Kaniwa: The New Superfood


With Quinoa rapidly gaining notoriety among health fooders, it’s time we looked at Quinoa’s cousin, a ‘superfood’ grain native to the Andes region of South America.

Coming from the same region as Quinoa (native to Peru & Bolivia), Kaniwa is smaller than it’s cousin, slightly darker, and more sweet.

Sold as a whole grain, Kaniwa is actually a seed from a plant called goosefoot.

Kaniwa has been part of the local diet in the Andes for centuries, but has been recently rediscovered by the rest of the world.

Although Kaniwa hasn’t been studied fully yet, it’s nutritional benefits are already setting Kinawa up to be on par or even better than its popular cousin.

Why Kaniwa

Kaniwa contains 3% more protein than its cousin quinoa, and is also high in natural fiber and amino acids.

Lysine, an essential amino acid for human beings is highly present in Kaniwa, which is normally unusual for grains. It also has a much higher iron content than Quinoa,  which is essential for a healthy diet.

Kaniwa is also a natural gluten-free superfood, good news for people looking to go gluten-free, especially because Kaniwa has the same B vitamins and minerals as normal whole-grain wheat.

Percent Daily Values of protein, carbohydrates, and minerals of Kaniwa are extremely high, making it a great choice as a staple in your diet.

Having a negligible crude fat content, Kaniwa is a great and safe choice for people looking for vegan and vegetarian-friendly protein sources. 3.5 ounces of Kaniwa contains 30% of recommended daily fiber intake.

Another great feature of this superfood is that it contains natural antioxidants called flavonoids, particularly isorhamnetin and quercetin, putting it above its cousin Quinoa as a supreme superfood.

Isorhamnetin and quercetin help reduce risk of certain types of inflammatory diseases and help support a healthy heart.

As a vegetable, it contains no saturated fat or chloresterol.

With all of these great features, protein, iron, vitamin B, minerals, fiber, and antioxicants, in a simple and easy to prepare seed, Kaniwa is a great addition to any healthy diet and is easy to prepare!

Cooking With Kaniwa

Along with the nutritional value, Kaniwa doesn’t contain saponins like its cousin Quinoa, which leaves Quinoa with a bitter, somewhat soapy flavor.

Quinoa is tedious to prepare because you have to rinse it extremely thoroughly, Kaniwa is less vexing.

To get the best flavor from Kaniwa, it should be toasted before cooking.

Cook for 2-3 minutes over a dry skillet on medium heat, stirring thoroughly to ensure even roasting.

To cook Kaniwa, use a 1:2 ratio of water to Kaniwa, and simmer for 15-20 minutes like you would white rice.

You can also stew it inside of a crackpot on high for two hours. One cup dry Kaniwa will yield 2 cups on average when cooked.

Kaniwa’s flavor has been described as being nutty, mild and slightly sweet, similar to Quinoa. It doesn’t ‘fluff’ like quinoa, but it also doesn’t congeal like millet will.

When you’ve prepared your Kaniwa, there’s a range of possible ways to incorporate the seed into your recipes.

It cooks quickly, and can be added to stir fry, soup, stews, and salads to thicken your dish.

Kaniwa can easily replace rice as a grain bed cooked in tandem with stir fry vegetables, and it serves as an excellent flavor compliment to fish.

Pair it with tofu for a hearty meal, or heat with milk or soy milk for a delicious breakfast porridge, add a dash of raisins or chopped nuts with some sweetener to create a filling and nutritious start of your day.

Kaniwa will keep for a year when sealed in tupperware or a glass container in the cabinet!

Grinding It Down!

While there’s many tasty and nutritious applications of Kaniwa itself, it can also be ground into a flour!

While you won’t be able to bake Kaniwa well on its own due to its high protein content, you can use it to replace breadcrumbs to coat fish, chicken, or other main features of a meal.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t used Kaniwa in your baking, add Kaniwa-based flour to unbleached flour when cooking to give your baked goods a heartier flavor and nutritional boost.

Start with 1/4 cup of Kaniwa flour added to any recipe, without adjusting liquids called for to add an extra flair to your meal.

The Rise of a Superfood

As a great singular addition to any healthy cooker, Kaniwa’s easy preparation and extensive benefits make the ‘superfood’ title of Kinawa extremely apt.

Kaniwa has none of the negative attributes of Quinoa and even more positive benefits, and although it’s slightly more rare to find in a grocery store than Quinoa due to its recent appearance in the health food scene, you can easily find it at your local health food store.

Kaniwa won’t replace grain-based flour entirely, but its versatility in its whole seed and flour form means that you’ll be able to find applications for it all over the kitchen.

Check your local health food store and give Kaniwa a try!

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived Article

P. Carrothers


Foods, Rx to Wellness

What a Can of Coke Can do To Your Body


Something that I noticed when working as a pharmacist was why people would still gain weight even though they were following a strict low fat diet recommended to them by their doctor.

This made me question whether it is really the ‘fat’ that causes us to gain unhealthy weight.

After seeing so many people suffering from obesity related diseases like heart disease, diabetes and the side effects of the medication they were taking, I was strongly motivated to research what actually causes people to become obese, it clearly was not just the fat they were eating!

I actually discovered that a trigger factor for many widespread diseases of the west such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes could be closely linked to the consumption of one particular substance found in many processed foods and drinks – fructose in the form of high fructose corn syrup.

Fructose is the form of high fructose corn syrup found in pretty much all processed foods such as ready meals, fast foods, sweets and fizzy drinks and most people are totally unaware of its danger.

