Quinoa and Warfarin

Publication Date: 
Wed, 06/01/2016
By: Alere Staff


Quinoa, pronounced KEEN-wah, is a nutritious grain-like seed from a plant of the goosefoot family native to the highland plains of the South American Andes region.1 Quinoa was once considered a staple food source for ancient Incans, referred to as the “mother of all grains” because they believed eating it would provide them a prolonged healthy life.1 While we don’t know if it will provide a prolonged healthy life alone, quinoa is a food that is considered a healthy addition to your diet and has been growing in popularity over the last few years.

The quinoa seed is known as a pseudo-cereal, prepared and eaten in a similar fashion to the many grains we already know. The three main types of quinoa are white, red and black.2 A few years ago, you probably might not have heard of the grainy seed, but now the interest in quinoa has grown throughout the world. Even the United Nations has become interested in quinoa, labeling 2013 the “International Year of Quinoa.”2 This seemingly sudden interest in quinoa is due to two factors: the plants sustainable characteristic to thrive under stressful growing conditions and the seed’s healthy content. Some believe that quinoa may be the answer to malnutrition in famine-prone regions throughout the world.

While the mighty quinoa seed may have greater future goals in mind, its present state is a great nutritional choice for a patient on warfarin. Quinoa is gluten-free and contains all the essential amino acids making it an excellent choice for protein, particularly if you are trying to follow a vegetarian or vegan diet. Quinoa contains around eight grams of quality protein per cup and contains no vitamin K.1 Quinoa also has a low glycemic index and is high in minerals and antioxidants. 

The next time you search for a healthy new addition to your diet, look towards quinoa, the grain-like seed full of healthy benefits. As with every change to your diet, it is best to consult your physician regarding your warfarin and INR tests. 


  1. Rudrappa, U. Quinoa Nutrition Facts. Nutrition-and-You. 2015. Retrieved from the website: http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/quinoa.html.
  2. Gunnars, K., BSc. 11 Proven Health Benefits of Quinoa. Authority Nutrition. May 2016. Retrieved from the website: https://authoritynutrition.com/11-proven-benefits-of-quinoa/.