COMPARATIVE CHARACTERISTICS OF FLAX AND AMARANTH. WHAT TO CHOOSE?

Автор - | 29.03.2019

Amaranth for breakfast, the next day amaranth for lunch, then amaranth for dinner, and sometimes all together in one day. It is clear that get bored. One of the eternal questions of people trying to lead a healthy lifestyle: how to make so that a useful product does not bother? Answer: do not abuse this product.

From time to time it is necessary to replace the amaranth with something similar in composition and quantity of substances, otherwise it will pall. Of course, it is impossible to find an absolutely equivalent option. But each product has more or less similar properties to another, and amaranth is no exception. True, it all depends on the goals that a person pursues, including amaranth in the diet, and the type in which this plant is used.

For example, raw amaranth leaves are similar in properties to basil leaves. And boiled basil will already play boiled amaranth leaves. Amaranth seed germs are very similar to wheat germ seeds. With full seeds, the situation is different. It is more difficult to find analogues of amaranth oil, since the content of squalene in it is higher than in any other vegetable oil. The amount of squalene for amaranth oil is olive, but this substance is about 5 times less in it than in amaranth oil. semena-lna-11. But amaranth oil has other properties in common with other vegetable ones.

If you understand that you will soon get tired of amaranth in its different variations, you can try flax for a change. Amaranth seeds (not buds) are often compared to flax seeds – and not without reason. Linseed oil, among other vegetable oils, will provide a person with some of the ingredients found in amaranth.

But it is necessary to carefully replace amaranth with flax, since excess flax in the diet is fraught with over-saturation with a number of substances that are harmful to the human body in large quantities. And in some cases, flax does not replace amaranth, because it does not contain the appropriate components.

Comparison of flax seeds and amaranth
Earlier we wrote about the nutritional value of amaranth flakes and amaranth porridge. If you prefer these products, we recommend using the figures given in this article. In today’s material, 100 g of flax seeds and 100 g of amaranth seeds will be used for comparison, both of which will be raw.

Flax in the form of seeds is a more high-calorie product compared to amaranth. Moreover, its caloric content is provided not so much by carbohydrates, as in most seeds, as fats. Thus, there are 371 calories per 100 g of amaranth seeds, and about one and a half times more flax seeds per 100 g – 534 calories.

The caloric content of amaranth seeds is distributed as follows:

  • fats – 7.02 g;
  • proteins – 13.56 g;
  • carbohydrates – 71.95 g.

And the caloric content of flax seeds is provided in this way:

  • fats – 42.16 g;
  • proteins – 18.29 g;
  • carbohydrates – 28.88 g.

At the same time, water in flax seeds is almost two times less than in amaranth seeds, – 6.96 g versus 11.29 g.

At first glance, 100 g of flax will provide a person with proteins for a third of the daily requirement and fats – more than half, while giving up very few carbohydrates, which is rare for most products in this category. But not everything is so simple, and the above characteristics can not be limited.

Carbohydrates
The catch is that of 28.88 g of carbohydrates, 27.3 g are dietary fiber or fiber, which is 137% of its daily intake.

Dietary fiber is a substance that lingers in the stomach and intestines for a long time and, due to the absorption of water, swells there, creating a feeling of satiety. In normal amounts, after a few hours, the fiber breaks down or leaves the body naturally. When it is too much and the daily norm is exceeded, abdominal distention may occur due to swelling, flatulence is not excluded. In addition, the same bacteria that digest fats that have entered the stomach break down cellulose, and if it is abundant, some of the bacteria stop working with fats, which may cause their deposits.

Thus, taking into account the amount of fat contained in flax seeds, which the body will have to break down at the same time as dietary fiber, 100 g of this product is an excess portion for a person.

In the seeds of amaranth the components are distributed more harmoniously: in 71.95 g of carbohydrates only 6.7 g of dietary fiber, which is 33.6% of the daily norm of the latter.

The rest of the carbohydrates contained in the seeds of flax and amaranth, about the same. Amaranth seeds contain 57.27 g of starch, 1.69 g of mono- and disaccharides, and 1.4 g of sucrose. There are no starch and saccharides in flax seeds, sucrose – 1.15 g, and there is still 0.4 g of glucose. The latter can be ignored due to an excessively small amount.

