Foundation for Diet and Health

The best perspective for your health

The best perspective for your health

The best perspective for your health

The best perspective for your health

Quinoa, uncooked

Quinoa sold in stores has had the outer coating removed. It contains all of the essential amino acids and has even more iron, magnesium, and iron than grains.
76/17/07  LA11:1ALA

Quinoa, a pseudograin (pseudocereal), can be eaten both cooked and uncooked. It originally comes from the Andes in South America, the home of the Incas, where it has been cultivated for 6,000 years. Quinoa thrives in this region at an elevation of up to 4,200 meters (13,800 feet). The leaves, which are rich in minerals, are also eaten there as vegetable dishes or salads. Quinoa is gluten-free and has more protein, magnesium, and iron than common grains. It also contains more essential amino acids, even more lysine.

General information:

From Wikipedia: “Quinoa (/ˈkiːnoʊ.ə/, from Quechua kinwa or kinuwa) is a species of the goosefoot genus (Chenopodium quinoa), a grain crop grown primarily for its edible seeds.

Nutritional value:

Nutritional information per 100 g of uncooked quinoa:

Energy 1434 kJ (343 kcal), water 12.7 g, protein 13.8 g, fat 5.0 g, carbohydrates 58.5 g, (of which fiber 6.6 g), minerals 3.3 g

Minerals: potassium 805 mg, phosphorous 330 mg, magnesium 275 mg, calcium 80 mg, sodium 10 mg, iron 8 mg, zinc 2.5 mg

Vitamins: vitamin B1 170 µg, nicotinamide 450 µg*

Nutritional evaluations indicate that raw (uncooked) quinoa is a rich source of protein, dietary fiber, several B vitamins and dietary minerals, nutrients whose contents are substantially reduced by cooking. Analysis shows its protein is relatively high in essential amino acids.

However, quinoa doesnʼt contain any vitamin A or C in its seeds, and over 50% of the fatty acids are unsaturated.*

Culinary uses:

It is a pseudocereal, similar in some respects to buckwheat, rather than a true cereal, as it is not a member of the true grass family. As a chenopod, quinoa is closely related to species such as beetroots, spinach and tumbleweeds. As a member of the Amaranthaceae family, it is related to and resembles amaranth, which is also a pseudocereal. After harvest, the seeds must be processed to remove the coating containing the bitter-tasting saponins. The seeds are in general cooked the same way as rice and can be used in a wide range of dishes. The leaves are eaten as a leaf vegetable, much like amaranth, but commercial availability of quinoa greens is limited.

Saponin coating:

In their natural state, the seeds have a coating of bitter-tasting saponins, making them unpalatable. Most of the grain sold commercially has been processed to remove this coating. This bitterness has beneficial effects during cultivation, as it is unpopular with birds and therefore requires minimal protection. ...

The toxicity category rating of quinoa saponins treats them as mild eye and respiratory irritants and as a low gastrointestinal irritant. The saponin is a toxic glycoside, a main contributor to its hemolytic effects when combined directly with blood cells. In South America, quinoa saponin has many uses, including as a detergent for clothing and washing and as an antiseptic for skin injuries.


The grain has become increasingly popular in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, China and Japan where it is not typically grown, increasing crop value. Between 2006 and early 2013 quinoa crop prices tripled. ... The higher prices make it harder for people to purchase, but also brings a livable income for farmers and enables many urban refugees to return to working the land.

