About 90 varieties of amaranth are known, and each of them is interesting in its own way. You can choose a plant that will please with bright foliage, or color “panicle”. However, those who set themselves the goal of obtaining a high yield for the industrial or home production of products intended for treatment and rehabilitation, for providing livestock with quality and healthy feed, are more interested in varieties that will help this goal to be achieved in a short time. We are talking about plants recognized as the best in the number of nutrients, and the ability to produce high yields.
Features of the composition
Let us dwell on varieties whose representatives are suitable for human consumption and for the preparation of therapeutic agents. Here it should be noted that all feed and vegetable species of amaranth have a unique composition with a large number of vitamins, trace elements and other nutrients. Each plant is valued for the presence (and quantity) of components that can be considered essential, since they are absent in other plants, and if so, very few.
So, what exactly contributes to the increasing role of amaranth in our life? This is a range of nutrients:
• vitamins (riboflavin, thiamine);
• acids (folic, pantothenic and ascorbic);
• micro and macronutrients (potassium, magnesium, calcium, manganese and phosphorus, sodium, zinc, selenium, iron and copper).
The list of nutrients can be continued, because only a group of vitamins has 10 items. In addition, the plant contains about 16% of natural protein, which is enriched with the essential amino acid lysine. On the content of saturated fatty acids amaranth is the leader among cereals, and its sterol contains 18 sterols.
Each component of the amaranth composition is of great importance in the vital activity of the body, it is necessary to achieve therapeutic, cosmetic purposes. Thus, the peptides that are contained in this plant can reduce and even reduce inflammation of any nature and stop the development of free radicals, protect healthy cells from their degeneration into malignant ones. The composition of amaranth is also rich in calcium, and this is a huge help for bone tissue to strengthen it and prevent diseases (osteoporosis, for example). Dietary fiber, which is rich in amaranth, regulates the level of cholesterol in the blood, prevents the formation of “plaques”. Vitamin K contained in amaranth is necessary for normal blood coagulation, which is very important for the health of the vascular system. This vitamin works in conjunction with another substance necessary for vessels – potassium – and together they normalize blood pressure and the state of the entire cardiovascular system, prevent the development of such diseases as atherosclerosis.
A compound was found in amaranth, thanks to which this plant acquired the reputation of a natural oxygen supplier for organs and systems. This is unsaturated hydrocarbon squalene. In 1931, Dr. Klaur, a professor at the University of Zurich, proved that this compound lacks twelve hydrogen atoms to achieve a stable state; therefore, squalene captures the missing atoms from any source available to it. Since the human body contains about 70% of water, it becomes an excellent source for the formation of a complete compound, and as a result, oxygen is released, which immediately goes to all tissues and organs. Thanks to this, the work of the cardiovascular system is improved, metabolic processes are normalized, toxins and excess fats are more actively excreted from the body. Most squalene is found in amaranth seed oil – up to 10%.
Due to the fact that amaranth contains a large amount of substances necessary for the body, on the basis of this plant in many countries are produced drugs, cosmetics and food. For example, in the countries of Southeast Asia and China, about 30 kinds of food products are produced with the addition of amaranth. These are flour, bread, pasta, biscuits, muffins, waffles, chips, and various beverages. Amaranth is also used for the production of baby food.
What sort of amaranth is the richest with nutrients?
Each of the many varieties of amaranth has its own ratio of nutrients. However, in such a large list of their leaders have long been determined. Scientists are recognized as the richest in content of useful substances of the variety:
• “Cream Early”.
It should be noted here that there are no early varieties among them, but otherwise, each of them impresses with the ability to adapt to the soil, extract from it and accumulate useful substances in itself.
Probably there are no equal in resistance and survival in any conditions for this variety. Its small grain is able to penetrate into the barely noticeable gap formed in the asphalt surface, take root and grow, and the roots of this variety amaranth germinate to a depth of two meters. Plant height reaches 140 cm, and the length of the panicle is 50.8 cm. Such amaranth usually matures in the first days of September – 1-5. At the same time, the plant is extremely productive – the average seed weight is 24.2 g, but under favorable conditions it reaches 33.6 g. The yield of amaranth “Carmine” is 47.8 – 48.8 c / ha. The plant is also interesting in that its flowers can have a wide palette of carmine-red hues.
The researchers found that during periods when there is a lack of heat and an abundance of precipitation, the yield of this type of plant decreases, but the protein content rises and reaches 14.46%. The oil content in the grain is considered to be quite large – 6.78%. The amount of amino acids in “Carmina”, as well as in other varieties is approximately the same and amounts to 94,147-95,890 mg.
This variety of amaranth also refers to mid-season. True, many consider it to be early, but at the same time they recognize that it will be possible to harvest the first crop of greenery of this plant not earlier than in 1.5-2 months. It needs 110-120 days to fully mature. The plant reaches a height of 100 -170 cm. But after its stem reaches 40-50 cm, it is better to tie it to stakes driven in advance, since the root system of plants of the Valentine variety is located in the upper layers of the soil and with heavy rain or wind unfortified plants will simply turn out from the ground with the root. Panicle of amaranth direct and medium density. Seeds ripen in the second half of August, and the browning of the stem at the base, as well as the appearance of cream spots on the leaves, will indicate this. The yield of amaranth “Valentine” is 0.6 – 0.7 kg per square meter of seeds, which is considered a small indicator, but this is completely offset by a high protein content in the leaves and stem – 18%. In addition, in the green part of the plant contains a large amount of vitamins C and E, carotene. The leaves themselves have a reddish-purple hue and are often used to give the salads a variety of colors.
Despite the word “early” in the name, this variety belongs to late ripening. It has a growing season of 96 days, and such amaranth usually ripens by September 10-13. It reaches 147 cm in height, and the panicle length is 53.5 cm. The average seed weight per plant of this variety is 26.7 g, but sometimes reaches 40.2 g, and in this the Early Cream is only slightly less than productive variety – “Kharkov”. By the way, these two varieties remain high-yielding under any conditions of weather and care, and it is believed that they adapt best to the rest of the climatic conditions. However, in terms of protein content, Cream Early is ahead of the nearest relative. Here, protein is 16.89%, whereas, as in Kharkiv, it is only 14.53%.
At the same time, “Cream Early” refers to the most oil-bearing varieties: its seeds contain 7.3% of oil, and up to 230 kg of oil can be obtained from grain harvested from one hectare. This variety also belongs to the most adaptive, as well as to cereals with the best technological qualities. The latter was the key to using flour from “Cream Early” grain in the production of bread and bakery products. Due to the fact that “Cream Early” combines optimal ripening times, high yield and seed quality, it is recommended for introduction into the mass production of grain of this variety.