Fat

Basically, due to them, flax seeds are compared with amaranth seeds. Flax is known for its high content of omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids, which are polyunsaturated fats. Amaranth also contains both types of acids. To allow readers to compare their ratio in 100 g of both products, we give the exact amount of all fatty acids in flax and amaranth seeds.

Amaranth seeds contain these fatty acids:

  • linoleic, omega-6 (polyunsaturated fats) – 2.74 g;
  • linolenic, omega-3 (polyunsaturated fats) – 0.04 g;
  • oleic, omega-9 (monounsaturated fats) – 1.67 g;
  • gadoleic, omega-9 (monounsaturated fats) – 0.01 g.

These are fats that not only provide a person with calories, but are necessary for the body to maintain the structure of certain tissues and to synthesize the necessary substances. There are other fats – saturated. Within the limits of the allowable amount in the daily amount, they are not harmful, they are just a source of calories. In the seeds of amaranth contained in such quantities:

  • myristic acid – 0.01 g;
  • palmitic acid – 1.15 g;
  • stearic – 0.22 g;
  • arachin – 0.05 g;
  • Behenova – 0.02 g.

Flax seeds contain these useful fatty acids:

  • linoleic, omega-6 (polyunsaturated fats) – 5.9 g;
  • linolenic, omega-3 (polyunsaturated fats) – 22.81 g;
  • eicosadieno, omega-6 (polyunsaturated fats) – 0.01 g;
  • palmitoleic (monounsaturated) – 0.02 g;
  • oleic (monounsaturated) – 7.36 g;
  • gadoleic (monounsaturated) – 0.07 g;
  • erucated (monounsaturated) – 0.01 g;
  • nerve (monounsaturated) – 0.06 g

And from the usual, saturated, flax seeds contained a little more fatty acids than amaranth seeds:

  • myristic acid – 0.01 g;
  • pentadecanoic – 0.01 g;
  • palmitic – 2.17 g;
  • margarine – 0.02 g;
  • stearic – 1.33 g;
  • arachin – 0.05 g;
  • behenic – 0.05 g;
  • lignocerol – 0.03 g

And here, too, flax seeds outperform amaranth in quantity, and amaranth in flax – in terms of harmony. Thus, in flax seeds of polyunsaturated acids, only 28.73 g, which exceeds the daily dose and is 131% of the omega-3-5 norms. Polyunsaturated acids in amaranth seeds, in turn, make up only 24.8% of the norm.

Monounsaturated fats in flax and amaranth seeds make up 34% and 9% of the daily norm, respectively, which would put flax seeds in the first place if it were not for an excess of polyunsaturated acids that enter the body along with monounsaturated.

At the same time, in both products there is almost equal amount of saturated acids, and in neither the one nor the other it exceeds the permissible rate of fat intake.

Squirrels
 

Both flax and amaranth contain all the essential amino acids (and many essential), and this is another similarity. Essential amino acids (that is, amino acids that the body does not produce by itself and which can only be ingested with food) flax and amaranth seeds contain the following amounts:

  • valine: in flax seeds – 1.07 g (56% of the daily dose of an adult), in amaranth seeds – 0.7 g;
  • histidine: in flax seeds – 0.47 g (43% of the daily requirement), in amaranth – 0.39 g;
  • isoleucine: in flax seeds – 0.9 g (60% of the daily dose), amaranth – 0.6 g;
  • leucine: 1.24 g in flax seeds (38% of the daily requirement) and 0.88 g in amaranth seeds;
  • lysine: 0.86 g in flax seeds (28% of the daily requirement) and 0.74 g in amaranth seeds;
  • methionine: in flax seeds – 0.37 g (47% of the daily requirement), in amaranth seeds – 0.23 g;
  • threonine: in flax seeds – 0.77 g (48% of daily requirement), in amaranth seeds – 0.56 g;
  • tryptophan: in flax seeds – 0.3 g (75% of daily requirement), in amaranth seeds – 0.18 g;
  • phenylalanine: in flax seeds – 0.96 g (52% of the daily requirement), amaranth – 0.54 g;
  • Arginine is an essential amino acid for children: in flax seeds – 1.93 g, in amaranth seeds – 1.06 g.

