What is “kañiwa”, the new secret to not feel tired

Kañiwa has been cultivated in the Andean highlands for millennia, although it was not until some time ago that it began to be “on everyone’s lips”, both metaphorically and literally.

What is the Kañiwa? Also known as Cañihua, it is an ancient crop that, due to its similarity to quinoa, is also known as baby quinoa.

It has proteins and dietary fiber, it is also rich in phenolic content.

Cañahua or cañihua (from Quechua: qañiwa), is a species of Chenopodium (ash) similar in composition to quinoa. It is a native species of the Andean region with more than 200 varieties and has been cultivated annually in the Altiplano for millennia.

Such is its potential that this year it has been requested by NASA to make energy bars and cookies for astronauts.

According to a 2010 publication made by the National Institute of Agrarian Innovation of Peru; “Its nutritional value and the role it plays in the food security of poor rural households in this part of the world make it a species of key interest. However, at the level of the value chain (production and consumption), its presence is reduced. On the contrary, it is described as a “forgotten and underutilized” species.


Among its specific characteristics are:

  • Special tolerance to specific high mountain conditions,
  • High in protein and dietary fiber and rich in phenolic content.
  • It concentrates large proportions of calcium, magnesium, sodium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, vitamin, vitamin B complex.
  • Its cultivation is especially resistant to droughts and floods.

Benefits of its consumption

In addition to the above, kañiwa has a high content of high-quality amino acids, which improve health in general.

In addition, it is rich in proteins, minerals (calcium, iron, phosphorus), omega 3, so it maintains the optimal functioning of the organs.

It also contains vitamins, including those of group B, folic acid and vitamin E, the latter being an excellent antioxidant.

The amount of protein and fiber it contains makes it a food with a great nutritional value, and one that generates satiety. Together, all its nutrients provide energy.

For all this, it is said that it is not only the superfood of the present, but also of the future.