Many individuals continue to struggle with high blood pressure. Following a diet high in fiber and low in sodium are two steps you can take to reduce your risk for hypertension, which makes quinoa is a great addition to your heart healthy diet.

What is quinoa?

Quinoa is not technically a grain, but the seed of a large plant called Chenoposium quinoa or Goosefoot plant. Quinoa is available in many colors (ivory, pink, red, white, brown, black) and forms (grains, flakes, cereals, pastas).

Nutrient Analysis

From a health perspective, quinoa is unique because it is a plant that supplies essential amino acids and can be classified as a "complete protein". Most plant proteins are incomplete and must be paired (such as red beans with rice) to form a complete protein. The USDA Nutrition Data gives quinoa a protein score of 106. A protein score greater than 100 indicates a complete or high quality protein.

The low sodium content makes it an ideal meal addition if you struggle with high blood pressure and the low fat, high fiber makes it a great tool to promote a lower cholesterol level.

Quinoa provides calcium, potassium, magnesium, vitamin E, and several B vitamins.

How to add quinoa to foods

There are many options for adding quinoa to your diet. Here are just a few: You can add cooked quinoa to casseroles, soups, and stews. Seeds typically cook in ~15 minutes. You can use quinoa in dishes as you would barley or brown rice. Toast the quinoa seeds on a pan in the oven or "sprout" the quinoa seeds and eat raw as a snack or in salads.

Additional Benefit

Also, for those dealing with a gluten-intolerance, quinoa is a great option because it is gluten free.

What are ways you can start adding quinoa to your diet today?

Author's Bio: 

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