I have often emphasized the importance of “eating clean”. By that I mean that you do not consume anything pre packaged or processed. With the abundance of convenience foods many people no longer actually know how to prepare a healthy meal. A simple starting point that I would suggest is the incorporation of quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) in your diet.
It astounds me that there are still so many people that have never heard of quinoa. Quinoa is a grain that can be used like rice. It is also considered a “super food” because of its health benefits. The Whole Grains Council states “While no single food can supply all essential life sustaining nutrients, quinoa comes as close as any other in the plant or animal kingdom”.
Quinoa is native to the Andes and is considered an ancient grain. It was considered sacred to the Incas. It is a complete protein in that it has all nine essential amino acids represented. Grains are not typically high in protein which makes quinoa stand out, especially for those who prefer a vegan diet. It is also gluten free which makes it a nice option for those that struggle with gluten intolerance.
Quinoa comes in many colors, white, red, and black. The nutrient content varies a bit from color to color. For first timers I recommend the white. You cook it just as you would rice with a one to two ratio; one cup quinoa to two cups water or broth. Many of you will have to step out of your comfort zone here because often grains or rice are equated to those packaged flavored rice that are loaded with salt and chemicals. Real rice, brown rice, has a wonderful flavor all its own but we have been conditioned to like those packaged rices. Quinoa is the same. On its own it has a slight nutty flavor. If you are transitioning away from a packaged grain you may want to doctor it up a bit. Add chopped chicken, mushrooms, black beans, onions, spinach, and some seasonings like cumin and you’ve got a full meal that is still clean. Quinoa is good both sweet and savory. You can add dried cranberries and cinnamon for a great breakfast option. In our house I add it as a nutritional boost to soups and chili. Quinoa is found in just about every grocery store now next to the rice. Give it a try.
Dr Lisa Herbert is in practice with her husband Dr. Joe Herbert at Wadsworth Chiropractic. They believe you are what you eat and that movement is essential to good health. To find out more about their practice please go to www.wadsworthchiro.com
or visit Wadsworth Chiropractic’s Facebook Page.