Chapter 67 excerpt Quinoa One Complete Vegetarian Food
- In addition to its fiber content, a high protein content of 15% makes it a very attractive protein source for vegetarians. Unlike other vegetarian sources, it contains all essential amino acids and is thus recognized as a complete protein source.
- It is an excellent source of important minerals and vitamins, including magnesium and iron, omega fatty acids, and vitamin E.
- Quinoa contains a variety of polyphenols, phytosterols, and flavonoids with possible nutraceutical benefits. Its physicochemical properties, including solubility, water-holding capacity, gelation, emulsification, and foaming, allow for its use in a variety of ways.
- Noteworthy for patients with celiac sprue and those interested in a gluten-free diet for other indications is that it contains no gluten.
Because of its nutritional features, quinoa has the potential to be used as a crop in NASA’s Controlled Ecological Support Systems for use during long manned spaceflights (eg, to Mars).6
Full and complete nutrition can be accomplished with an appropriate selection of plant-based foods. Quinoa is unrivalled in its qualities and nutritional ingredients, and a 1993 NASA report declared that “while no single food can supply all the life sustaining nutrients, quinoa comes close as any other in the plant and animal kingdom."6
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