When a food item gets its own year, that has to mean that it's pretty amazing. In the case of quinoa, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has officially declared that the year 2013 be recognized as, "The International Year of the Quinoa." By now you might have heard that quinoa is another one of these "super foods" that you should be incorporating into your diet (which is super easy to do given how versatile it is.) I use it as a substitute for other grains such as rice and pasta, in my salads and as a breakfast porridge. There are dozens of other ways quinoa can also be used, I personally am looking forward to using it for baking , for making a vegan quinoa burger and since the holiday season is upon us I am thinking of ways to incorporate it into stuffing etc. Simply perform a Google search for quinoa and you will get tons of results on the health benefits of quinoa, which includes (to name a few); quinoa is a source of complete protein, it is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. It is also a source of calcium, and thus is useful for vegans and those who are lactose intolerant. It is also gluten-free and easy to digest. These are all pretty amazing reasons to consume this super food, but from a beauty standpoint quinoa is practically a miracle food for the skin. Quinoa contains lysine, an essential amino acid for human skin, which is used in the production of elastin and collagen. Lysine is an essential nutrient which cannot be synthesized by the body, hence it must be provided by the diet. It aids in the quick healing of damaged tissue, making it very important for people who are recovering from any surgery or injury. It also helps to create scar tissue and ligaments for quick recovery. Quinoa contains high levels of riboflavin which provides elasticity to the skin to give it the required softness and resiliency. It also builds up connective tissue to tone the skin and prevents wrinkles and fine lines. Consumption of quinoa seeds provides the body with collagen which rejuvenates the skin from within and reduces wrinkles and other symptoms of ageing. It makes the skin soft, smooth and supple. There are Vitamins in quinoa that decreases clustering of melanin granules to reduce brown spots and pigmentation. and if that is not enough, quinoa also helps to decrease sebum production and treats acne. See I wasn't kidding when I said miracle food! I usually purchase a 4lb bag of quinoa from Costco, which lasts me for a pretty long time since the bag contains 42 servings. If you go to Pinterest and search Quinoa, the amount of recipes that show up can almost be overwhelming so go ahead and get crazy and creative with your quinoa exploration! Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram and G+. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too!