Published: 07/05/2018 - Updated: 03/08/2020
Author: Dra. Loredana Lunadei, PhD
Beyond possessing extraordinary benefits, nutritional properties, and medicinal qualities, amaranth is a fine plant that grows in practically any climate with enough water and sun.
Amaranth is a healthy food
Amaranth possesses a high amount of protein. Amaranth seed contains between 14% and 19% vegetable protein. Its balance of essential aminoacids is significantly better than many other vegetable based proteins. Amaranth protein is a good source of lycine (double that of wheat and triple that of corn). The oil contained in this seed is rich in unsaturated fatty acids such as linoleic acid, which is a necessary fatty acid. The seed contains high amounts of sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese, nickel, and iron.
As far as vitamins go, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin C are abundant primarily in the shell. The leaves contain 86% moisture and 3.5% vegetable protein. In the leaves and primarily the sprouts, we find a high portion of Vitamins A and C, and natural fats and minerals such as phosphorus, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and iron.
Amaranth can provide up to 25% of our daily protein requirements. It’s considered to be a high energy food, and its balance between proteins, fats, and carbohydrates allow it to provide nutrients even in small doses. Amaranth sprouts are rich in Vitamin C and complex B vitamins.
Medicinal properties of amaranth
Amaranth is said to be an extremely complete food and that it keeps the body well nourished and healthy. Its had very good results, especially with those suffering from Celiac disease (people who are wheat intolerant), and for those who suffer from high cholesterol and encephalopathy. Its high fiber content makes it effective if fighting gastrointestinal problems, diverticulitis, digestive problems, and problems in waste elimination. Studies have shown that its fats and other properties contained in the seed help to regulate the hepatic enzyme. It helps prevent all kinds of cardiac illnesses. Lecithin, isolated in the seed, reduces cancer and premalignant colon tumors, and can serve as treatment for some types of cancer.
It’s truly strange (and hard to understand) how a food with so much potential could be so difficult to find the the diets and plates around the world. It’s even hard to find in vegetarian restaurants. Current studies show it to be the best source of vegetable protein, and this find food could fight world hunger as it’s easy to harvest. It has great nutritional value, and the seeds can even be stored for up to 5 years without strict storage conditions, and rodents don’t eat the seed raw. Isn’t it great?!
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