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Quinoa Intolerance
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Quinoa gives me severe GI distress when I eat it as a breakfast cereal or a side dish but when combined with other grains such as corn in noodles I seem to be okay with it. Perhaps with the noodles the difference is the concentration or the processing that either dilutes the offensive ingredient or changes it in some way. From the research I've done I think the offending compound in the quinoa is the saponin, which is found concentrated in the hulls of the seed. When the seeds are washed the saponin produces a sudsy residue. Normally, the seeds are washed to remove most of this in food processing but even traces that remain may cause problems in saponin-sensitive individuals.

I brought up this topic about a year-and-a-half ago and had stayed away from quinoa in the meantime until two days ago when I cooked some for breakfast. I thought, "Maybe it was just coincidence before when I tried it and got sick. Maybe I had just picked up an intestinal bug at the same time." No, it wasn't coincidence. The new piece, however, is the discovery that I can have it in noodles.

Thanks to Rachel who had some good info on the subject when I posted a year-and-a-half ago.

Just goes to show you that what is good for most people is bad for some when it comes to "safe" alternatives to gluten-containing grains.

Are there any other quinoa intolerant forum members out there besides Rachel and I?

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I too get HORRIBLE pains from quinoa, even worse than from gluten a lot of the time. None of my nutritionists etc. believe me because it's supposed to be such a miracle food for everyone else. Someone has suggested that I try millet; have you had any luck with this grain? I've been curious but kind of worried that it might have the same effects as quinoa.

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Millet is just a form of rice I think. If you do okay with rice then you should be okay with millet.

Have you tried amarynth? It is delicious but a little spendy. Actually, I'm not going to miss quinoa much as I don't like the taste. It smells and tastes like wet, moldy grass seed to me.

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I too get HORRIBLE pains from quinoa, even worse than from gluten a lot of the time. None of my nutritionists etc. believe me because it's supposed to be such a miracle food for everyone else. Someone has suggested that I try millet; have you had any luck with this grain? I've been curious but kind of worried that it might have the same effects as quinoa.

I believe millet is its own grain, not just a rice product. It is very small and has been used since ancient times in the East. Of course, we never see it here in the wheat & corn eat'n West. I've never noticed any soapiness when cooking it but as with anything, you could be sensitive to it. I don't particularly like the taste of cooked millet though I've found some puffed millet that isn't as weird in texture and taste. You could always try it - good luck!

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Quinoa gives me severe GI distress when I eat it as a breakfast cereal or a side dish but when combined with other grains such as corn in noodles I seem to be okay with it. Perhaps with the noodles the difference is the concentration or the processing that either dilutes the offensive ingredient or changes it in some way. From the research I've done I think the offending compound in the quinoa is the saponin, which is found concentrated in the hulls of the seed. When the seeds are washed the saponin produces a sudsy residue. Normally, the seeds are washed to remove most of this in food processing but even traces that remain may cause problems in saponin-sensitive individuals.

I brought up this topic about a year-and-a-half ago and had stayed away from quinoa in the meantime until two days ago when I cooked some for breakfast. I thought, "Maybe it was just coincidence before when I tried it and got sick. Maybe I had just picked up an intestinal bug at the same time." No, it wasn't coincidence. The new piece, however, is the discovery that I can have it in noodles.

Thanks to Rachel who had some good info on the subject when I posted a year-and-a-half ago.

Just goes to show you that what is good for most people is bad for some when it comes to "safe" alternatives to gluten-containing grains.

Are there any other quinoa intolerant forum members out there besides Rachel and I?

I think I've always had some trouble with quinoa, which is too bad because I love the taste. Luckily for me the only seems to be that I simply do not digest it. It comes out looking exactly the same as it went in! But thanks for the info about it; I thought I was the only one who had trouble with it!

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Millet and rice are separate plants. Millet and amaranth are both excellent alternatives, and do not have saponin. Of course, you can try rinsing your quinoa very well (I use a paper towel in a colander, since the grain is so small) prior to cooking, regardless of whether or not it says it was rinsed. I haven't had a problem, but I can certainly believe that it might cause someone else problems.

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I have no problems with the white quinoa, although the red kind hurt my gut and wouldn't digest.

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Quinoa was very bad news for me. No thanks... ever again. I think there are issues with the saponin, even residually, and leaky gut problems which seem to have a very noticeable effect on not only my celiac but also my RA.

Chuck

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