Just as quinoa, amaranth, was a staple food of the Aztecs, which means people have been eating it for a very long time to boost energy and health. I’m pretty sure most of you have heard about the super-powers of quinoa (if not check them out here), amaranth, gets far less attention.
And, if you ask me, that’s a real shame. Amaranth can be used in all recipes that call for quinoa or any other (pseudo)grain. It has a similar flavor and adds almost the same benefits to your daily diet. But the best part and why it deserves a place in the spotlight… it’s so much cheaper than quinoa 😉
So here are the most important health benefits of amaranth and reasons why you should consider getting it when you see it.
Discover 8 Amazing Benefits Of Amaranth
1. It’s gluten-free
There was a time when all grains were considered to be very good for our health. They are a good source of fiber and protein, and do not contain any cholesterol. These days, however, grains are overly processed and more and more people are showing signs of gluten-sensitivity or intolerance. Amaranth, technically not being a grain but a seed doesn’t have any gluten.
FYI: if you’re not gluten sensitive or intolerant, eating bread or oats won’t harm your health as long as you eat them in moderation and always opt for whole grains with the least processing. CLICK HERE for more info.
3. It is rich in protein
Not just regular grain protein, but a digestible complete protein that is very similar to animal protein. It may even be a better option than scarfing down large quantities of meat. Protein slows the absorption of sugar, which results in lower insulin production. In other words, you feel less hungry, which prevents overeating. This is why amaranth is excellent for people who are looking to lose weight or cut out meat.
3. It is rich in lysine and other healthful amino acids
Lysine is essential for the buildup of muscles and calcium absorption. It is an essential amino acid, which means the body cannot produce it naturally. This is why amaranth is frequently referred to as a source of complete protein because it contains all essential amino acids (not just lysine) needed for the natural formation of good protein.
4. It is rich in fiber
Being a seed, amaranth is an excellent source of fiber. It is very good for digestive health and reduces waste buildup and plaque formation in the intestines.
ALSO READ: Recommended Daily Fiber Intake – The Lowdown
Scroll down to discover more health benefits of amaranth.
5. It is rich in vitamins and minerals
Amaranth is rich in B-vitamins, vitamins A, C and K, riboflavin, folate, and niacin. Unlike most grains, it also contains large quantities of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and potassium. All these minerals are needed for various bodily processes, such as keeping the bones strong and healthy, producing energy and the like.
6. It helps boost the immune system
This seed has anti-inflammatory properties, helping to ease chronic pain. It also helps the body build a natural defense against colds and infections.
7. It helps keep the heart healthy
A study was conducted as early as 1996 about the effects of amaranth on cardiovascular diseases. It found that this superfood indeed makes a difference since it significantly reduced LDL (low-density lipoproteins or more commonly known as bad cholesterol) and triglycerides (high levels increase the risk of heart diseases).
8. It helps prevent cancer
As rich in vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants as it is, it’s no wonder that studies find amaranth to be helpful in preventing cancer. The latter, in particular, protects the body’s cells from damage, which is basically what happens in cases of cancer.
Gluten-free, rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals, promotes weight loss and helps prevent heart diseases and cancer—amaranth almost has it all. Amaranth is quite rare though, and not all grocery stores and supermarkets will have it; but when you do find it, it is definitely worth the effort of looking.
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Thanks for reading. I hope this information was helpful. Until next time!
Crazy cat lady, life and food lover, certified biologist, and holistic health coach.