Trendy quinoa is not a grain, it is a seed, hence being defined as a pseudo-cereal. It is comparable as a plant to beetroot or spinach, and it is from the Andean region of South America. People eat the leaves too. I have been eating it as a stable in my diet since the millennium after an old friend insisted it was a superfood. It turns out she was right. Just substituting quinoa for the complex carbohydrates in your diet could significantly reduce your blood sugar levels which is a simple solution for anyone who is pre-diabetic, with an HbA1c range of 6.0% to 6.4%.
Researchers in Barcelona and from the Open University of Catalonia conducted a small crossover pilot study with nine pre-diabetic adults. The study design had the group on a standard diet of grains, vegetables and complex carbohydrates for four weeks before swapping over all of their complex carbohydrates to quinoa or quinoa-based products that were made for the study. The seed is rich in complex protein, and unsaturated fats and poor in carbohydrates.
After a further four weeks with the quinoa swap in place, the group experience a drop in their BMI (body-weight index), weight loss and less reversal fat around their waistlines. However, the really exciting results were the improvement in biological markers such as increased amino acids, increased lipids and a lowering of the total glycemic index, which indicates the levels of glucose in the blood. Thus the low glycemic index of quinoa really could help lower the risk of developing diabetes.
Please note, if you are unwell, we advise you to see a healthcare practitioner.