Ingredient of the Month: Quinoa

Ingredient of the Month: Quinoa

Quinoa (kiːnwɑː)

Recently “ancient grains” have gained popularity among health food crazes. This ancient grain, known as “the mother of all grains”, has been around for over 4,000 years and was grown near the Andean Region of Peru. With its mild nutty flavor, this edible seed packs a powerful nutrition punch, containing anywhere from 17-27 grams of fiber and 8 grams of protein per cup cooked. Quinoa is also considered to be a whole grain, gluten free and contains anti-inflammatory properties. It’s easy to prepare and cooks the same way as rice. Keep reading to learn more about health benefits and a quick side-dish quinoa recipe.

Health benefits of quinoa

  • High in fiber and protein
  • Good for Blood sugar control – Quinoa has a low “glycemic index”. The Glycemic Index measure how quickly a food will raise blood sugars, because of its high fiber and protein content, Quinoa falls lower on the glycemic index raising blood sugar very slowly.
  • Can lead to improvements in metabolic health, increasing nutrient and minerals, and improvements in blood sugar/insulin/Triglyceride levels.
  • High in Antioxidants: Antioxidants are especially helpful for pain patients because they help to reduce inflammation and free radicals that can cause damage to tissues in the body. 


Quinoa is considered a “complete protein,” meaning it contains all 9 essential amino acids. Proteins are made up of  amino acids. Nine of the 21 amino acids are considered “essential” meaning our bodies do not make them, so we must get them from food. Meat products like chicken, pork, beef and fish contain all 9 essential amino acids, making them complete proteins. But, to find a non-meat or grain source of all 9 amino acids is great news! Quinoa is also low in saturated fat, and too much saturated fat can be bad on cholesterol and the heart.

Try quinoa for yourself

You can find Quinoa in your local grocery store most likely near the organic/health food section or near the rice. At only $3.99 per pound this super grain is a great way to add variety, protein and fiber to your diet. Try cooking with the recipe below.

Quinoa recipe

  1. Bring 2 cups of water or low-sodium chicken/beef stock to a boil
  2. Add 1 cup of raw Quinoa
  3. Boil for 15-20 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed.
  4. Serve immediately as a side or use in place of pasta/rice in any dish.

Tip: add frozen vegetables to quinoa to make it a complete one dish meal.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size: 1 cup

  • Total fat – 3.6 grams (most of which is “heart healthy” fats)
  • Sodium – 13 milligrams
  • Potassium – 318 milligrams
  • Total Carbohydrates 39 grams (although it’s low on the glycemic index it is still considered high in carbohydrate so this food would not fit into a “low-carbohydrate” meal plan)
  • Fiber- 17-27 grams (depending on the variety.
  • Protein – 8 grams


The Pain Management Group_AdvancedHEALTHFor more information on The Pain Management Group, please visit or schedule an appointment at one of our locations throughout Middle Tennessee.

We are committed to providing individualized care and vow to treat each patient with compassion and respect, never turning anyone away. Our physicians are fellowship-trained pain specialists who utilize a combination of interventional procedures and medication management services to tailor a personalized care plan for each patient’s long-term pain relief.