The amaranth is a herbaceous plant whose seeds are used as food, as a cereal or for making different dishes from antiquity. It belongs to the Amaranthaceae family , which encompasses more than 5560 species. This plant is native to central and northern America, being cultivated in other latitudes of the continent.Its harvest and use as food were known by pre-Hispanic cultures, such as the Mayan and Aztec, and the peoples of Mesoamerica, Central America and South America. It has been one of the pillars of the traditional indigenous diet , whether in the form of a plant, under the name of huauzontle, as dry seeds, as a cereal.Although the most consumed part of amaranth are the seeds, for example in sweets such as “alegrías” and “palanquetas”, its leaves are also added in the gastronomy of the American, African and Asian peoples, in which its cultivation has spread .

What is amaranth for?

Amaranth is a highly nutritious and versatile plant species that has been added to our diet to enjoy its benefits. Its seed is the most used part for this purpose, and it has a neutral and mild flavor, which can be supplemented with sweeteners.

Amaranth is used to:

  • Take nutrients for the body
  • Make traditional sweets
  • Lose weight and lose weight
  • Strengthen bones
  • Take protein for muscles
  • Improve digestion
  • Fight hemolytic anemia

Take nutrients for the body

Amaranth provides a variety of nutrients to the body, among which are:

  • Vitamina A (Retinol)
  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
  • Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
  • Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
  • Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
  • Vitamin K (Phytomenadione)
  • Minerals: calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc. Amaranth leaves, according to scientific studies, contain more iron than other plants, such as spinach.
  • Protein
  • Carbohydrates
  • Low fat content, as it has 0.33% of them.

Make traditional sweets

Amaranth is an essential ingredient in traditional sweets, such as palanquetas and alegrías . Many of them, when prepared with ancestral methods and recipes , usually do not have preservatives, so they are a great alternative to eat something tasty and nutritious without guilt. Nowadays, they are also produced in an industrialized way, in which preservatives are added.

crowbar is a pressed bar made with cereal grains and whole, like amaranth, peanuts, almonds and pumpkin seeds, and is coated with caramel to give greater hardness and a sweet taste. It is a nutritious treat that can be consumed by students and young adults for energy .

The joy only contain amaranth and candy, and processed similarly to palanquetas applying pressure to mold a lot of seeds , either in the form of thick disk or rectangular bar. Usually, a couple of almonds or walnuts are placed on its surface to garnish them.

Lose weight and lose weight

Amaranth is recommended to carry a diet , thanks to its low fat content, as it provides the carbohydrates and calories necessary for day to day. Those who consume it tend to lose weight, as it contains a high content of natural fibers and is low in fat.

Amaranth seeds are added to preparations such as granola , which is a mixture of roasted oats with grated coconut, peanuts, almonds, and amaranth. Granola is a great complement to yogurt and cereals, as it gives a great feeling of satiety without having to resort to heavier foods.

Strengthen bones

Amaranth seeds provide us with a variety of minerals, including calcium, which is essential to maintain the structure and hardness of bones , and as a participant in metabolic functions.

Take protein for muscles

Amaranth provides us with more protein than other plant foods, such as wheat, corn and rice, so it is beneficial when a supply of these substances is needed. It is ideal to follow a vegan diet , in which meat products are no longer available to take proteins. Thus, they continue to nourish and enrich the muscle tissues.

Improve digestion

Even in traditional sweets, amaranth is extremely nutritious.

Amaranth is a food with a high content of natural fibers, both in the seeds and in the leaves. Its consumption is beneficial for the natural regulation of digestion, especially if the leaves are consumed. The food in digestion is used to the maximum and its nutrients are absorbed more efficiently.

Fight hemolytic anemia

Amaranth is beneficial for blood formation (hematogenesis), so it is good for treating patients suffering from hemolytic anemia (blood-destroying anemia). This treatment is achieved thanks to the high iron content of the seeds and leaves , all of which are edible and can be added to various stews.

Does amaranth have side effects?

No substances have been found that are toxic in the body, so both the green leaves and the seeds can be consumed, both by children and by adults and pregnant women. Only the thick stalks are avoided in the diet, because of how difficult it can be to ingest them. There is no record of side effects from the consumption of amaranth.

This article is informational in nature and is not a substitute for professional medical opinion.

Samantha Robson
 | Website

Dr. Samantha Robson ( CRN: 0510146-5) is a nutritionist and website content reviewer related to her area of ​​expertise. With a postgraduate degree in Nutrition from The University of Arizona, she is a specialist in Sports Nutrition from Oxford University and is also a member of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *