We continue to publish reviews about amaranth, published in foreign media. Today, the material from the authoritative English-language resource National Geographic. In the article BRIAN HOWARD, specializing in environmental issues, science, technology and other topics, talks about amaranth, the possibilities and the need for its cultivation in Mexico.
An ancient, nutritious culture could return to Oaxaca
Amaranth is a broadleaved, edible plant that, according to some scientists, can significantly improve nutrition in one of the most populated countries in the world, in Mexico.
Cultivated by the Aztecs, and then completely destroyed by the Spanish conquerors, the ancient amaranth can become a real panacea. Researchers are hoping that amaranth can help Mexicans significantly improve the quality of food and make it healthier. But will people eat it?
Amaranth – a broad-leaved, dense plant, whose height reaches about six feet (1.8 meters). It has a bright red flower that can contain up to 60,000 seeds.
The seeds are nutritious and can be ground into flour. These seeds are not real grain, and then amaranth is often called a pseudo-grain. Like a quinoa. Both plants belong to a large family, which also includes beets, chard, spinach and a variety of weeds. Mesoamerica is Amaranth’s homeland.
There are about 60 different types of amaranth, and some of them are native to Mesoamerica.
Mesoamerica is a historical and cultural region (not to be confused with Central America), stretching roughly from the center of Mexico to Honduras and Nicaragua.
Promotion of amaranth as a source of healthy and healthy food.
Over the past decade, a research team based in Oaxaca, Puente a la Salud Comunitaria (Bridge to Community Health) has been working to promote and grow amaranth.
Oaxaca is a city in Mexico, the capital of Oaxaca, and the administrative center of the eponymous municipality.
PETER NOLL, the group’s executive director, argues that it was difficult to find a more suitable time for the work of the group.
In July, the United Nations announced that Mexico had overtaken the United States of America as the “fattest” country in the world. According to the report, 32.8 percent of adult Mexicans are obese, compared with 31.8 percent of adult Americans.
“Obesity is a destructive problem in Mexico,” says Peter Noll, “and amaranth can be part of its solution.” This is real healthy food that can be produced locally, and it can lead to changes in nutrition! ”Amaranth flower
Noll named the main problems provoking obesity among Mexicans – the availability of fast food, urbanization, lack of physical activity and active advertising of unhealthy foods. All this is the culprit of the obesity epidemic. As proof of the negative consequences, he noted a recent press release about a 13-year-old Mexican boy who died of a heart attack.
At the same time, many people in Mexico are still struggling with hunger. Noll claims that about 10,000 Mexican children die from malnutrition. “These problems are connected: malnutrition among children leads to the fact that people are 7-8 times more likely to be overweight or obese in adulthood,” he said.
“Oaxak has its own culinary traditions, known throughout the world, but there are also food“ deserts ”here,” Noll added, referring to areas where it is difficult for consumers to find fresh, healthy foods.
Nutritional value of amaranth
Amaranth does not contain gluten, and its seeds contain 30 percent more protein than rice, sorghum and rye. This is stated in the report of the US Department of Agriculture Forest Service. Also, amaranth has a high content:
“Amaranth’s profile is incredibly close to perfection; it’s an excellent source of protein,” said Noll. He explained that the plant contains eight essential amino acids and the content of an amino acid such as lysine, which is practically absent in corn and wheat, is especially high.
“Therefore, if you make tortilla with amaranth and corn, you give people an inexpensive, culturally acceptable, healthy basic food product,” he said.
FLORIDA BARKERA, a physician and nutrition expert at the University of Anahuac, Mexico City and a member of the Mexican Academy of Obesity, told National Geographic that amaranth was recommended by the World Health Organization as a balanced food and recommended by NASA for space flight.
According to her, the amaranth consumed in Mexico contains from 16 to 18 percent of protein, compared with 14 percent of protein in wheat and from 9 to 10 percent of protein in corn.
“Some studies have shown that amaranth also contains beneficial omega-3 fatty acids and can help lower blood pressure,” said Barker, who often writes and talks about nutrition in Mexico, but is not affiliated with Puente.
Finally: add by yourself
In this article, the National Geographic journalist briefly but concisely proved the incredible properties of amaranth and the need for its use in the diet.
Brian Howard cited in his article the opinions of two researchers who devoted themselves to the study of eating habits of people and looking for sources of healthy, natural food. At the same time, the researchers are not connected with each other, but they confirm the high nutritional value of amaranth and the ability of the plant to become a source of healthy and healthy food.