According to the content of essential amino acids flax slightly wins from amaranth in all points. There is a similar situation with substitutable amino acids: there are more of them in flax seeds than in amaranth seeds. The exception is glycine, the content of which in amaranth is slightly higher. The rest are distributed as follows:

  • alanine: flax seeds – 0.93 g, and amaranth seeds – 0.8 g;
  • aspartic acid: flax seeds – 2.05 g, and amaranth seeds – 1.26 g;
  • glycine: flax seeds – 1.25 g, and amaranth – 1.64 g;
  • glutamic acid: flax seeds – 4.04 g, amaranth seeds – 2.26 g;
  • proline: flax seeds – 0.81 g, amaranth – 0.7 g;
  • serine: flax seeds – 0.97 g, and amaranth – 1.15 g;
  • tyrosine: flax – 0.49 g, and amaranth – 0.33 g;
  • cysteine: flax – 0.34 g, amaranth – 0.19 g

And in the flax seeds there is hydroxyproline in the amount of 0.18 g, and in the seeds of amaranth it is absent. However, this does not matter, because by using the minimum of necessary substances, the body replaces the replaceable amino acids independently.

If we consider only proteins, we can conclude that flax seeds are a little more useful.

Vitamins

Another item, due to which amaranth seeds are comparable to flax seeds. Moreover, it is believed that flax seeds are more beneficial due to the higher content of vitamin A and E and the presence of vitamin K. That’s the way it is, but not quite.

There is really no vitamin K in amaranth seeds, however this vitamin is found very often, it is found in large quantities in almost any green (and amaranth leaves contain it in general in a record dose – 100 g of its fresh leaves are 9 times more than a person needs) therefore, if you use at least some green products (parsley, cilantro, dill, green onions, etc.), the lack of vitamin K in amaranth seeds can be neglected. Its flax seeds are only 4.3 mg. Vitamine Pillen

Vitamin A as such is not in those, nor in other seeds. In flax seeds, “vitamin A” is contained in the form of a complex “lutein + zeaxanthin” in the amount of 651 mcg, in the seeds of amaranth of the same substance 28 mcg. That is, in flax seeds it is really more, only this is not quite vitamin A, more precisely, this is not the vitamin A that is required in the daily diet, but just one of the substances of the group, which is generally called the vitamin A group.

In 100 g of amaranth seeds there is another 0.001 mg of beta-carotene, which is also referred to as vitamin A complex, but this amount is too insignificant to account for.

With vitamin E, too, everything is not easy. It is divided into alpha, beta, gamma and delta-tocopherol, but only alpha-tocopherol is considered necessary for the body. And alpha-tocopherol is more in amaranth seeds – 1.19 mg, which is 7.9% of the daily requirement. And in the seeds of flax alpha-tocopherol only 0.31 mg.

In this case, gamma-tocopherol in flax seeds as much as 19.95 mg, which, apparently, was the source of the opinion that flax seeds contain more vitamin E. Delta-tocopherol in them is 0.35 mg. Amaranth seeds such indicators of gamma tocopherol can not boast. In them:

  • beta tocopherol – 0.96 mg;
  • gamma-tocopherol – 0.19 mg;
  • delta tocopherol – 0.69 mg.

Beta, gamma and delta-tocopherol are also beneficial for the body, but they do not have daily norms, that is, they can not be consumed with food in general (although it is unlikely to work). Thus, the content of vitamin E, contrary to popular belief, still won amaranth seeds.

They also win when comparing with flax with respect to vitamin C. In the seeds of amaranth it is 4.2 mg (4.7% of the daily norm), and in flax seeds it is only 0.6 mg.

In the complex of vitamins of group B, the palm tree is intercepted by flax seeds and amaranth seeds. The latter are slightly more useful, but only slightly. Compare the amount of B vitamins in 100 g of flax seeds and amaranth:

  • Vitamin B1 (thiamine). 100 g of flax seed is contained in the amount of 1.64 mg and provides 109% of the daily human need. In the seeds of amaranth it is 0.12 mg.
  • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin). In flax seeds – 0.16 mg (9% of the daily requirement). In the seeds of amaranth – 0.2 mg.
  • Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid). In flax seeds – 0.99 mg or 20% of the daily requirement. In the seeds of amaranth – 1.46 mg.
  • Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine). In flax seeds – 0.47 mg or 24% of the daily requirement. Amaranth seeds – 0.6 mg.
  • Vitamin B9 (folate). In flax seeds – 87 mcg (22% of the daily requirement). Amaranth seeds – 82 mcg.
    Vitamin PP (niacin). In flax seeds – 3.08 mg or 15% of the daily dose. In the seeds of amaranth is missing.
  • Vitamin PP (niacin equivalent). In flax seeds – 8.03 mg or 40% of the daily requirement. In the seeds of amaranth – 0.92 mg.
  • Vitamin B4 (Choline). In flax seeds – 78.7 mg (16% of daily requirement). In the seeds of amaranth – 69.8 mg.
  • Betaine trimethylglycine (also belongs to the complex of vitamins of group B). The amount of 3.1 mg is present in flax seeds, and 67.6 mg in the seeds of amaranth. It is believed that a person needs to consume about 600 mg of betaine per day.

