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Health Benefits of Eating Kaniwa

Updated on January 13, 2016
Chuck Bluestein profile image

At age 16 I was a volunteer at a hospital bacteriology lab. I became a chemist for U.S. government. Then I studied health & related fields.

Kañiwa or Kaniwa

This article lists 10 benefits of eating kaniwa. Click on picture to see it more clearly or click on the link to where the article comes from.
This article lists 10 benefits of eating kaniwa. Click on picture to see it more clearly or click on the link to where the article comes from. | Source

Health Benefits of Kaniwa

I was in a Sprouts supermarket in the bulk section and I saw a big tub of kaniwa that I had never heard of before.

In the picture on the right the benefits listed include cardiovascular healthy, great energy source, great protein source, good source of iron, anti-inflammatory, reduce infections, full of fiber, anti-oxidant, healthy bones and healthy fats.

It only takes 15 to 20 minutes to cook it. If you look this up on Wikipedia all you find is Chenopodium pallidicaule. It says:

Chenopodium pallidicaule, known as qañiwa, qañawa or qañawi (Quechua,[1][2][3] hispanicized spellings cañihua, canihua, cañahua, cañahui, also kaniwa, kañiwa) is a species of goosefoot, similar in character and uses to the closely related quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa).

Qañiwa has important beneficial characteristics including tolerance of high mountain conditions, high protein content, high antioxidant capacity and phenolic content[4][5] and a lack of the saponins which complicate quinoa use.

When it comes to plant foods, whole grains are healthier than refined grains but not as healthy as fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts. Kaniwa is a seed but it used like a grain similar to quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat and wild rice. Wild rice is not a rice. It is the seed of a grass plant. So the above are seeds, not grains even if they are used similar to the way that grains are used.

This article was written June 27, 2015. Studies have shown that adding a hand full a day of nuts and seeds to one's diet lengthens their life. Nuts and seeds are nutrient dense and are the best sources of many vitamins and minerals. They also contain healthy fats that are good for cardiovascular health.

It is suggested that for better taste, the kaniwa seeds be toasted over a medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes before cooking. It is suggested in cooking that 2 cups of water be used for each cup of seeds. PubMed is part of the U.S. National Library of Medicine. They have an article on it called Chemical and functional characterization of Kañiwa (Chenopodium pallidicaule) grain, extrudate and bran. It says that it is:

rich in total dietary fibre [fiber] and lignin, and the phenolic components analyzed had high antioxidant activity.

In conclusion, kañiwa may offer an alternative to traditional cereals as a health-promoting food ingredient.

WebMD says that lignin is an insoluble fiber that benefits heart health and possibly immune function.

Here is an article called Is Quinoa a Grain or a Seed? It says:

At least once a week, I get an email from someone saying something like “hey, isn’t quinoa a grain?” or “my doctor told me quinoa was a grain”.

Quinoa is the seed of the Chenopodium or Goosefoot plant.

Its frequently called a grain because it is used and cooked like one, and is often called an “Ancient Grain” and a “Wholegrain”. These terms can make it confusing, but trust me folks, it is not a grain. It is a gluten free super-seed, Pseudo-cereal.

Comparing Kañiwa to Quinoa

Kañiwa is a pseudo grain or pseudograin similar to quinoa but it is more nutrient dense than quinoa. Like quinoa it is a seed but it is smaller and contains more flavanoids than quinoa. It also contains more protein like 16% in kañiwa copared to only 13% in quinoa. It is supposed to have more protein than any grain. It has more fiber than millet and wild rice and consuming fiber has many benefits even though your body gets rid of it.

With quinoa, unlike kaniwa, you need to rinse it first to help get rid of the sanonins that are bitter. Every plant food has a different set of phytochemicals which are plant medicines. So it can be used in place of other grains and can be used instead of quinoa or in addition to quinoa. The key to getting as many benefits as possible from foods is to eat many different kinds of foods,

For example in the early 1800s the majority of food eaten by Americans was pork and corn. This is is also when the Americans drank more alcohol than ever. In this day and age it is easy to get many different plant foods and like I said before, the key to getting the most health benefits as possible is to eating many different types of food. Like an article about plant foods was called Eat the Rainbow since foods of similar colors have similar groups of nutrients.

Health Benefits of Kaniwa - Nutritional Information

How to make or prepare a Kaniwa Tabouli Salad


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      chiquitamelanie 19 months ago

      I prepare the Kaniwa in the crockpot for breakfast porridge. 2 cups of Kaniwa to about 5-6 cups of water on low overnight. We eat it with a little bit of honey and butter. It needs nothing else.