In previous articles on our website, based on the work of A. V. Zheleznov, Doctor of Agricultural Sciences, we talked about the history of the spread of amaranth and its benefits for the human body. In this article we will talk about the beneficial properties of the plant – again taking the authoritative scientist’s research as a basis.
Work Zheleznova is a great material, which details the benefits of the plant and its effectiveness, features of the application.
After reading the article, you will see how you can effectively and correctly use amaranth.
Recall! The work of Dr. Zheleznov was published in the journal Chemistry and Life XXI Century No. 6 for 2005. The original title of the article is “Amaranth: bread, spectacle, medicine”.
Doctor Zheleznov in his work reminds that Amaranth used Incas and Aztecs as food, preparing it from it:
Note! In Mexico, and still cooked sweets according to old recipes. They suggest mixing amaranth with honey and other additives. It turns out a wonderful dessert alegria.
Currently, the range of products from amaranth is quite diverse. It is represented in the core markets of many regions – North and South America, China and other Asian countries, it is increasingly common in Europe. In particular, on the shelves there are several dozen types of products:
- drinks and more.
Quote from the work of Zheleznov: “In the Czech Republic, I myself saw bags of amaranth for cereals and soups in stores near rice, buckwheat, and millet. By adding amaranth flour to wheat flour dough, you can increase the content of valuable lysine and protein in finished products. Macaroni, which make in China from a mixture of wheat and amaranth flour, is not only tastier than usual, but also more beneficial, because they contain more protein and amino acids (by 18.7 and 19.4%, respectively). From the flour of amaranth, you can cook and baby food “.
It is noteworthy that for cooking food they use not only the seeds, but even their peel. Pigments derived from it, add to soy sauce, drinks, so that they not only get a beautiful shade, but become much more tasty.
Amaranth greens – leaves – are similar to spinach. They are consumed in food about the same as spinach itself. For example, fresh or added to various soups. You can also make a side dish of them. Add them to the patties. The use of leaves allows you to increase the nutritional and taste value of dishes.
Zheleznov notes that the green mass obtained from the leaves, you can prepare protein-vitamin paste, similar to the paste from amaranth flour. Zheleznov claims that it is an excellent food product for children and the elderly. Indeed, in the paste there are such important and useful for the body components as:
- vitamin A;
By the way, about the proteins. Here is what feature Dr. Zheleznov points out: “Protein amaranth is easy to extract from the leaves, after heating by precipitating it with acetic acid. Along with it, provitamin A, unsaturated lipids and some other compounds are precipitated. Harmful substances like saponins remain in the soluble phase. ”
After the extraction, the pulp remains. This is an excellent pet food such as pigs, cows.
Amaranth also produces starch, which is ideal for the production of fermented milk products, various sweets and beer. Also with its help it is easy to carry out the clarification of the serum. It can be successfully used in other technologies of the food industry.
Pharmaceutical amaranth: production of medicines and prophylactic agents
Dr. Zheleznov notes that the mention of the use of amaranth for medicinal purposes is found in many sources and professional literature. He notes that seeds and leaves of a variety like Amaranthus bidentata are ideal for treating diabetes.
Tells and about incredibly useful properties which are inherent in amaranth oil. In particular, focusing on the fact that during the experiments such properties of the oil were discovered as:
- bactericidal activity;
- antitumor effect.
According to some indicators, amaranth oil is comparable to sea buckthorn. Scientifically justified its effect in the treatment of:
- various diseases of the digestive tract.
Most likely, as Dr. Zheleznov notes, this helps squalene: “… through negative feedback mechanisms influences the activity of enzymes catalyzing both the synthesis of its own molecules and the biogenesis of the common precursors of all physiologically active isoprenoids. Squalene is also used in the manufacture of certain terpene preparations. ”
Pectic substances available in amaranth are well suited for therapeutic and preventive nutrition. Such pectins are capable of creating insoluble complex compounds with polyvalent metals and radioactive isotopes. These metals include:
- chrome and others.
Also, complex compounds allow for the effective removal of the listed metals and isotopes from the human body.
Amaranth pectins are also good because they reduce blood levels of triglycerides and cholesterol. They help in slowing the absorption of sugars from the digestive tract, which helps in balancing blood sugar levels. It is very important for people suffering from diabetes.
In addition, pectin has a positive effect on the digestive functions of the intestinal tract, helps to protect the liver from the negative effects of toxic substances, toxins.
According to Dr. Zheleznov, the addition of pectin was useful for those who suffered from the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
However, he notes, pectin production is extremely low. It is produced only by no more than 30% of the need. And all because there is not enough raw materials. Therefore, amaranth can greatly help in solving this problem.
Animal feed: why amaranth can be useful in this case
Amaranth green is well suited for animal feed. In the first place – ruminants. Although at the time of writing the work of Zheleznov in this direction, not so much research was conducted. What the doctor regrets.
Note! We have already prepared several materials on this topic, which revealed the features of the use of amaranth in the production of compound feed and silage.
As doctor Zheleznov points out, there was only fragmentary information in the veterinary literature. Often, they pointed out that wild amaranth can lead to poisoning of animals. However, the vast majority of varieties of amaranth (cultivated) are suitable for animal feed. In particular, as a grain, green mass, silage and even grazing.
Amaranth grain – valuable feed for poultry:
- guinea fowl and others
It has been established that with the use of amaranth grain in the feed of birds a rapid growth of chickens is observed, an active gain in weight. From meat it turns out not only white, but quite fat.
Amaranth has a positive effect on cattle and pigs. They eat well the greens of the plant, as well as the silage prepared from this green.
