Amaranth grains are one of the best superfoods available on the supermarket shelves. Amaranth is a group of more than 60 different species of grains that have been cultivated for 8000 years.
The ancient history tracks back to Mexico and the Yucatan peninsula. Amaranth is thought to have represented up to 80 percent of their energy consumption before the Spanish conquest.
The unique health benefits of Amaranth grains include the ability to improve the immune system, stimulate growth and development, reduce inflammation, reduce the appearance of varicose veins, and prevent chronic diseases. Read on to explore Amaranth grain benefits in this article.
A Brief About Amaranth Grains
Amaranth grains are one of the ancient forms, scientifically known as Amaranthus: a genus of perennial plants. The name amaranth is derived from the Greek word “amarantos” meaning unfading and “Anthos” meaning flower. The yield of Amaranth grains is comparable to maize or rice.
The grains have an earthy and nutty flavor like whole wheat. Amaranth grains are in a uniform shade of pale cream. Amaranth flour is made from Amaranth grains and used as a substitute for traditional flour sources, providing a rich variety of minerals, vitamins, amino acids, proteins, and other nutrients.
These grains are most commonly cultivated in the United States and widely grown and used in parts of Mexico as well.
[Read: Benefits of Onyx Sorghum]
The Nutritional Composition of Amaranth Grains
The ancient grain is rich in proteins and fiber, as well as many other micronutrients: Amaranth grains are a good source of iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and manganese: Most people pay attention to Amaranth grains(1) because of its high antioxidant properties.
The grains are rich in energy and serve approx. 102 calories of energy per 100grams. The grain is rich in vitamins such as folate, niacin, riboflavin thiamine, vitamin B6, and vitamin E.
It has a fiber content of 2.1g and carbohydrate of18.69g. Potassium and phosphorus are highly present in Amaranth grains (135 mg), while calcium is 47.00 mg, manganese is 0.854 mg and magnesium are 65.00mg.
What Are the Health Benefits of Amaranth Grain That Makes It so Unique?
Here are the top 12 Amaranth grain benefits. Read on.
1. Controls Diabetes
Amaranth grains can control blood sugar and lower insulin levels through suppression or control. For those at the risk of diabetes, this is an ideal situation, as obesity and elevated insulin levels are two of the causes for diabetes. Amaranth grains are vitally crucial for lowering insulin levels.
2. Prevents Constipation
Amaranth grains provide a high amount of dietary fiber. The potent fiber content provides relief from constipation and supports the colon’s membrane by making it resistive to infections.
Amaranth grains contribute to the overall digestive health and help relieve many of the common gastrointestinal symptoms that we are familiar with like indigestion and diarrhea.
3. Improves Vision
Amaranth grains contain significant levels of vitamin A and carotenoids(2) that leaves a substantial boost for eye health. The presence of antioxidants in Amaranth prevent macular degeneration and slow the development of cataracts.
Also, the grains lower oxidative stress in the visual system, helping the vision stay sharp and healthy for long years.
4. Eliminates Varicose Veins
Varicose veins may not affect everyone but can be embarrassing as we age. Amaranth is a rich source of flavonoids and rutin that has been directly connected to eliminate varicose veins by straightening the capillary walls.
The presence of vitamin C also aids varicose veins by repairing and strengthening the blood vessel walls.
5. Prevents Atherosclerosis
Amaranth grains contain potassium that helps in lowering blood pressure by dilating the blood vessels and reducing the strain on the cardiovascular system.
Therefore, the potassium present in Amaranth grains lowers the chances of developing atherosclerosis. The phytosterols present in the Amaranth grains also contribute to the reaction of bad or LDL cholesterol.
6. Optimizes Metabolism
Amaranth grains are rich in vitamin C, dietary fiber, and antioxidants properties. Protein is necessary for the brain and body to function correctly and your metabolic rate can have a significant impact on the nutrient absorption and oxygenation of your body.
Lysine is an essential amino protein for the human body that makes an Amaranth grain a complete protein. Amaranth grains deliver all the amino acids to create usable proteins within the body that optimizes metabolism and ensures proper development and growth.
7. Free of Gluten
The fantastic benefit of Amaranth grains is that they are gluten-free substance. Gluten is a type of protein found in grains such as rye, barley, and wheat. While many of the grains contain gluten, Amaranth is naturally gluten-free and can be added on a gluten-free diet.
8. Promotes Haircare
Amaranth grains other benefits include hair care. Amaranth contains high levels of lysine than other grains that make it essential for hair health.
Lysine in Amaranth grains is linked to healthier and stronger hair, better roots, and reduction in hair loss Naturally, you can add Amaranth grains into your diet to reduce greying and hair loss.
9. Stronger Digestion
As already said, Amaranth grain contains a high level of dietary fiber that optimizes the digestive system and eliminates gastric ulcers, cramping, bloating and constipation.
Dietary fiber also helps nutrient uptake efficiency and with the high concentration of nutrients in the grain. Amaranth reduces the chances of constipation and risk of gastrointestinal issues including colon cancer.
Different Ways to Use Amaranth Grain:
Amaranth grains can be used in many varieties of dishes. Amaranth grains are easy to digest by after sprouting since it breaks down antinutrients, which can repair mineral absorption. Hence it is advisable to sprout Amaranth before cooking by soaking it in water and then allowing the grains to germinate for one to two days.
To cook Amaranth, add water with Amaranth in a 3:1 ratio and boil it. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes until the water is absorbed.
Other natural ways to consume this nutritious grain
- Make it into a breakfast cereal by stirring in nuts, fruits or cinnamon.
- Mix it into stews or soups to add thickness.
- Use it in dishes as an alternative to couscous, rice, and pasta.
- You can also add the grains to smoothies to boost the protein and fiber content.
The Amaranth grains are rich in various minerals, proteins, antioxidants, vitamins and are gluten-free. The grains have been associated with several health benefits including increased weight loss, lower cholesterol levels, and reduced inflammation. The Amaranth grain benefits are briefly discussed in this read and adding them in your diet will definitely give you effective results.