that cinema (just a few minutes, which turn into an eternity). Like the joke that tells "when she got ready, I was already asleep".

    ...

  • HOL21416_Gesamtsortiment_RZ_530px_300_198

    Food & Beverage

    Apr 1, 2016

    Over 80 Years Feeding Babies

    Holle is one of the leading manufacturers of organic food for babies and one of the oldest children food companies in Europe. "Love, protection and Holle," it is with this message that it has conquered parents and babies in over 80 years...