Discover the 10 shocking health benefits of amaranth.
The benefits of amaranth are very little known but here we will show you its miraculous benefits that you may not know so that you can put into practice now.
Amaranth leaves are nutritious leafy vegetables and are available in a variety of colors (shades of green and red); This leafy vegetable can be consumed in the form of soups, French fries, simmered dishes, and sauces.
Known as a scholar in Hindi, amaranth leaves are an excellent source of essential nutrients and trace elements.
The botanical name for this plant is Amaranthus cruentus. These plants were cultivated for 8000 years. These grains are somewhat identical to rice or corn.
Amaranth is an extremely nutritious plant that confers a wide range of benefits, showing that diet affects many areas of body function and health.
Both the leaves and seeds of the plant are edible and for the most part, the nutrients present in the seeds are also available in the leaves.
Many of these species are considered weeds; however, people around the world consume amaranth as grains and cereals for its many health benefits.
Amaranth has a long history and has been in use for many centuries by many different cultures.
The various species are now sold through many countries including India, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, and the Caribbean.
While still new in Europe and America, amaranth seeds, such as buckwheat and quinoa, are becoming more popular in restaurant dishes and food stores.
In Mexico, the sautéed seeds are turned into a sugary sweet called joy. In Nepal, amaranth is made into a porridge called tattoo. Peruvians ferment these amaranth seeds to produce a type of beer.
A common food source in Africa, grain amaranth is valued for its ability to improve nutrition while supporting rural development and sustainable agriculture.
In Africa, this vegetable is even recommended by doctors for people who have low red blood cell counts.
Amaranth is a large, bushy annual plant generally about 90-130 cm tall. It has pointed, oblong-lanceolate green leaves, normally arranged alternately 2-4 inches long. The stems are erect, branched.
The plant produces flowers in summer or fall (August and October) that are pink or white.
The seeds are yellow, white, red, brown, pink, or black in spherical or flattened lenticular shape.
It prefers warm weather and thrives in well-drained soils. As the plant is annual, it has a shelf life of one year.
Amaranth is rich in antioxidants, proteins, vitamins, and minerals that make it a healthy food by preventing chronic diseases, enhancing the immune system, stimulating repair and growth, reducing inflammation and blood pressure, decreasing varicose veins, and promote bone strength, and others.
It can be consumed as a leafy vegetable, whole grain flour, or cereal grain. Other benefits of amaranth include:
Amaranth has a huge amount of protein that the body needs to break down plant protein into amino acids and can be reformed into usable proteins.
Protein is vital for the development and growth of new tissues and cells, energy, and metabolic functions. Even the leaves also have beneficial proteins in them.
Research shows that the peptide found in amaranth helps reduce inflammation and prevents free radical damage from mutation of healthy cells to cancer cells. Anti-inflammatory activities eliminate health conditions like gout, arthritis, and inflammation.
As if that were not enough, another of the benefits of amaranth is that they have several minerals such as calcium.
It improves the strength of the bones and also prevents osteoporosis. Calcium is essential to prevent bone demineralization.
Amaranth is high in fiber content that aids in digestion and promotes mineral absorption.
It is gluten-free, which provides an alternative source of grain for gluten intolerance or Celiac disease patients.
The dietary fiber in amaranth helps balance cholesterol by reducing bad cholesterol from the cardiovascular system.
It also has a high amount of vitamin K that improves heart health. Potassium lowers blood pressure by reducing stress on the cardiovascular system, dilation of blood vessels, and reduces the risk of atherosclerosis.
The high concentration of phytosterols helps reduce bad cholesterol.
Another benefit of amaranth is that it has flavonoids such as rutin that eradicates varicose veins by enhancing the capillary walls.
It is also rich in vitamin C, which is essential for the production of collagen, strengthening and repairing the walls of the blood vessels.
An adequate amount of vitamin A and carotenoids in amaranth leaves help improve eye health.
These antioxidants eliminate the chances of macular degeneration and cataracts. Decreases oxidative stress on the ocular system leading to strong and healthy vision.
Folate is vital for pregnant mothers because folate deficiency leads to neural tube defects in newborns. Add amaranth grains or leaves to the diet because it provides adequate folate.
Amaranth leaves and grains aid weight loss by releasing the satiated appetite hormone. Dietary fiber makes you feel full for a long time, eliminating snacking between meals.
Scientists indicate that another benefit of amaranth is that it has lysine, which is a rare amino acid that cannot be produced by the body.
Increases the efficiency of calcium uptake and strengthens the follicles that help prevent baldness. The application of juice from the leaves after shampooing prevents hair loss by strengthening the hair.
This herb is used by practitioners to obstruct bleeding. Amaranth is used as an astringent and as a treatment for diarrhea, mouth ulcers, and excessive menstrual flow.
This herb helps in treating mouth ulcers. It is also used externally to heal vaginal discharges, nosebleeds, and other abrasions. The green leaves of amaranth are used to improve eyesight.
Amaranth has some toxic or undesirable components, it must be consumed in the kitchen. Children are intolerant to lysinuric protein which can cause stomach pain and diarrhea.
Lysine increases the absorption of calcium in the body. So the huge intake of calcium and lysine should be avoided at the same time.
Pregnant or nursing women should avoid amaranth to be on the safe side.
Among the benefits of amaranth are minerals and vitamins such as thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, calcium, folate, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, manganese, zinc, and potassium. It also has a large amount of lysine, which is not often found in other grains.
The younger leafy greens and small varieties are eaten as a salad and the older leafy greens are used as a substitute for spinach.
Amaranth is added as an ingredient in pasta, bread, instant drinks, baby food, etc. It could be added to soups or stews and also taken as a breakfast cereal.
Amaranth flour can be mixed with wheat flour to make bread or other foods. The seed could be cooked or roasted as germ greens.