Amaranth is one of the oldest known food crops in the world with recorded cultivation dating back to 6700 B.C. With nearly 60 species of amaranth, it is grown for its super nutritious foliage, grains, as well as for ornamental purpose. Amaranthus can be ground into flour, popped like corns, or even flaked like oatmeal. As a perfect gluten-free substitute, it can easily replace wheat for those suffering from allergies.
Nutrition Profile of Amaranth
Amaranthus including its leaves contains much higher protein concentration than almost any other grain present. Crude protein content in amaranthus comes up to 25% of dry matter. Also, it contains essential amino acids such as lysine and sulfur amino acids, which are hard to find in other grains. On top of it, more than 75% of raw protein from amaranthus is digestible, making it an excellent source for this essential macronutrient.
As amaranthus is high in lysine and low in leucine, an entirely opposite composition rest of the grains, it makes an excellent source of protein when mixed with brown rice, wheat, and soybeans.
Fiber and Essential Minerals
The fiber content of amaranthus is nearly three times and its iron content hitting up to five times than that of wheat. The grain is exceptionally rich in iron, calcium, and vitamin C, and a rich source of Potassium, Vitamin A, and B Vitamins.
A cup of uncooked grains has nearly 82% of the required daily amount of iron, 31 percent of calcium, and 14 percent for vitamin C!
Amaranth contains a certain peptide that can reduce inflammation in the body, hence helps in preventing arthritis and gout. It can even prevent the activity of free radicals that cause healthy cells to mutate into cancerous cells.
Health Benefits of Amaranthus
The leaves of the Amaranthus contain a wide range of minerals, including calcium. This makes amaranthus a superfood in terms of boosting bone strength and preventing osteoporosis.
The high fiber content in amaranthus results in smooth digestion of food and facilitates efficient absorption of minerals. Amaranthus being gluten-free is an alternative to a grain source and can also prevent Celiac’s disease.
Amaranthus contains oils and phytosterols that have been observed to lower down cholesterol levels, including LDL. The phytonutrients, fiber, and vitamins present in amaranthus help to regulate blood pressure. This makes it an excellent heart-healthy food alternative.
The carotenoids and vitamin A found in amaranth leaves are a major boost for eye health. These essential nutrients prevent macular degeneration and the development of cataracts.
The proteins, minerals, and fiber contribute to reduced appetite and prevents bloating.
An amino acid, lysine that the body cannot naturally produce is present in abundance in Amaranthus. This increases calcium uptake efficiency and helps prevent baldness and hair loss.
Recipes with Amaranth Leaves
Amaranthus seeds can be consumed by grinding them to flour and then turning around into several recipes. The seeds can also be popped and turned into sweet and savory treats. The grains can also be sprouted and used into salads.
Amaranthus greens are an excellent way to introduce the nutrient dense foliage to your meals. Check here for recipes.
Amaranth Leaves Stir Fry with Coconut and Potato – Recipe
This recipe is similar to the one that you checked on amaranth greens potato stir-fry with an additional ingredient of grated coconut.
Full picture shows a meal option of the vegetable with Ragi or Finger Millet Dosa. This makes a great filling and nutrition rich breakfast option for a weekend. It is suitable for Diabetics, children, new mothers, pregnant, cancer patients, and those suffering from cardiovascular diseases.
Limits on Consumption
Amaranth leaves contain moderate levels of oxalates. For that reason, if you are suffering from kidney stones, amaranth could exacerbate these conditions.