Friday, October 22, 2010

Top 10 reasons why athletes should eat QUINOA!

Have you heard of Quinoa!?

It's an ancient Peruvian Seed with a mild nutty flavor, high protein content and loads and loads of Good stuff like all the essential amino acids and lots of minerals.

Here are the nutrition facts:

And check out THIS link for more info than you could ever handle about any food you could ever consider eating. Awesome site!

Top 10 reasons why YOU - the athlete - should eat this grain!

1. Essential Amino Acids - it contains all the essential amino acids and is high in LYSINE - which is important for tissue growth and repair.
2. Magnesium - it is high in magnesium which relaxes blood vessels and prevents constriction and dilation - bringing that oxygenated blood to all your muscles
3. Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) - it has lots of of B2 which produces energy with in the cells and has been shown to improve energy metabolism within the brain and muscle cells
4. Manganese and copper - yep lots of this too! These mineral are co-factors for the super oxide dismutase which helps protect cells from damage from free radicals (we make lots of those w/ all this crazy exercise business.)
5. It's Gluten Free!! I know there are a lot of us out here with the gluten problem. And even if you don't have a gluten problem it does tend to cause inflammation in those of us without a gluten problem. So if you can decrease gluten.. a good thing!
6. Rich source of dietary fiber! We all know why that's important so I'll spare you the details. If you don't know why that's important give a shout out and I'll give you the 411.
7. High in Omega 3s - They are necessary for human health but the body can' t make them. Nuff said.
8. High in complex carbs. As athletes - particular the endurance variety - we are always looking for good complex carbs to refuel the lost glycogen. Carbo load anyone? How about some Quinoa instead of gluteny lacking in nutrients PASTA!
9. Low in fat. It contains healthy fats, but not too much. So feel free to add olive oil and/or some almonds to your dishes.
10. It's SUPER easy to prepare and can be used in lots of ways.

So how do you add these little nutty nuggets of nutrition to your diet. Well you can use them as a replacement for rice. You can add them to soups and stews. I like to put them in my salad. You could even toss them in your smoothie (cook them first). There are a pluthera of Quinoa salad recipes on the net. I'll add some that I enjoy at a later date.

I like to make them into a porridge for breakfast or post work out.

I rinse then soak my Quinoa overnight before I cook it. It makes it a bit easier to digest and it comes out nice and fluffy every time.

Basic Quinoa Recipe

* 1 cup quinoa
* 1 1/2 cups cold water
* Optional: 1/2 tsp salt

Quinoa Cooking Directions:

1. Rinse: Stir the quinoa with your hand, and carefully pour off the rinsing water,
using a fine mesh strainer at the last
2. Drain quinoa well in the strainer, transfer to the cooking pot, add 1 1/2 cups
water & 1/2 tsp salt if desired
3. Bring to a boil, cover with a tight fitting lid, and turn the heat down to simmer
4. Cook for 15 minutes
5. Remove quinoa from heat and allow to sit five minutes with the lid on
6. Fluff quinoa gently with a fork and serve

Quinoa Porridge
You can start with the recipe above or use quinoa that is stored in the fridge.
1. blend 1/2 to 1c of cooked Quinoa with milk of your choice to consistency of your liking. (I use nut milk)
2. Place in pan to warm.
3. Add your 'sides'. I like cinnamon, maple syrup and raisins.
4. Remove from heat throw in bowl and enjoy.

Optional toppings:
another splash of milk/cream
ground flax seeds
Wheat Germ
Chia Seeds
Nut butter

Have you had Qunioa before? How do you like to eat it? Have you tried it for breakfast before?


  1. I love quinoa!!! Luckily my kids love it to. We use it instead of rice, and I cook it in vegetable broth. I have the leftovers over salad greens with garbanzo beans, tomatoes, (and whatever other salad fixings I crave) with yumm sauce or oil amd vinegar. Oh and I also love quinoa pilaf - quinoa cooked with carrots, peas and garbanzo beans in vege broth. Geez now I am making myself hungry!!!

  2. Quinoa is awesome! I live on the stuff. I eat it for breakfast almost every morning, and I'm glad to see I'm not the only one! (My co-workers always give me funny looks when they see me heating it up at work.)

    Here's a link to one of my favorite recipes: veggie quinoa stuffed peppers...

    There is always leftover filling when I make this, and the filling goes great in a wrap topped with avocado.