Keen-wah or kee-No-ah, let's just eat it!
As much as I love spoiling my skin with amazing beauty products, I believe that skincare has to be bolstered from within by consuming nutritious food. And this month, I am featuring a super crop that was ignored for aeons, but has become world renowned for its rich nutritional value in the last 3 decades.
Quinoa is one of the most protein rich, low calorie vegan food, boasting of twice as much fiber compared to other grains. It has a complete amino acid profile which means with each serving, you’re giving your body all of the nine key building blocks for making protein. It is also packed with a number of minerals, vitamins and heart healthy fats that it can be a complete nutritious meal in itself. Gluten free, it is a great option for those who are wheat sensitive.
Besides its high nutrition value, it’s also a very powerful beauty ingredient. Quinoa is often referred to as an anti-aging miracle ingredient for its high amount of antioxidants. These antioxidants aid in protecting the body against destructive effects of free radicals. Abundant collagen in quinoa help in reducing wrinkles and rejuvenating the skin. It’s amazing how this post coincides with the recent launch of Nightly Refining Micro-Peel Concentrate from Kiehl’s in India which harnesses the power of Quinoa husk extracts for skin cell renewal.
For those who struggle with acne and pigmentation, this crop is a natural savior. Quinoa prevents acne by reducing the secretion of sebum or oil. Vitamin E and B12 found in quinoa decrease clustering of melanin granules thus reducing brown spots and pigmentation and revealing an even skin tone.
When it comes to hair, it’s the protein and amino acids in quinoa that make it such a great treatment for all hair problems. Including Quinoa in your diet strengthens hair follicles, prevents thinning of hair and keeps your hair strong, hydrated and healthy. The protein extracted from the crop is also used to produce high quality hair products.
Quinoa is cooked and eaten like other grains and can be easily incorporated into all three meals. From porridges and salads to burger patties and muffins, the choice is vast. You can find recipes for many of these online. Today I am sharing a Mexican salad recipe which I recently tried out and is in love with.
Mexican Quinoa Salad
Quinoa – 50 gms
1/4 cup Corn niblets
1/4 cup Tinned Black Beans
1/2 chopped Avocado
1/4 tsp ground cumin
Chopped Coriander leaves
Juice of 1 lime
Cook the quinoa the same way as you would cook rice. Water for boiling should be double the quantity of quinoa used. Bring quinoa to the boil and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 10-12 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Once Quinoa is cooked, mix it with all the other ingredients. Drizzle over the lime juice and toss gently to combine. It's that simple :)
There are no shortcuts to glowing skin and healthy hair. But we have tried and tested ways to get there. Make subtle changes to your diet, make it more balanced and you will see the results for sure.