What is amaranth?
Amaranth (Amaranthus retroflexus) has not only unusual and fantasy name, amaranth also possesses many nutritional and medicinal properties, which other plants can only wish for. Amaranth is a plant that makes small black seeds which can be characterized as a source of longevity, vitality and power.
From where Amaranth came from?
This is an ancient plant, which originates from the time before a new era, when it was cultivated as grains and used for food. Amaranth has origin from the soil of South America, where ancient peoples, the Aztecs cultivated amaranth for nutrition.
Word amaranth on the ancient language means immortal, what justifies all the nutritional properties of amaranth.
What are the main characteristics of amaranth?
Together with quinoa and buckwheat, amaranth doesn’t fall into the classic cereal, but pseudo cereal, because in addition to the benefits of amaranth grains and fresh green leaves also possess it.
This is a very resistant plant, which is well tolerated both high and low temperatures, humidity and drought.
Amaranth seed is very tiny black with gloss and is highly resistant to moisture.
The world has known about 60 species of amaranth, but is most commonly used black and red amaranth.
How amaranth is stands out from other cereals?
Amaranth grain is unique, because its wealth of nutritionally located in the interior of the grains, not as in other cereals, in shells.
Another important feature is that Amaranth contains no gluten, so it can be used by people suffering from celiac disease.
Taste of amaranth is slightly bitter and sweet and its effect on the body is cooling, unlike cinnamon, which warms the body.
Oil from seeds (Amaranthus sp.) - Oil from the amaranth seeds is isolated by cold pressing. It is yellow to orange color and specific odor and taste.
What is the nutritional value of amaranth?
About nutritive value of amaranth could be widely written, because there are accommodated all important nutrients necessary for normal functioning of the human organism. In a word, amaranth belongs to the group of so-called super foods, or food that fully contains all the nutrients and could be independently used in the diet without supplementing with other foodstuffs.
Amaranth is a low-calorie food; rich in fibers, proteins, and it also have a small content of fat.
The share of protein in amaranth is 15-18%, and it is important to note that in the structure of proteins are three important amino acids - lysine, methionine and cysteine.
The share of fat in the amaranth is 5-10% of which are for the most part represented unsaturated fatty acids.
Carbohydrates in amaranth are in the form of starch and sugar.
Mineral composition of amaranth is rich and it looks like this:
- A little sodium
Vitamin content in amaranth:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamins B1, B2, B3
- Vitamin E
The combination of amaranth grains makes some source of amino the acid / protein that are better than meat and other foods of animal origin. It is therefore recommended amaranth to all people who move to a vegetarian diet.
Who is recommended for diet with amaranth?
Amaranth is especially recommended to anemic persons, convalescents, pregnant and nursing women, infants and young children, as well as physically active people.
How to use amaranth?
The leaves of amaranth are edible and have exceptional nutritional value (much higher than the value of spinach). It can be prepared as a soup or as a side dish along with a lot of spices (because the foliage has a neutral taste).
The leaves of amaranth contain a lot of iron, and therefore it is recommended to anemic people and people who are on some form of restrictive diet.
From amaranth seeds can be ferrying flour, or it can be cooked and added to stews and salads.