Depending on the growing area and peculiarities of amaranth cultivation, in 100 kilograms of green mass there are 7.216.3 feed units. “Employees of the Institute of Cytology and Genetics of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences compared silage cultures in the Gorny Altai and were convinced that two species of amaranth significantly surpassed the other cultures. The yield of their green mass reached 52 t / ha, and the yield of dry matter – 1138 kg per hectare. This demonstrates the enormous potential of amaranth as a silage crop. Only corn can compete with it, the yield of green mass reaches 50-60 tons per hectare, but it significantly loses by the yield of dry matter. ”
It is worth noting amaranth silage. He gets a pleasant aroma, reminiscent of the smell of apples. Therefore, animals love him. However, the nutritional value of silage is quite high. 100 kilograms of amaranth silage contains:
- 17 feed units;
- 2.6 kilograms of digestible protein;
- 1.9% fat;
- 36% nitrogen-free extractives;
- 12% ash.
Such indicator as silage palatability deserves attention. If the consumption of corn silage is only 72%, then the consumption of amaranth silage is 83.6%, and that of amarntho corn silage is 88%!
Amaranth in gardening: ornamental plant species
Amaranth are beautiful. They are bright, with memorable, attractive color. And yet – with unusual buds, leaves.
As Dr. Zheleznov notes, the Amaranthaceae family includes 65 genera. Five of them are used as decorative:
- Alternatera Forsk;
- Amaranth L;
- Gomphrena L;
- Iresine P. Br .;
- and Celosia L.
All of them are able to decorate the garden. Each variety differs in the color of foliage and inflorescences, their shape. At the same time amaranth flowers are ideal for creating dry bouquets. They stand for a long time, keeping their attractive appearance.
As Dr. Zheleznov notes, in our country, amateurs, amateur gardeners are primarily interested in the decorative varieties of amaranth. And identifies four main types of decorative amaranth.
Amaranthus paniculatus or Amaranth paniculata
This look includes three decorative forms:
Each form has its own characteristics. They all differ in height, shape and color of inflorescences. Cultural Paniculate Amaranth was in 1798.
Amaranthus hypochondriacus or Amaranth sad
This is an annual plant. Differs not strong branching, it has oblong-lanceolate purple or greenish-purple leaves. Amaranth inflorescence sad similar to the spikelet of the panicle, which has an elongated central part. The colors are mostly purple. Actively divorced since 1648.
Amaranthus caudatus or Amaranth caudate
Also is one year old. The inflorescences of this variety are branched. Panicles are long, thin, spike-like, but dangling like a tail. Why amaranth got its name.
The flowers are simple with small perianth, dark red or yellowish green. Cultural became in 1568.
Amaranthus tricolor or Amaranth tricolor
Annual plant. The leaves of this species are oval. They can be either two-color or three-color or even four-color. They civilized it at the end of the 16th century.
There are several forms:
- rubiviridis – with leaves of ruby-violet color with green spots;
- ruber – with leaves of blood-red coloring;
- splendens – with dark green leaves with brown spots;
- salicifolius – with narrow, wavy bronze leaves;
- pigmy – plants up to 30 cm high with variegated leaves.
How to use decorative amaranth
Amaranth ornamental varieties are planted in gardens in groups. For example, on the south side of the wall fence. Blooming amaranth suitable for cutting. It perfectly retains its color, shape, even in the dried state. Therefore suitable for picking bouquets. Including, dry. By the way, amaranth is translated from Greek as unfading.
Amaranth: a plant of the XXI century
From the above material presented in the work of A. Zheleznov, Doctor of Agricultural Sciences “Amaranth: Bread, Spectacle, Medicine”, it follows that the plant has really great potential.
In addition, the researcher notes that technologies have been developed for the isolation of biologically active substances, including:
- rutin and others.
A special technology of processing fresh-cut greens was created, which allows to obtain amino acids and protein. The advantage of this technology is that it is waste-free! Because it allows the complex to process the pulp and get all the valuable substances. Scientific research of amaranth
Notes Dr. Zheleznov and the Chinese experience. There are established factories in which the production of biologically active substances. But what is the most interesting production of dietary supplements is cooperating with the release of products for animal feed. All waste and composite products remaining in the processing of amaranth, then sent to the production line for the manufacture of feed for pigs.
It is worth noting that Zheleznov, relying on the research of other scientists, calls amaranth a plant of the 21st century. “The authors of the monograph on amaranth E.N. Officers and V.I. Kostin points to its advantages: high protein content (from 13 to 19%) and lysine compared to other cereals; starch unique in structure; a large amount of pectin, vitamin P or rutin (up to 3% in the ground part); 1.5-3.0 times more oil than other cereals. Amaranth can grow well in conditions of drought, heat and saline soils, it is a dicotyledonous crop with more efficient than in grasses, by photosynthesis (C4-carbon fixation path). ”
The main feature of amaranth is that it can be used in different areas. After all, it is produced from it:
- food for people;
- forage and silage;
- green fertilizers;
- raw materials for food, cosmetic, pharmaceutical industry.
In general, amaranth has a great future. Given its versatile use. After all, research and experiments on the production of biodegradable plastic from amaranth have already been conducted.
Also amaranth is ideal for biologists who study the physiology and genetics of plants. Indeed, one copy of amaranth is capable of producing up to 50 thousand seeds! In addition, the seeds are obtained by cross-breeding, and inbreeding. “Plants are easy to grow in vitro with a nutrient medium, which again allows you to quickly multiply valuable specimens. With a short day, the seeds are formed in just 45 days. ”
According to Dr. A. V. Zheleznov, amaranth is very sensitive to the length of daylight. Therefore, the plant is also suitable for those scientists who conduct studies of photoperiodism.
And we will finish the review of the work of Dr. A. V. Zheleznov by his own quote, which he used at the end of his material: “In short, amaranth is a culture with a glorious past and a great future!”