Quinoa, the gold of Incas

Quinoa is a bush whose seeds are eatable and come in many different colours: whiteredblack but also blue. The scientific name of this plant is Chenopodium quinoa and it belongs to the pseudo-cereal. It originates in South America. It is cultivated by the Andes’ populations for three to four thousand years. The Incas mention it as chisaya mama or in other words “the mother of all seeds”.

Quinoa has a significant nutritional value for the pre-Colombian Andes’ civilisations. It was, actually, the second main food after potatoes and followed by corn. Quinoa looks like at a first lance with the commonly known weed Bathua and it is characterised by its varying plant and seed colours.

While it is just a seed, quinoa is considered to be a full cereal and a good source of fiber.

Nutritional Information

Quinoa has Omega 3 oils that do not harm the heart. It is also a good phosphorus source and contains also a great amount of magnesium and iron. It is gluten-free and easy to digest.


The countries with the largest quinoa production are Bolivia, Peru and the Equinox. During the last years its production is being expanded in other geographical regions too, including Greece, as this plant can easily propser in certain geological and climatic conditions of Greece and is resistant to drought and high salt levels.

White quinoa

Red quinoa

Black quinoa

Mix of quinoa

Source: Κινόα – Βικιπαίδεια