Quinoa – Term Paper

History of the Quinoa

The first time an individual encounters a recipe that has names of the ingredients he or she has never heard of, it is advisable to find out the facts about them. Primarily, one of the ingredients of what is termed as super food in some regions is Quinoa. Quinoa is one of the worldwide plants that are majorly planted in the regions of South America, it is considered to be the main foods of the Andean culture. It is widely cultivated in Peru and Bolivia. The inhabitants of this place used to cook and eat it as a cereal. It is a type of staple food. It was the main diet in the Incas. In regards to what the plant offered to the people of the Incas, their emperor used to ensure that respect was given to this staple food (Lopez-Garcia, 2007). This respect was in the form of breaking the ground using a golden tool. This was taking place at the beginning of the planting season. Despite the Spanish Colonists banning its cultivation and usage, it is still used and has earned a customer base in the market. With the continued use of this food in the market, the United Nations has decided to declare it to be an obscure plant that is super food. This food has earned the title because it is rich in valuable proteins that are similar to those contained in milk (Ng, Anderson, Coker & Ondrus, 2007).

The Beliefs Associated With Quinoa

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In ancient times, it was believed by the Andeans that this was the food that sustained this population at that time. The Incas believed that this was the primary food that God had given to them, so they named it mother-grain. With this belief, they had to allow their emperor to first break the ground at the beginning of the planting season. This was to show how it was valued. With the current discovery that the seeds have a high content of valuable proteins same as in milk, it has been branded the Food of the Gods (Ng, Anderson, Coker & Ondrus, 2007).


Despite being termed as a grain, this seed has its actual relations with spinach and beets.

Additionally, it has been discovered by nutritionalists that the seeds are entirely rich in proteins. All the eight amino acids that do exist are present in this food, whereby its proteins content is higher in comparison to cereals, such as rice and wheat. This is just a part of the vital nutrients that it has. Unsaturated fats and low content of carbohydrates are the other nutrients that are also attributed to this seed. It is further noted that Quinoa is rich in minerals such as iron, phosphorous as well as magnesium (Lopez-Garcia, 2007). It stands out as a staple food and along with its composition there come the health benefits that of the effect it has on its consumers. In comparison to other cereals such as wheat, it is free of the protein composite known as gluten that makes it elastic. This characteristic is what has made many to agree that it can be digested easily. The other benefit is impeded in its slow manner of releasing carbohydrates that is essential in maintaining the levels of sugar in peoples blood (Ng, Anderson, Coker & Ondrus, 2007).

Opinion about the Research in Connection to My Beliefs about Food

I can confidently say that choosing the right food can be the best thing that an individual can do to sustain his or her health. This is because, my first encounter with this food made me doubt on whether the food was worth the praise. However, with the research made and some credible facts presented, it is true to say, I have positively accepted to include it in my diet. Quinoa has many benefits to ones health that cannot be ignored with the rampant cases of lifestyle diseases that are being reported on a daily basis (Ng, Anderson, Coker & Ondrus, 2007). Therefore, I can comfortably give thumbs up to the United Nations for declaring it as super food.

In this research, the seeds of Quinoa are considered to be in different colors. Its leaves are said to be edible as well (Jacobsen, 2003). This might be attributed to the fact it is in the family of chard and spinach.

Lessons from the Research

There are several aspects that I have learned that are imperative from this research. First, this food has been branded as super food right from ancient times. This started from the ancient consumers who were the Incas. What they might have not understood was the health benefits that are associated with it. Currently, with researchers using sophisticated equipment, it has been discovered that the food is valuable in patients that suffer from atherosclerosis as well as those that are diabetic. Secondly, it can survive in all seasons, so it can be relied on as the main source of food in regions that are affected by adverse conditions (Jacobsen, 2003). Lastly, it is being accepted and cultivated in different regions of the world. One such place is Australia where it is readily available in food stores. This is considered as one of foods that will be adopted worldwide in order to increase food sources and reduce hunger.


Jacobsen, S. (2003). The Worldwide Potential for Quinoa ( Chenopodium quinoa Willd.). Food Reviews International, 19(1-2), 167-177. http://dx.doi.org/10.1081/fri-120018883

Lopez-Garcia,. (2007). Quinoa: A Traditional Andean Crop with New Horizons. CFW. http://dx.doi.org/10.1094/cfw-52-1-0088

Ng, S., Anderson, A., Coker, J., & Ondrus, M. (2007). Characterization of lipid oxidation products in quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa). Food Chemistry, 101(1), 185-192. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2006.01.016