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Superfood of the Month: Quinoa

Red and white quinoa in wooden bowl on black granite counter

Feb. 1 2024

Despite its tiny size, quinoa is mighty in nutrition and versatility. Perfect for a range of diets, quinoa offers a gluten-free alternative packed with essential nutrients. It’s a wholesome choice to boost your diet with a nutritious, plant-based protein. 

Health Benefits

Protein Source: Unlike most plant-based foods, quinoa provides all nine essential amino acids, making it an excellent protein source for vegetarians and vegans. 

Fiber Rich: High in dietary fiber, quinoa aids digestion and helps in maintaining a healthy gut. 

Gluten-Free: Quinoa is ideal for those with gluten intolerance or celiac disease. 

Antioxidant Powerhouse: Quinoa contains a high level of antioxidants, such as quercetin and kaempferol, which combat free radicals in the body. 

Blood Sugar Stability: Quinoa’s low glycemic index helps in managing blood sugar levels, beneficial for those with diabetes. 

Mineral Dense: It’s a great source of minerals such as magnesium, iron and zinc, essential for overall health. 

Heart Healthy: The fiber and unsaturated fats in quinoa support cardiovascular health. 

Weight Management: The combination of protein and fiber can lead to a feeling of fullness, aiding in weight control. 

Bone Health: Quinoa contains calcium and magnesium, which are vital for bone health. 

Versatile and Tasty: Its nutty flavor and easy-to-cook nature make it a great addition to a variety of dishes, from breakfasts to desserts. 

Quinoa and Shrimp Paella

Bowl of quinoa and shrimp paella


  • 1 lb (450g) shrimp, peeled and deveined 
  • 2 c cooked quinoa 
  • Pinch of saffron threads 
  • 2 c chicken broth 
  • 1 c peas (fresh or frozen) 
  • 2 tomatoes, diced 
  • 1 onion, finely chopped 
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1 tsp paprika 
  • 2 T olive oil 
  • Lemon wedges 


1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and garlic, sautéing until translucent. 

2. Stir in tomatoes and paprika, cooking until tomatoes soften. 

3. Add cooked quinoa to the skillet. In a separate bowl, infuse chicken broth with saffron threads, then pour this mixture into the skillet. Stir well. 

4. Add shrimp and peas to the skillet. Cook until shrimp turn pink and are cooked through, about 5 to 6 minutes. 

5. Serve hot, garnished with lemon wedges. 

Nutrition: Calories: 450; Protein: 28g; Fat: 15g; Carbohydrates: 50g; Fiber: 5g 

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Disclaimer: This blog is intended for general understanding and education about Lexington Medical Center. Nothing on the blog should be considered or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Blog visitors with personal health or medical questions should consult their health care provider.