Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-WAH) is a protein-packed, low glycemic, gluten free Super Food. Though commonly referred to as a grain, it is actually the seed of a plant similar to the chard family. Formerly grown only in South America, Quinoa has now become a popular crop grown right here in the United States, which has helped its popularity soar.
Unlike most plant proteins, Quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids (the building blocks of protein), a profile similar to meat. However, Quinoa provides a pure protein source — without the cholesterol, saturated fat, hormones and other unknowns found in commercial meat products.
Quinoa is also a good source of fiber, folate, magnesium, iron, phosphorous and many phytochemicals, calcium, and selenium, plus it contains B-complex vitamins and vitamin E. If you are not up on Quinoa, you really need to get some.
Quinoa contains about 20 percent protein, which is one of the highest levels among the world’s grain foods. Because of the high-percentage and complexity of protein levels, these nutrients can be extracted from the grain to produce salon-quality hair products. You may have already noticed several products on the market which included Quinoa protein in them.
Hydrolyzed quinoa protein, which is extracted from this super crop, is a natural and gentle coating that protects and nourishes hair. Not only do the amino acids coat and strengthen the hair, but they also work to repair damage and aid in hair growth just like silk protein does. Aesthetically, the protein also encourages sheen and gives hair an overall silky and shiny look. When hydrolyzed, the quinoa promotes hydration on the scalp and skin. Products that use hydrolyzed quinoa can aid in flaky or dry scalp and give your scalp and hair its healthy, soft feeling back.
In spite of all those wondrous qualities, the way to achieve the maximum benefit of Quinoa is to eat it.
Quinoa is extremely easy to prepare – measure out 1 cup of quinoa seeds into a strainer, then rinse it well for about 1 minute under running water. Boil 2 cups of water, add the Quinoa and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer, cover the top, and cook for about 15 minutes. Remove pot from heat and allow to sit about 5 minutes. Remove cover and fluff with fork – your Quinoa is now ready to serve.
Quinoa is a great side dish replacement for rice, pasta, other grains, or potatoes, which makes it fabulous for diabetics or anyone struggling with their weight. Quinoa is also great mixed in salads, soups, stews, baked goods like muffins, cookies and pancakes/waffles. It also makes a great hot cereal (oatmeal does get boring you know), topped with fruit and a bit of cream or milk and maybe nuts or cinnamon.
Remember, hair grows from the inside out.
What you put on your hair and the elements you expose your hair to (heat, sun, wind, freezing temperatures), can certainly do damage to your hair and cause dryness and/or breakage. But if you are looking for a way to make your hair stronger, your skin and nails healthier, and you want to help your hair grow faster, consider adding Quinoa to your diet 2-3x per week.
Click the picture below for an easy to make and really delicious Quinoa salad you can try. It travels well so it can go to work or school with you, and it makes a great light lunch.
About the Author (Author Profile)Blogger, writer, relationships/dating expert, fitness trainer and natural hair enthusiast since 1997. Sharing information from grandmomma, books and scientific journals, as well as my personal discoveries and experiences with natural hair as we journey from relaxers, flat irons and weaves together.
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