Facts and Research
Lost Crops of the Incas
Quinoa has an exceptionally nutritious balance of protein, fat, oil, and starch. The embryo take up a greater proportion of the seeds than in normal cereals, so the protein content is high. Grains average 16% protein, but can contain up to 23% - more than twice the level in common cereal grains.
Moreover, the protein is of unusally high quality, and is extremely close to the FAO standard for human nutrition. Quinoa's protein is high in the essential amino acids lysine, methionine, and cystine, making it complementary both to other grains (which are notably deficient in lysine), and to legumes such as beans (which are deficient in methionine and cystine).
As for carbohydrates, the seed contains 56-68 % starch and 5% sugar. The starch granules are extremely small. They contain about 20% amylose, and gelatimize in the 55-65 degree Celsius range.
Kiwicha produces mild-tasting, cereal-like seeds that have protein contents of 13-18 %, compared to about 10% in corn and other major cereal foods. Moreover, the seeds have high levels of lysine, a nutritionally essential amino acid that is usually deficient in plant protein. For instance, they have nearly twice the level of lysine found in wheat protein. Popping and flaking seem to have no major effect on protein digestibility or utilization; however, heat may damage the protein unless care is taken.
Amaranth grain is also high in calcium, phosphorus, iron, potassium, zinc, vitamin E, and vitamin B-complex. Its fiber, especially compared with the fiber in wheat and other grains, is very soft and fine. It is not necessary to separate it from the flour; indeed it may be a benefit to human health.
In some areas of the Puna, Maca is important in the diet. It has one of the highest nutritional values of any food crop grown there. The dried roots are approximate 13-16 % protein, and are rich in essential amino acids. The fresh roots contain unusually high amounts of iron and iodine, two nutrients that are often deficient in the highland diet..
In addition to its nutritious ingredients, some antinutritional factors - alkaloids, tannins, and small quantities of saponins - have been reported. During storage, the nutritional value stays high. Seven- year-old roots still retain a high level of calories as well as 9-10% protein.
Kaniwa seed adds high-quality protein to meat-scarce diets. This is particularly important because in the Andes, as well as in other tropical highlands, millions of people survive primarily on starchy tubers. The protein content of the grain is extremely high. Morever, it has an exceptional amino-acid balance, being notably rich in lysine, isoleucine, and tryptophan. This protein quality, in combination with a carbohydrate content of nearly 60% and a vegetable oil content of 8%, makes kaniwa exceptionally nutritious.
Kaniwa foliage is also nutritious and can be used as a potherb. The leaves of young plants (at about a month and a half after planting) have protein contents as high as 30% (dry weight). The crop residue is highly digestible, mineral rich, and valuable for livestock feed.
arwi (Lupines Mutabilis) is grown in the highlands of Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador. This bountiful plant yields a white seed rich in protein and oil, including unsaturated fatty acids like linoleic acid. Tarwi contains plentiful amounts of the essential amino acids lysine and cysteine. It does not contain high amounts of fiber, making our processed powder easy to mix, eat, and digest.
After harvest, our Tarwi seeds are processed to remove any bitter alkaloids. Then it is roasted and powderized. Once made ready to eat, our Tarwi powder can be added to smoothies, juice, milk, yogurt, cereal, oatmeal and more for a fortifying protein boost!Tarwi seeds contain more than 40% protein, making it one of the most protein rich crops in the world!
The importance of amino acids, which are the essential building blocks of our body. The difference between essential amino acids and non-essential amino acids.
Are the "building blocks" of the body. Besides building cells and repairing tissue, they form antibodies to combat invading bacteria and viruses; they are the part of the enzyme and hormonal system; they build nucleoproteins (RNA & DNA); they carry oxygen throughout the body and participate in muscle activity. When protein is broken down by digestion the result is 22 known amino acids. Eight are essential (cannot be manufactured by the body) the rest are nonessential (can be manufactured by the body with proper nutrition).
