Superfood of the week – Quinoa (‘Keen-wa’)

As 2013 was declared the international year of Quinoa by the United Nations, there’s no better food to showcase. A species of the goosefoot plant, Quinoa (pronounced ‘keen-wa’) is highly nutritious and has become extremely popular in the Western world in recent years.

Grown in South America, the couscous-like food is alternative source of protein and contains eight essential amino acids, necessary to maintain a healthy metabolism. So, if you’re fed up eating horse-based protein, you should give it a try. It’s great for coeliacs and those with high cholesterol problems as it is both gluten-free and cholesterol-free. The seed contains copious amounts of fibre, helping to provide a feeling of fullness for longer whilst also preventing constipation.

Trying to get in shape for the J1 season? Quinoa is low in fat and a healthy substitute for rice, pasta and chips. If you make the swap, you’ll be beach-ready in no time: the seed is rich in vitamin B12, known to aid weight loss.

It is widely accepted that students living away from home may struggle to obtain the recommended daily amount of iron due to the cost of red meat. Deficiency in the mineral can lead to anaemia, a common cause of constant fatigue and headaches.Cheaper sources of iron can be found in quinoa, leafy green vegetables and beans.

Quinoa is a versatile food and can be used in soups, salads and stews. Nonetheless, it can also be enjoyed on its own and is cooked similar to rice. This superfood has loads of potential: it is nutritious, cheap and easy to cook. You’d be mad not to give it a go.

Lauren Kelly

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