Gluten is a naturally occurring protein in some foods. 3 million people in the United States are currently gluten intolerant. This is where one of the benefits of quinoa comes in. If people with celiac disease (gluten intolerance) replaced their primary grain source in their diets with quinoa they would still be able to meet any protein, calcium, iron and fiber needs for a nutritionally beneficial diet. There are many gluten-free alternatives to bread, rice, pasta, and other grain-based foods and snacks, but eating quinoa will ensure a more well-balanced diet than alternatives alone.
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