What is Quinoa? 5 Reasons to Love It.

Bodybuilder eating protein-rich quinoa.

Quinoa is all the rage – but is it worth the hype? In short, yes.

Though it’s been around for ages (the Incas considered it a sacred grain), quinoa has only recently become mainstream in North America. In fact, the United Nations recently called quinoa “one of the world’s superfoods.”

So what is quinoa? And what makes it so special?

Quinoa is the seed of a dark leafy plant that’s related to Swiss chard and spinach. Though technically a seed, it’s often considered a grain because of its taste and texture. Either way, it’s packed with nutrients and a super healthy addition to any diet. Here’s why:

  1. Quinoa is packed with protein. It’s the only “grain” that’s considered a complete protein – which is especially great for vegans and vegetarians. For every 100 grams of quinoa, you get 14 grams of protein.
  2. It’s wheat and gluten-free. For allergy-conscious dieters – or for folks with diet restrictions – quinoa is a safe bet.
  3. Low on the Glycemic Index. With a glycemic index rating in the low 50s (anything 55 and under is considered low), quinoa doesn’t result in a blood sugar spike. Instead, it’s digested slowly – which helps us feel full longer. This is especially helpful for individuals looking to lose weight.
  4. High in fiber. At 6 grams of fiber per 1/4 cup serving, quinoa has more fiber than an apple! Fiber can help prevent heart disease, cancer, ulcers and diabetes.
  5. Nutrient powerhouse. Quinoa is packed with nutrients – from iron to riboflavin to magnesium to vitamin B2, quinoa is extremely rich with the vitamins and minerals your body needs.

Cooking quinoa is easy. It’s prepared much like rich – and it can make a healthy addition to many meals. A quick search online will yield countless quick, easy and healthy quinoa recipes.

Are you a quinoa believer? Let me know in the comments below!

About Davey Wavey

Davey Wavey is a certified personal trainer and YouTube sensation with more than 250 million video views. For Davey's fitness tips and secrets, sign up for his free monthly newsletter - or download any of his affordable and effective workout programs.


  1. you present 5 reasons to love it… and while convincing, there is only 1 reason for me to hate it, and that reason is that it is so damned expensive. Or at least it is expensive in my small city in Indiana.

  2. I think you meant it is cooked a lot like rice? not rich. I am going to have to check this out. I am looking for ways to improve my diet and lose some weight. Thanks for sharing.


  3. When I was looking to lose some weight a few months back I cut my bad eating habbits and ate quinoa nearly daily with raw veggies. It helped a lot and I didn’t feel hungry all the time like what happens in most diets. I strongly suggest adding it to your diet over rice, or replacing rice entirely with it.

  4. Quinoa is great and has a rich, nutty taste. I bought some Black Quinoa on a recent trip to Bolivia, and I use it instead of rice with chicken. Good stuff!

  5. I bought some at Costco, but don’t have any decent recipes for it. Even supercooks doesn’t help. Anyone know any?

  6. I love quinoa it is delicious and can replace rice and even pasta!

  7. Dennis Oliver says:

    My go-to web site for recipes. World’s largest library. http://www.epicurious.com. I just looked and there are at least 5 pages under Quinoa. Be sure to look at the comments on anything that interests your tastes. They have variations and improvements there.

  8. francois marais says:

    Man I love quinoa. I have for a while too. Its less expensive than cous cous and WAY more tasty. I believe it is what they refer to as ‘food from the gods’. I am happy that you endorse this awesome addition to any meal. My favourite is quinoa pillaf, veggies (steamed and sauteed) somee chicken or fish and herbs, quinoa cooked in chicken stock…. YUMMY

  9. vladimir horvath says:

    yep thats right, also if that is too expensive for you as ive read up in comments before try kous kous its really the same thing but cheaper, plus itll fill you up more. its what im using for my diet right now and really is helping me burn the fat and tone my muscles more

  10. christopher says:

    where would one buy this?Wholefoods?

  11. Some people aren’t sure of how to pronounce it, quinoa is pronounced “keen-wah” and it’s great stuff!

  12. This is one of the best recipes I’ve tried in a long time! Its hard to believe something that tastes this great can also be so good for you!! I love it!! http://allrecipes.com/recipe/quinoa-and-black-beans/detail.aspx

  13. S,Desai says:

    I am trying to switch over to Quinoa from wheat.

    I am considering protien,fiber & low glycemic index(Diabetic).I am strictly vegetarian .No meat-fish-chicken

  14. Kathy Wilson says:

    A local barbecue restaurant has added some healthy foods that they are trying out on their menu. I just ate a salad with quinoa on it! Absolutely loved it! Can’t wait to us it in my cooking!

  15. Diane James says:

    While it is expensive $5.00 for a box. I cook 1 cup of quinoa mixed with onions and vegetables and I have lunch for a week. So I don’t consider less than $1.00 per lunch that expensive.

    • Its expensive in Australia too – I just bout a 500g packet for $6.99. But I use the pack twice in the week to add to creamy veges. I boil the quinoa in chicken stock which is delicious!

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  1. […] Davey. September 21, 2011. http://www.daveywaveyfitness.com/nutrition/what-is-quinoa-5-reasons-to-love-it/ Share this:TwitterFacebookEmailPrintLike this:LikeBe the first to like this […]

  2. […] a grain when you cook it. It’s also super healthy – read more about it here. It’s low calorie, and super filling – my favorite part! You can find it in health food […]