Essential Amino Acids
Tryptophan A natural relaxant, helps alleviate insomnia by inducing normal sleep; reduces anxiety & depression; helps in the treatment of migraine headaches; helps the immune system; helps reduce the risk of artery & heart spasms; works with Lysine in reducing cholesterol levels.
Lysine Insures the adequate absorption of calcium; helps form collagen (which makes up bone cartilage & connective tissues); aids in the production of antibodies, hormones & enzymes. Recent studies have shown that Lysine may be effective against herpes by improving the balance of the nutrients that reduce viral growth. A deficiency may result in tiredness, inability to concentrate, irritability, bloodshot eyes, retarded growth, hair loss, anemia & reproductive problems.
Methionine Is a principle supplier of sulfur which prevents disorders of the hair, skin and nails; helps lower cholesterol levels by increasing the liver's production of lecithin; reduces liver fat and protects the kidneys; a natural chelating agent for heavy metals; regulates the formation of ammonia and creates ammonia-free urine which reduces bladder irritation; influences hair follicles and promotes hair growth.
Phenylalanine used by the brain to produce Norepinephrine, a chemical that transmits signals between nerve cells and the brain; keeps you awake & alert; reduces hunger pains; functions as a antidepressant and helps improve memory. Threonine Is an important constituent of collagen, elastin, and enamel protein; helps prevents fat build-up in the liver; helps the digestive and intestinal tracts function more smoothly; assists metabolism and assimilation.
Valine promotes mental vigor, muscle coordination and calm emotions.Leucine & Isoleucine They provide ingredients for the manufacturing of other essential biochemical components in the body, some of which are utilized for the production of energy, stimulants to the upper brain and helping you to be more alert.
Non-essential Amino Acids
Arginine studies have shown that it has improved immune responses to bacteria, viruses & tumor cells; promotes wound healing and regeneration of the liver; causes the release of growth hormones; considered crucial for optimal muscle growth and tissue repair.
Tyrosine transmits nerve impulses to the brain; helps overcome depression; Improves memory; Increases mental alertness; promotes the healthy functioning of the thyroid , adrenal and pituitary glands.
Glycine helps trigger the release of oxygen to the energy requiring cell making process; important in the manufacturing of hormones responsible for a strong immune system.
Serine a storage source of glucose by the liver and muscles; helps strengthen the immune system by providing antibodies; synthesizes the fatty acid sheath around nerve fibers.
Glutamic Acid considered to be nature's "brain food" by improving mental capacities; helps speed the healing of ulcers; gives a "lift" from fatigue; helps control alcoholism, schizophrenia and the craving for sugar.
Aspartic Acid aids the expulsion of harmful ammonia from the body. When ammonia enters the circulatory system it acts as a highly toxic substance which can be harmful to the central nervous system. Recent studies have shown that Aspartic Acid may increase resistance to fatigue and increase endurance. Taurine Helps stabilize the excitability of membranes which is very important in the control of epileptic seizures.
Taurine and sulfur are considered to be factors necessary for the control of many biochemical changes that take place in the aging process; aids in the clearing of free radical wastes.
Cystine functions as an antioxidant and is a powerful aid to the body in protecting against radiation and pollution. It can help slow down the aging process, deactivate free radicals, neutralize toxins; aids in protein synthesis and prevents cellular change. It is necessary for the formation of the skin, which aids in the recovery from burns and surgical operations. Hair and skin are made up of 10-14% Cystine.
Histidine Is found abundantly in hemoglobin; has been used in the treatment of the rheumatoid arthritis, allergic diseases, ulcers & anemia. A deficiency can cause poor hearing.
Proline Is extremely important for the proper functioning of joints and tendons; also helps maintain and strengthen heart muscles.
Alanine Is an important source of energy for muscle tissue, the brain and central nervous system; strengthens the immune system by producing antibodies; helps in the metabolism of sugars and organic acids.