Quinoa ( or , from Quechua kinwa or kinuwa) is an annual seed-producing flowering plant (Chenopodium quinoa) grown as a grain crop. It is a pseudocereal, not a grass, unlike wheat and rice. It is botanically related to spinach.
Quinoa seeds are rich in protein, dietary fiber, B vitamins, and dietary minerals in amounts greater than in many grains. It is gluten-free.
Quinoa is native to all the countries of the Andean region, from Colombia to the south of Chile. Almost all production in the Andean region is done by small farms and associations. Quinoa cultivation has spread to more than 70 countries, including Kenya, India, the United States, and several European countries.
Quinoa crop prices tripled between 2006 and 2013 as a result of increased consumption in North America, Europe, and Australasia.
Quinoa originated in the Andean region of northwestern South America. It was first used to feed livestock 5.2-7 thousand years ago, and for human consumption 3-4 thousand years ago in the Lake Titicaca basin of Peru and Bolivia.