According to studies Quinoa has comparable levels of amino acids to wheat, soy and skim milk. Quinoa however contains an amino acid, lysine which normally isn’t found in vegetable proteins. Lysine is typically found in meat, fish and eggs. Have a look at the table below that shows comparable levels of essential amino acids between wheat and Quinoa; however Quinoa does not contain the gluten usually found within breads.
Also if we look at the comparison of Quinoa’s mineral composition in Table 2 against that of rice and wheat we will see the glaring superiority that Quinoa has over the alternatives. Quinoa has 20 times the amount of Calcium as Rice and about 15 times the amount of Iron; 9 times the amount of Calcium and 3 times the amoung of Magnesium. Wheat also trails Quinoa in its nutritional value with half as much Calcium and four times less Iron. It should be a no brainer to choose Quinoa the next time you’re at your local grocer.
Table 1: Amino Acid Content (g/100g protein)
Source: Johnson, R. and R. Aguilera. 1980. Processing Varieties of Oilseeds (Lupine and Quinoa), In: Report to Natural Fibers and Foods Commission of Texas, 1978 – 1980 (Reported by D. Cusack, 1984, The Ecologist 14:21 – 31)
Table 2: Comparative Mineral Composition (mg/100g protein)
Source: Kosiol, M.J. (1992). Chemical composition and nutritional evaluation of quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Wild). In Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, Vol. 5, n 1, pp 36 – 68.
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