Quinoa has become one of the most popular grains of all time. People are talking about its abundant health benefits and making quinoa their primary grain. It might have become trendy nowadays, but it is not a new grain. Dating back to three to four thousand years, it is native to the Andean region of South America. However, the ongoing trend around quinoa has now made it one of the most consumed grains in the world.
BUT IS THIS HEALTH TREND AND THE CONSTANT BUZZ AROUND QUINOA REALLY WORTH IT?
In one word, the answer to this question is no, not necessarily. You must be wondering why did we say so? After all, if you read everywhere else on the internet, you will only find words written in appreciation of quinoa grain. Then, why are we saying that this grain may not necessarily be the healthiest option for Indians?
- To begin with, quinoa is not of Indian origin. Therefore, our gut isn’t very friendly with this grain. When we talk about healthy foods, the best foods are always the local foods from our own origin.
- In addition to this, quinoa is gluten-free. Although it provides a convenient and healthy option for people who suffer from gluten intolerance, it also drives the gut of gluten-tolerant people towards intolerance.
Why should we deliberately become gluten intolerant? Glutens are rich sources of nutrients and help in preventing many diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart diseases, etc. This trend to eat gluten-free foods (despite having gluten tolerance) is inviting many health complications to our bodies.
- Furthermore, we have grains of Indian origin that offer the same health benefits as quinoa and are also friendly with our gut. Rice and millets such as bajra, ragi, jowar, kodo, etc. not only are highly rich in nutrients but are also gluten-free. This makes them a better option for gluten-intolerant Indians. And for people who can eat gluten, we have an Indian superfood, Daliya, that offers almost the same health benefits as quinoa.
NOW THE QUESTION IS THAT IF THESE OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE, THEN WHY IS THERE SUCH HYPE ABOUT QUINOA?
The main reason behind the popularity of quinoa is that we are influenced by western food culture and trying to adopt the same habits. We have forgotten that the western diet is not the key to staying healthy; eating local is the solution. In addition, the herd mentality to follow diet trends has hyped this grain even more.
SO, DOES THIS MEAN THAT WE SHOULD NOT EAT QUINOA AT ALL?
No, it does not mean that you cannot eat or should give up eating quinoa. You may eat quinoa sometimes to add variety to your diet. All we are saying is that you should not strive to make quinoa your primary grain.