What is Amaranth ?
Amaranth as we commonly know it, or Amaranthus, is a pseudo-cereal whose intake is appreciated as very healthy, which has earned it a favorite place in the kitchen.
Amaranth is one of the longest-lived crops in our social history, archaeological evidence having been found -in tombs in the Andean region in America- dating back to 4000 BC.
There is evidence that confirms that the Mayan and Inca cultures dedicated vast areas of their territories to the cultivation of amaranth. Today amaranth is grown regularly in Germany, Bolivia, China, Ecuador, India, Mexico, North America and Peru.
What is Amaranth Good For ? Benefits, Uses and Applications
Amaranth is generally considered a grain, whose seeds are very similar to those of quinoa and, although smaller in size, it has a higher nutritional content.
Additionally, amaranth offers a high content of fiber and folic acid. In this article we mention some of its benefits.
1. Amaranth is Good to Improve Mental and Physical Performance
Because it does not contain gluten, it is considered a natural product beneficial for the brain. Its combined content of complex carbohydrates, proteins and plant fiber, constantly supply glucose to neurons.
2. It is Beneficial for Heart Health
Amaranth helps regulate cholesterol levels in the blood, mitigating the reabsorption of cholesterol produced by biliary processes. Additionally, it contains phenolic compounds, which provide an antioxidant effect to the body; in addition to beta-sitosterol, which helps lower cholesterol.
Amaranthine (an active protein in amaranth), has the ability to reduce blood pressure, helping to regulate and prevent some chronic kidney and / or cardiovascular diseases.
3. Helps Strengthen Bones
The combined presence of calcium, phosphorus and magnesium in amaranth, help to strengthen the bone system, contributing to the prevention of osteoporosis.
4. Inhibits the Proliferation of Cancer Cells
Amaranth is also recognized for its benefit as an adjuvant in the prevention of cancer cell formation in the colon, breasts and cervix, among others.
5. Ideal for Combating Anemias and Malnutrition.
Thanks to amaranth is a food rich in proteins, vitamins and minerals.
6. Helps Keep the Central Nervous System Healthy
The high contribution of magnesium, potassium, iron, sodium, zinc, copper, contributes to a better performance of the central nervous system.
7. Healthy Hair
The regular intake of fresh juice prepared with amaranth leaves helps hair health by preserving its color, keeping it soft and preventing hair loss. In addition, it helps regulate the production of keratin, which gives hair strength and flexibility.
8. Improves Intestinal Transit
The fiber content of amaranth helps fight constipation, as well as the formation of diverticula, and provides natural food for the growth and strengthening of bacteria that promote intestinal function.
9. Immune System Regulator
Thanks to its zinc content, superior to other foods, amaranth helps to strengthen the body’s immune system.
10. Depression and Wake-Sleep Cycles
Amaranth is appreciated as an adjuvant to combat states of discouragement, a quality attributed to its content in tryptophan, a generator of serotonin (a neurotransmitter that is reduced when depressive moods are generated). Additionally, amaranth is a natural precursor of melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone.
11. Premenstrual Syndrome and Skin Problems
The high content of Omega-6 in amaranth favors the prevention of inflammatory skin diseases such as psoriasis, eczema, atopia and some symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome such as swelling, breast pain, and low spirits.
Amaranth offers a high fiber content, benefiting the absorption of sugars from the diet. In addition, its natural carbohydrates are slowly absorbed (low glycemic index) so its intake can be recommended even to diabetics.
13. Liver Failure
Amaranth also provides easily absorbed nutrients, reducing the burden on liver function. In addition, it produces a detoxifying action due to its content of L-aspargic acid fiber, which helps in the purification of the liver at the same time that it prevents hepatic encephalopathies in patients with a tendency to liver failure or cirrhosis.
14. Celiac Disease
Because it does not contain gluten, amaranth is very appropriate in diets that require not consuming it.
Thanks to its nutritional properties, amaranth is classified as a pseudo-cereal. Among its most notable characteristics is that it DOES NOT CONTAIN GLUTEN. After a series of investigations amaranth is considered a superfood.
Among its nutritional contributions, amaranth stands out for its high protein content, as well as iron and magnesium, as well as 8 of the 9 amino acids considered essential. It contains twice the calcium of milk, it is rich in vitamins A, B, C, B1, B2, B3, D and K.
How to Consume Amaranth ?
A common way to consume amaranth is to include in the diet some processed products, such as biscuits and breads, that contain amaranth flour.
Amaranth offers the possibility of being consumed almost from the moment of its sowing, in the form of sprouts, in tender leaves in salads, or ground for consumption in the form of soup. Amaranth leaves, in addition to being able to be consumed fresh, can be dehydrated and ground to ingest them in powder form.
Amaranth grain can be used as a cereal, toasted and ground, to prepare flour and a wide variety of derivatives, such as: granola, whole wheat flours, artisanal sweets, baby food, pasta, edible oils, protein concentrates, the so-called » «energy bars» and nutraceutical foods (special for diabetic or cancer patients).
Does Amaranth Make You Fat ?
The answer is a resounding «NO». Amaranth is rich in protein and fiber, components that help you lose weight. A study by Oxford academics recommends the consumption of proteins such as amaranth for breakfast.
Amaranth keeps your body free of not only toxins (regulating your digestive function), but it also helps your body slow down the absorption of food. This implies that you feel satiated for a longer time, and anxiety about eating late or excessively is reduced.
Taking into account so many benefits and uses that amaranth offers in its components and properties, it can be incorporated into the food diet to diversify it while adding good and new nutrients.
The best pharmacy we can turn to is nature, and among plants amaranth is one of the outstanding ones. It is a complete food that provides several sensitive health benefits, a matter supported by studies and research.
It is no coincidence that amaranth has been one of the foods selected by NASA for the diet of astronauts, who need nutritious foods that are light and easily digestible.
With confidence and having only the prudence of all natural consumer products, today you can join those who take advantage of the benefits of amaranth.
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