藜麥還可以用於普通餐和素食，並用來為特定消費群體，如老人、兒童、高體能消耗的運動員、糖尿病患者、乳糜瀉 (coeliac disease) 和乳糖不耐 (intolerance to lactose) 受症患者製作專門食物 。
The consumption of quinoa is becoming increasingly popular among people wanting to improve and maintain their state of health by changing their eating habits, as it is an excellent ‘functional food’ (which helps reduce the risk of various diseases and/or promotes good health). Because of its superior nutritional characteristics this food can be very useful in the different stages of human development and growth. Apart from being easy to digest, it has no cholesterol and is easy to use in the preparation of comprehensive and balanced diets.
Quinoa can also be used in both normal and vegetarian diets, as well as in the preparation of special diets for specific consumer groups such as the elderly, children, high-performance athletes, diabetics, celiacs and people with intolerance to lactose.
藜麥的獨特之處是其高蛋白質含量。其蛋白質的品質和平衡性優於其他穀物，在12.5％和16.7％之間。藜麥蛋白質的37％由必需氨基酸 (essential amino acids) 構成。
藜麥的氨基酸含量超過其它谷類：谷氨酸、天冬氨酸、異亮氨酸、賴氨酸、苯丙氨酸、酪氨酸和纈氨酸。谷氨酸 (Glutamic acid) 有助於 提供大腦所需能量並促進學習、記憶等重要過程以及神經元的可塑性；天冬氨酸 (aspartic acid) 可增強肝功能，並在維持心血管系統方面發揮重要作用；酪氨酸 (tyrosine) 具有重要的抗壓力功能，在減輕抑鬱和焦慮和其他方面起著根本性的作用；藜麥中賴氨酸 (lysine) 的含量達到其他穀物的兩倍，它能夠通過產生抗體來增強機體的免疫功能，促進腸胃功能，配合組織修復，促進脂肪酸的代謝，協助鈣的轉化和吸收，它甚至（似乎）可與維生素C一道，延緩或阻止癌擴散，而這僅僅是藜麥眾多治療用途中的幾個。異亮氨酸、亮氨酸和纈氨酸除了其他功能之外，共同參與生產肌肉能量，改善神經肌肉疾病，防止肝功能受損，並維持血糖的平衡。
What distinguishes quinoa is its high protein value. The quality and balance of its proteins is superior to that of other cereals, fluctuating between 12.5 and 16.7%. And 37% of quinoa proteins are made up of essential amino acids.
Essential amino acids are those that the human body cannot produce and that must therefore be ingested from the diet. A deficiency of these amino acids in the diet restricts human development as the cells of dead tissues cannot be repaired or new tissues created, in the case of growth. The essential amino acids for humans are : Valine, Leucine, Threonine, Lysine, Tryptophan, Histidine, Phenylalanine, Isoleucine, Arginine and Methionine.6
The amino acids that quinoa contains in greater quantities than other cereals are: glutamic acid, aspartic acid, isoleucine, lysine, phenylalanine, tyrosine and valine. Glutamic acid is involved in the production of energy for the brain and in key processes such as learning, memorization and neuronal plasticity; aspartic acid enhances liver function and is vital for maintaining the cardiovascular system; tyrosine has an important antistress function and plays a fundamental role in alleviating depression and anxiety, among other functions; lysine, whose content in quinoa is double that in other cereals, enhances the immunity function by helping build antibodies, favours the gastric function, collaborates in tissue repair, participates in the metabolism of fatty acids, helps the transfer and absorption of calcium, and can even, it would seem, delay or block – together with vitamin C – cancer metastasis, to mention only a few of its many therapeutic properties. As for isoleucine, leucine and valine, these participate together in the production of muscular energy, improve neuromuscular disorders, prevent liver damage and help maintain a balance of sugar levels in the blood, among other functions.
The majority of quinoa fats are monounsaturates and polyunsaturates which are beneficial to the body when incorporated into food, as they are fundamental in forming the structure and functionality of the human nervous and visual system. At the same time, their consumption reduces total cholesterol level and cholesterol LDL (bad cholesterol) in the blood, just to mention some of the multiple benefits to the human organism of consuming omega fatty acids. Fatty acid values in a raw quinoa grain are 8.1%, 52.3%, 23% of omega 3, omega 6 and omega 9 respectively.
Quinoa is a food rich in fibre with a composition that varies according to type of grain, ranging from 2.49 to 5.31g/100 gr of dry matter. It has been shown that dietary fibre reduces levels of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and arterial pressure, and that it acts as an antioxidant. Antioxidants protect us from free radicals that cause the ageing processes and from other diseases.
Quinoa is considered to be gluten free as it contains less than 20mg/kg according to the Codex Alimentarius, rendering it useful for people allergic to gluten. A regular consumption of quinoa helps celiacs regain normality of the intestinal villi far more quickly than with a simple gluten-free diet.
A quinoa grain contains virtually all minerals at a higher level than cereals. It contains phosphorous, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, lithium and copper.
Its iron content is twice that of wheat, three times that of rice and almost that of bean.
It has 1.5 times more calcium than wheat. This mineral is responsible for various bone and dental structure functions and also plays a role in regulating the neuromuscular transmission of chemical and electric stimuli, cell secretion and blood coagulation. The recommended calcium intake for children aged 4 to 9 years is 600-700 mg/day and for adults is from 1000 to 1300 mg/day (FAO/WHO, 2001).
Calcium is absorbed by the body due to the concurrent presence of zinc, which makes it highly recommended to, for example, avoid decalcification and osteoporosis, in contrast to other foods that indeed contain calcium but in which the calcium cannot be absorbed by the body. The zinc content of quinoa is twice that of wheat, and the differences are even greater when compared to rice and maize.
Quinoa has a high content of the vitamins of the B, C and E complex, with a vitamin B and C content higher than that of wheat. It is rich in beta-carotene and niacin (B3). It contains substantially more riboflavin (B2), alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E) and carotene than wheat and rice.
Source: 2013 International Year of Quinoa Secretariat
圖片 Photo:Bioversity International