“Amaranth” the word is derived from the Greek word “amranthos” which means ‘unfading’ and “anthos” which mean flower. The ancient history of Amaranth can be traced out Mexico, Peru and Yucatan Peninsula, Cultivated 8000 years ago and still its one of the highly consumable crop. Now it’s grown in India, Africa, North America, China and few countries in the world.
Amaranth is known as pseudo-cereal because of its nutritional value. The most important aspects of these tiny seeds are they are gluten-free. Like quinoa, amaranth is not technically a grain but is the seed of the amaranth plant. One plant can produce up to 60,000 seeds. Amaranth takes little water to grow and can produce seeds even if experiencing 40 days without rain.
This tiny seed has a high content of protein, iron, calcium, and phosphorus than vegetables. The surprising factor is 1cup of Amaranth contains approximately 28.1gms of protein whereas rice contains only 13.1gms of protein. Amaranth lives up to its reputation remaining a beautiful bright gold, purple and red even after harvest.
The demand for Organic Amaranth seed (Indian Origin) is increasing in many developed nations and developing nations. Due to its high nutritive value, many researches are going on in many pharmaceutical laboratories. In abroad countries, Amaranth is consumed in the form of Pop, mixed with some other ingredients people have it for breakfast as diet food or staple food.
Health benefits of Amaranth:
- Amaranth is rich in calcium: The calcium present in Amaranth helps the bone to cure the bone problems caused during accidents, injuries. It is very important to include a high calcium food in the diet as it reduces the chances of developing osteoporosis, Dowager’s hump.
- Amaranth helps in preventing Diabetes: With just a cup of amaranth providing over 100 the daily recommended dose of manganese, it serves as diabetes preventer. It also helps us to reduce high blood sugar level.
- Amaranth helps in lowering cholesterol levels: The oils and phytosterols in amaranth help lower cholesterol levels, including LDL and triglycerides. The anti-inflammatory properties of peptides and oils in amaranth can ease pain and reduce inflammation. This is especially important for chronic conditions where inflammation erodes your health, such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Consumption of Amaranth prevents cancer.
- Amaranth is a high fibre food: This makes it filling and means it aids digestive health, cholesterol, blood pressure, and slows the absorption of sugars to let the body keep up with energy production. Amaranth helps prevent premature greying, mainly due to the minerals this seed has in abundance.
Some Facts and Figures: One cup (246 grams) of cooked amaranth contains the following nutrients1:
- Calories: 251
- Carbs: 46 grams
- Fat: 5.2 grams
- Manganese: 105% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 40% of the RDI
- Phosphorus: 36% of the RDI
- Iron: 29% of the RDI
- Selenium: 19% of the RDI
- Copper: 18% of the RDI
Organic Amaranth is been exported from many other countries like Russia, Australia, European countries like France, UK and Croatia and many other countries due to its high nutrient value health benefits. To conclude with, it would not be wrong to call Amaranth a Superfood.