In 1993, a NASA report made quinoa famous as the ʽnewʼ grain and declared that thanks to its high protein levels and unique amino acid structure, it was especially suited for use in Controlled Ecological Life Support Systems (e.g., space stations and colonies.*

Interesting facts:

The Incas used quinoa as a remedy for sore throats. It is a suitable whole grain replacement for people who suffer from celiac disease (gluten intolerance). Given these attributes, it is also a good choice for people with allergies and is popular in both vegetarian and vegan cuisine. Quinoa is used to produce gluten-free beer.*

Note (italics): * = Translation from a German Wikipedia entry

Nutritional Information per 100g 2000 kCal
Energy 368 kcal18.4%
Fat/Lipids 6.1 g8.7%
Saturated Fats 0.71 g3.5%
Carbohydrates (inc.dietary fiber) 64 g23.8%
Sugars n/a
Fiber 7 g28.0%
Protein (albumin) 14 g28.2%
Cooking Salt (Na:5.0 mg)13 mg0.5%
Recommended daily allowance according to the GDA.
Protein (albumin)
Cooking Salt

Essential Nutrients per 100g with %-share Daily Requirement at 2000 kCal
MinManganese, Mn 2 mg102.0%
VitFolate, as the active form of folic acid (née vitamin B9 and B11) 184 µg92.0%
ProtTryptophan (Trp, W) 0.17 g67.0%
ElemPhosphorus, P 457 mg65.0%
MinCopper, Cu 0.59 mg59.0%
ElemMagnesium, Mg 197 mg53.0%
ProtThreonine (Thr, T) 0.42 g45.0%
ProtIsoleucine (Ile, I) 0.5 g41.0%
ProtLysine (Lys, K) 0.77 g41.0%
ProtPhenylalanine (Phe, F) 0.59 g38.0%

The majority of the nutritional information comes from the USDA (US Department of Agriculture). This means that the information for natural products is often incomplete or only given within broader categories, whereas in most cases products made from these have more complete information displayed.

If we take flaxseed, for example, the important essential amino acid ALA (omega-3) is only included in an overarching category whereas for flaxseed oil ALA is listed specifically. In time, we will be able to change this, but it will require a lot of work. An “i” appears behind ingredients that have been adjusted and an explanation appears when you hover over this symbol.

For Erb Muesli, the original calculations resulted in 48 % of the daily requirement of ALA — but with the correction, we see that the muesli actually covers >100 % of the necessary recommendation for the omega-3 fatty acid ALA. Our goal is to eventually be able to compare the nutritional value of our recipes with those that are used in conventional western lifestyles.

Essential fatty acids, (SC-PUFA) 2000 kCal
Linoleic acid; LA; 18:2 omega-6 3 g30.0%
Alpha-Linolenic acid; ALA; 18:3 omega-3 0.26 g13.0%

Essential amino acids 2000 kCal
Tryptophan (Trp, W) 0.17 g67.0%
Threonine (Thr, T) 0.42 g45.0%
Isoleucine (Ile, I) 0.5 g41.0%
Lysine (Lys, K) 0.77 g41.0%
Phenylalanine (Phe, F) 0.59 g38.0%
Valine (Val, V) 0.59 g37.0%
Leucine (Leu, L) 0.84 g35.0%
Methionine (Met, M) 0.31 g33.0%

Vitamins 2000 kCal
Folate, as the active form of folic acid (née vitamin B9 and B11) 184 µg92.0%
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) 0.49 mg35.0%
Thiamine (vitamin B1) 0.36 mg33.0%
Riboflavin (vitamin B2) 0.32 mg23.0%
Vitamin E, as a-TEs 2.4 mg20.0%
Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) 0.77 mg13.0%
Niacin (née vitamin B3) 1.5 mg10.0%
Vitamin K 1.1 µg1.0%
Vitamin A, as RAE 1 µg< 0.1%
Vitamin D 0 µg< 0.1%

Essential macroelements (macronutrients) 2000 kCal
Phosphorus, P 457 mg65.0%
Magnesium, Mg 197 mg53.0%
Potassium, K 563 mg28.0%
Calcium, Ca 47 mg6.0%
Sodium, Na 5 mg1.0%

Essential trace elements (micronutrients) 2000 kCal
Manganese, Mn 2 mg102.0%
Copper, Cu 0.59 mg59.0%
Iron, Fe 4.6 mg33.0%
Zinc, Zn 3.1 mg31.0%
Selenium, Se 8.5 µg15.0%