Quinoa is a nutritious grain like seed which is obtained from the goosefoot family. It is not as popular as other food grains like wheat or barley, but has been cultivated for around 5000 years by people residing in the Andean Mountain regions of Peru, Chile, Ecuador and Bolivia. Quinoa means “mother of grain” in the Inca language and is a sacred food to the Incas who believed that eating it would confer them with long and healthy life. In fact, it was their staple food before the Spanish explorers forced them to abandon its cultivation. Though quinoa is considered as a grain, scientifically it is related to leafy vegetables like spinach, beets and Swiss chards.
Quinoas are tiny, oval shaped seeds that come in light brown, yellow, cream and deep brown color, depending on the cultivar. It has a nutty taste and chewy texture and is recognized all over the world as a delicious food grain with amazing health, skin and hair benefits. This super food is hailed for its high nutrient content which includes: protein, Vitamin A, calcium, manganese, zinc, magnesium, fiber, iron, phosphorus and essential amino acids. It is one of the best vegetarian sources of lysine currently available in the market.
1. Quinoa contains lysine, a key building block in the synthesis of elastin and collagen. Lysine is an essential nutrient which cannot be synthesized by the body, hence it must be provided by the diet. This aids in quick healing of damaged tissue, making it very important for people who are recovering from any surgery or injury. It also helps to create scar tissue and ligaments for quick recovery.
2. Quinoa contains high levels of riboflavin which provides elasticity to the skin to give it the required softness and resiliency. It also builds up connective tissue to tone the skin and prevents wrinkles and fine lines.
3. Quinoa anti-ageing face pack: Cook ¼ cup of quinoa in soy milk and let it cool. Blend this boiled quinoa with 3 teaspoon of yoghurt, 2 egg yolk and 2 drops of mimosa essential oil. Apply it on the face and neck and leave it for 20 minutes. Rinse it off with lukewarm water to witness smooth and glowing skin. Quinoa contains natural protein and anti-ageing properties while soy milk nourishes and repairs sun damaged skin to give elasticity to the skin. This face pack will also make the skin smooth and even toned.
4. Consumption of quinoa seeds provides the body with ample collagen which rejuvenates the skin from within and reduces wrinkles and other symptoms of ageing. It makes the skin soft, smooth and supple.
5. Vitamins in quinoa decrease clustering of melanin granules to reduce brown spots and pigmentation.
6. Quinoa also helps to decrease sebum production and brilliantly treats acne.
7. Quinoa contains around 15% of proteins, which is highest among all the grains or seeds found in the world. Hydrolyzed protein extracted from quinoa acts as a natural and gentle coating which protects and nourishes the hair follicles from within. The protein extracted from this grain is also used to produce high quality hair products.
8. Quinoa contains 9 essential amino acids which act as natural strengtheners and protect the shaft of the hair. The amino acids in this grain also repairs damaged hair and promote hair growth.
9. Consumption of quinoa on a regular basis provides sheen to hair and gives it an overall silky and shiny look. It provides nourishment to the cells of the body including our hair follicles, which is essential for our hair growth. It is also essential for a healthy nervous system and for the formation of red blood cells which promotes hair growth.
10. Quinoa contains important minerals like calcium, iron and phosphorus which seal moisture in the scalp to avoid flaky and dry scalp, and keep dandruff at bay.
11. The humectants present in quinoa provide nourishment and hydration to the scalp to keep it well conditioned. It forms an invisible film over the hair to protect it from environmental conditions like pollution.
12. Protein in quinoa helps to seal split ends and prevents it from getting worse. Hydrolyzed protein is designed in such a way that it passes through the cuticle and penetrates the hair’s cortex to equalize porosity and increase its elasticity.
13. Vitamin E in quinoa balances the production of natural oil to keep the strands properly moisturized and reduces breakage due to tangling.
14. Quinoa contains an amino acid known as tyrosine which is responsible for the pigmentation and color of hair and skin. It encourages the re-pigmentation of hair and even helps to maintain the original color of the hair.