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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Herbs and Natural Cures >>  Amaranth

Amaranth Health Benefits

Amaranth is a grain that is becoming rapidly popular. Though amaranth is called a grain, the plant it grows on is actually an herb. There are about 60 types of amaranth plants. The greens of the amaranth plant are also edible. They can be cooked for a side of greens or used, blanched, in salads.
It’s the tiny seeds that are used as a grain.

Amaranth is a healthy grain often used as an alternative to gluten-rich grains. This grain has been around for over 7,000 years and has found a mention in ancient history in Aztec civilizations. Today this grain is mostly found in health stores. This grain is very versatile. It can be popped, sprouted or toasted. It can be ground up and used as a thickening paste. The grain can be cooked with other grains to add volume and density. Despite the fact that amaranth has been around for so many centuries, research on amaranth is still in the nascent stage. There is some information & facts about amaranth. The ingredients in amaranth are many, making it a preferred grain for its rich nutritive properties.

This grain contains an unusually high amount of protein. In 100 grams of cooked amaranth, you will find 14 grams of protein along with 65 grams of carbohydrates and 7 grams of fiber. This grain, which cannot be had uncooked, is also very rich in various minerals and vitamins like riboflavin, thiamine, panthothenic acid, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and zinc along with potassium. This particular grain is high in lysine, a component not often found in other grains.

  • The high nutritive profile of the grain gives immense popularity to amaranth. The health benefits of amaranth are many and varied. The seed or the grain of the plain is very versatile and is used in different forms. The leaves of the plant are also used in many herbal and alternative remedies.
  • The grain of amaranth is excellent in the pursuit of weight loss. Its high-protein content with the complex carbohydrate structure makes it a favored food for weight loss. This protein is not accompanied with fat or cholesterol. The high fiber in amaranth also keeps you full longer.
  • The leaves of amaranth make great home remedies to stop hair problems. A paste of these leaves can prevent premature graying and even hair loss. The juice of fresh amaranth leaves maintains the hair texture and adds a gloss, making your hair soft and manageable.
  • Amaranth is also a very popular grain with people who suffer from diabetes. The high-fiber content of the food makes it a low GI or glycemic index food, and a food suited to people who eat a balanced diet to control their glucose levels. This grain makes for a healthy, high energy breakfast for diabetics.
  • As amaranth is gluten free, it is a great replacement grain for all people who suffer from any form of gluten intolerance, especially those who suffer from celiac disease. For people who suffer from digestive issues, amaranth might be difficult to digest too as it is high in insoluble fiber. You can try flours made from amaranth which might make the transition easier.

Side Effects Of Amaranth

  • There are no known side effects on health of amaranth.
  • The grain can occasionally be difficult to digest. You can try soaking the grain overnight or toasting it before cooking the grain. Using amaranth flour might also be an easier switch to make.
  • Pregnant or breast feeding mothers should ideally not make a switch to this grain during this time.
Submitted on January 16, 2014