It is also often found in ‘low fat’ supposedly healthy alternatives and even many popular weight loss products because food with the fat taken out simply tastes horrible. High fructose corn syrup in combination with many other additives are usually added to enhance the flavor.

Glucose is the type of sugar our body loves. It gets metabolized by every cell in our body and is very easy to burn with very few toxic by-products. It also tells the brain to stop eating when you are full.

Fructose on the other hand is another type of sugar and is found in sucrose which breaks down to glucose and fructose.

Fructose is actually only metabolized by the liver and it’s very similar to ethanol (the alcohol in drinks).

When you consume it, it’s actually like ethanol but without the high. It confuses the liver and ends up making lots of bad fats in the process. It also doesn’t signal your brain that you are full.

This is why people can drink massive cups of fizzy drinks which are high in fructose and still eat huge meals containing refined foods that are also full of fructose.

Many fruits also contain fructose, but nature has provided the antidote, as these fruits are also packed with fibre which prevents your body from absorbing too much of it.

When I advised people to reduce their consumption of high fructose corn syrup by eating lower carb/higher protein diets, free from processed foods, even if the labels say they are healthy options, they started to lose weight and feel much better as a result.

In many cases I asked people to just stop their consumption of fizzy drinks like Coca Cola  and instead swap it with either plain water, or add some freshly squeezed lemon for flavor.

Green tea is also a great alternative, and it is one of my personal favorites because it contains alpha wave stimulating theanine that also double serves as an antidote to the harmful effects of caffeine.

Those who loved to drink tea and coffee sweetened with lots of sugar, I advised to swap with natural sweeteners like stevia instead. This alone had some remarkable results.

There are 1.6 billion servings of Coke sold each day worldwide!! A very significant percentage of that is through supermarket chains like WALMART.

Read more:

So you can imagine how unpopular I became in WALMART’s head office in the UK with my information strongly advising people to stop drinking fizzy drinks like Coke!

I recently came across a great article by Wade Meredith that explains what happens when you drink just 1 can of Coca Cola and this applies to pretty much most caffeinated soft drinks, not just Coke!

I have added citations to research I have found that gives some evidence to the claims in the original article.

Read more:

When somebody drinks a can of Coke or any similar sugary caffeine drink, watch what happens…

1. In The First 10 minutes: 10 teaspoons of sugar hit your system. (100% of your recommended daily intake.) You don’t immediately vomit from the overwhelming sweetness because phosphoric acid and other flavorings cuts the flavor allowing you to keep it down.

2. 20 minutes: Your blood sugar spikes, causing an insulin burst. Your liver responds to this by turning any sugar it can get its hands on into fat. (There’s plenty of that at this particular moment) – In animals, or at least in laboratory rats and mice, it’s clear that if the fructose hits the liver in sufficient quantity and with sufficient speed, the liver will convert much of it to fat. This induces a condition known as insulin resistance, which is now considered the fundamental problem in obesity, and the underlying defect in heart disease and in the type of diabetes, type 2, that is common to obese and overweight individuals. It might also be the underlying defect in many cancers.

3. 40 minutes: Caffeine absorption is complete. Your pupils dilate, your blood pressure rises, as a response your liver dumps more sugar into your bloodstream. The adenosine receptors in your brain are now blocked preventing drowsiness.

4. 45 minutes: Your body ups your dopamine production stimulating the pleasure centers of your brain. This is physically the same way heroin works, by the way. – Caffeine had a strong anxiolytic and psychostimulant effect by activation of μ-opioid receptors.

5. >60 minutes: The phosphoric acid binds calcium, magnesium and zinc in your lower intestine, providing a further boost in metabolism. This is compounded by high doses of sugar and artificial sweeteners also increasing the urinary excretion of calcium.

6. >60 Minutes: The caffeine’s diuretic properties come into play. (It makes you have to pee.) It is now assured that you’ll evacuate the bonded calcium, magnesium and zinc that was headed to your bones as well as sodium, electrolyte and water. – Total urine output of water, calcium, magnesium, sodium, chloride, potassium and creatinine increased in the two hours following caffeine ingestion when compared to the control beverage.

7. >60 minutes: As the rave inside of you dies down you’ll start to have a sugar crash. You may become irritable and/or sluggish. You’ve also now, literally, pissed away all the water that was in the Coke. But not before infusing it with valuable nutrients your body could have used for things like even having the ability to hydrate your system or build strong bones and teeth. – Dehydration symptoms

Coke is not just high in high fructose corn syrup, but it is also packed with refined salts and caffeine.

Regular consumption of these ingredients in the high quantities you find in Coke and other processed foods and drinks, can lead to higher blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and obesity.

A study by Harvard university showed that drinking just one can of sugary fizzy drink a day raises the risk of heart disease by 20%.

Sugary beverages also are believed to promote inflammation, an immune-system response involved in both heart disease and insulin resistance, a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes.

Scientists investigated the connection between fizzy beverages and heart disease by analysing data of 43,000 men, taken from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study.

However a small amount now and then wont do any major harm.

The key is moderation!

Even Sandy Douglas, president of Coca-Cola North America, admits that he limits himself to less than a can of Coke a day for health reasons.

We should all know by now the health risks associated with soda due to its highly acid forming recipe of sugar, carbonated water and additives like salt and phosphorous.

But a recent Gallup poll reveals that 48 percent of surveyed Americans  – nearly half! still drink soda on a daily basis. What’s more, among those who drank soda, the average daily intake was 2.6 glasses per day.
Health and Wellness Associates

Archived Article

W. Meredeth Pharm D