Let’s talk about Amaranth.
It is known as an ancient grain that has been cultivated for 8,000 years.
In India, Amaranth plant is cultivated in Kerala, Tamilnadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Amaranth as plant can be eaten in many ways. A person can eat its leaves, seeds or even its root. Amaranth leaves can be crushed to make spices and roots and leaves can be eaten as a vegetable.
Amaranth has almost the same nutritive value as Quinoa and it also looks the same.
It is a good source of dietary minerals and is highly nutritive.
Here is what one cup (245 grams) of cooked Amaranth grain (from about 65 g raw) contains.
- 251 Calories
- 4 Grams Fat
- Zero Cholesterol
- 46 Grams Carbohydrate
- 5 Grams Dietary Fiber
- 9 Grams Protein
- Other important nutrients such as Vitamin A, B6, B3, B12 and E, Iron, Calcium, Folate, Manganese, Phosphorus, Zinc and Potassium.
Now check out these 11 reasons why eating Amaranth is good for our health.
- Gluten Free: Amaranth is gluten free, which makes it a healthy food for those who have gluten intolerance or celiac disease.
- Prevents Birth Defects: Amaranth prevents birth defects because of the presence of an essential B Vitamin called Folate. Add some Amaranth leaves or seeds to your diet and protect your new little addition to the family.
- Full of Proteins: Amaranth has more proteins than any other grain. It is a healthier plant based source of protein than animal protein which has fats and cholesterol.
- Strengthens Bones. Amaranth has a blend of bone friendly minerals – calcium, manganese and phosphorus. Amaranth has lysine which helps in absorbing calcium.
- Good for Eye Health. The important amount of carotenoids as well as vitamin A present in Amaranth is good for eye health.
- Rich Source of Dietary Fibre. Amaranth is rich in dietary fibre which helps balance cholesterol levels in the body. The potassium content in Amaranth helps in reducing blood pressure levels.
- Controls Premature Greying. Research suggests that Amaranth helps in controlling the premature greying of hair.
- Promotes Electrolyte Balance. Amaranth promotes electrolyte balance in the body as it is a powerhouse of many minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium.
- Helps in Preventing Cancer. Amaranth is a great grain for cancer prevention. The antioxidants in Amaranth protect the cells from damage which leads to cancer.
- Reduces Inflammation. Amaranth eases pain and reduces inflammation with peptides present in them.
- Helps in Lowering Cholesterol Levels. The oils and phytosterols in Amaranth helps in lower cholesterol level.
Amaranth can be a healthy addition to the food that we eat everyday.
Here are various ways in which Amaranth can be added to our diet.
- Mix Amaranth with fruits and nuts as a replacement for oats.
- Prepare Amaranth grains similar to rice or pasta.
- Add Amaranth to soups and increase its nutritive value.
- Make breads with Amaranth grains.
- Use Amaranth as a flour, as a healthy gluten free option.
- Amaranth leaves can be eaten as a complete food like spinach.
- Mix Amaranth in smoothies for nutty flavour.
For many years people forgot about this amazing plant. They forgot how to grow, harvest and eat it. But now more and more people are understanding how wonderful amaranth grain is.
Do you use it already or plan on using it?
Share with us in comments.