Apr 12, 2012

Eating healthy: Quinoa

Runners need to be discerning eaters. I make an effort to eat healthy meals and avoid foods that are high in fat, salt or sugar. I am careful to plan a menu that will deliver the nutrients and protein that my muscles need to recover quickly from training. 

Recently, I began substituting the regular rice and pasta sides I usually eat with quinoa. It is easy to fix and can be found in the whole foods section of most grocery stores. Sometimes you'll find it next to the rice and pasta sides.

Quinoa has been a food staple for about 5,000 years. People were enjoying this seed (not a grain) long before the first pyramids were built. The individual pieces look like tiny beads and have a mild, nutty flavor. Each bead expands to about four times its original size when cooked in water.

Try it. You'll probably like it enough to work it into your weekly meals. It has been kid tested and approved in our household.

Why is it Healthy?

1 cup of quinoa contains:
  • 220 calories
  • 5 grams of fiber
  • 8 grams of protein
  • thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, zinc, potassium, magnesium and selenium
  • 15% of daily iron
It is the only plant-based food other than soy that contains all of the essential amino acids that your body needs to build muscle. It's also gluten-free.

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