Quinoa pohaAn apple a day keeps the doctor away. A bowl of quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) a day does that and much more.

A recent study by Harvard Medical School has shown that eating the tiny, tasteless food daily significantly reduces the risk of premature death from cancer, heart attack, respiratory disease and diabetes. Consider the fact that quinoa also helps you shed kilos faster and you would know why everyone from Beyonce to Deepika Padukone is eating it and also why five-stars are including it in their menus and nutritionists in their diet charts.

So, how does eating quinoa make one lose weight? Firstly, it tricks your mind to think you are eating a big bowl of rice (or any cereal for that matter) when you are actually not. Though quinoa is used like, and looks like a grain, it is actually the fruit of broadleaf plant in the same family as spinach and beetroot.

Moreover, it is very high in fiber, low in carbohydrates and has a low glycemic index – this means it raises blood sugar levels gradually, leaving one feeling satiated for longer and less prone to snacking.

Quinoa is also a fantastic source of protein for vegetarians. A quarter cup of cooked quinoa contains more than six grams of protein, which is more than the protein in any other grain and as much as one gets by consuming meat.

The list of health benefits does not end there. Quinoa is also gluten-free, contains all eight essential amino acids, has high level of antioxidants — mainly vitamin E — and is rich in B vitamins, folic acid, calcium, potassium, iron, copper and magnesium. It is also free of cholesterol and trans fats.

The best part is it that it not difficult to incorporate quinoa into one’s daily diet. The light yellow quinoa seeds have a fluffy texture and mild nutty flavour when cooked which makes it gel well with all kinds of cuisines and ingredients. You could try to stir up a quinoa khichdi, quinoa burger or even make rotis with quinoa flour.

We suggest you start your day with a yummy quinoa poha. Here’s how you can make it

Quinoa Poha

Ingredients

Quinoa 1 cup, puffed

Onions ½ cup, chopped

Potatoes ¼ cup, chopped

Peas ¼ cup

Lemon juice 2 tsp

Kadipatta (curry leaves) 8-10

Rai (mustard seeds) 1 tsp

Olive oil 1 tsp

Salt, haldi (turmeric) and pepper to taste

Peanuts ¼ cup, unsalted

Fresh coriander leaves for garnish

Method

  1. Wash quinoa in a colander under running water and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a pain and throw in mustard seeds and curry leaves. When they crackle, add chopped onions, potatoes and peas.
  3. Sauté for a few minutes and then add the quinoa. Add salt and haldi and stir well. Continue cooking for a few more minutes. Add lemon juice and garnish with coriander leaves and peanuts before serving.

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Written by Alpa Momaya

Alpa Momaya

You are what you eat, believes Alpa Momaya. So with the right diet, anyone can achieve optimal mental, physical and spiritual health.

Alpa has first-hand knowledge of this – she battled various issues with her own health and weight, but by incorporating good eating habits and regular exercise, she has reclaimed her fitness levels today. She offers the advice she took to HealthifyMe users — make the right lifestyle choices daily, sticking to a nutritious diet, regular exercise and adequate sleep. Don’t think of it as having to solve a problem, instead see it as a way to achieve long and happy life.

After a PG diploma in dietetics from Mumbai University, Alpa did a diploma in holistic nutrition in Canada and is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner today. Along with having worked in various weight-loss clinics and as a consultant for a natural pharmacy, she’s helped her family control ailments like diabetes and hypertension, and hopes to help her HealthifyMe clients do the same. “I can proudly say my daughter happily eats any vegetable or fruit without ever making a face,” Alpa claims, and she is determined that those who consult her will go back similarly impressed.

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