In general, it can be said that amaranth seeds exceed flax seeds in the content of useful and necessary vitamins. But it all depends on the individual needs and diet.

Minerals
Very ambiguous ratios of both macro and micronutrients can boast of both types of seeds. It is because of the “inconvenient” mineral content that it is rather difficult to formulate a diet with seeds and flax, and amaranth, although with flax it is more difficult. This does not mean that flax is less useful. It is difficult to simply calculate the daily dose of minerals with their content from 2% to 124% so that there is no shortage or excess of this or that element. So, it contains:

  • potassium in the amount of 813 mg, which is 33% of the daily requirement;
  • calcium – 255 mg, which is 26% of the daily requirement;
  • magnesium in the amount of 392 mg, which almost covers the daily rate – 98%;
  • sodium – 30 mg and only 2% of the daily requirement;
  • phosphorus – 642 mg or 80% of the daily requirement.

This is with regard to macronutrients (substances that the body needs in large quantities). Trace elements (substances that are necessary for a person in micro doses) are distributed in 100 g of flax seeds as follows:

  • iron – 7.61 mg;
  • manganese – 3.33 mg;
  • copper – 525 mcg;
  • selenium – 18.7 mcg;
  • Zinc – 2.87 mg.

If we compare this list with the list of minerals found in flax seeds, we can see that manganese in 100 g of amaranth is also an excess amount for humans. All other elements in 100 g of amaranth are within acceptable limits.

What is curious (and can be seen from the above lists): the composition of minerals in flax and amaranth seeds is completely identical. And this also leads to the conclusion about the partial interchangeability of these products in the diet.

In addition to the above, there is phytosterols in amaranth seeds, substances that lower cholesterol levels in the blood. Contained in an amount of 24 mg per 100 g of product. There are no phytosterols in flax seeds.

Comparison of oils – linseed and amaranth
In detail about the content of different substances in amaranth oil, we wrote in the article “Olive, sunflower or still amaranth?” And for the convenience of readers we will tell about linseed oil in the same way. If you want to compare both oils in detail, in order to get complete information about amaranth it is enough to open the specified article.

Fat
Flaxseed oil has gained fame thanks to the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids already mentioned, or rather their ratio. Both types of acids are involved in the formation of muscles, are necessary for the immune system, strengthen heart tissues and vascular walls, regulate hormonal balance and are needed for many other processes. o But they play their role not separately, but in combination with each other, and the ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 acids in a ratio from 3: 1 to 4: 1 is considered optimal, respectively.

Such proportions are not registered in any product that would not be harmful in other respects. And one of the eternal problems of nutrition – the formulation of the diet, in which omega-6 and omega-3 would be contained in the right proportions.

Omega-6 acids are abundant in amaranth oil (about 38 g per 100 g of oil), in apricot (29 g), in olive (9.76 g) and in others.

Interesting! Olive in this case is considered more useful than apricot, because it contains a small proportion of omega-3 acids, but not in apricot. Products that contain both types of acids are generally considered more valuable than those in which only one of them is registered.

Omega-3 is a deficient acid. In ordinary amaranth oil, there are only a few of them – 0.82 g, but in the oil of amaranth germs it is more than about 3 g. Olive oil – 0.76 g and grape oil – 0.1 g can boast a small amount of them. In wheat germ oil 6.9 g, and it is considered relatively valuable because of them. In flaxseed oil of omega-3 fatty acids, a record amount – 53.3 g.

Linseed oil is a unique product. In the majority of vegetable oils, the amount of omega-6 fats (if they exist) exceeds the amount of omega-3 fats (if they exist). In flax – the opposite: omega-6 – 12.7 g, and omega-3 – almost four times more. That is why nutritionists recommend including flaxseed oil in the diet. With one caveat: use with it some other oil with a high content of omega-6 acids.

Therefore, as part of the comparison of linseed and amaranth oil, the conclusion suggests an interesting one: it is best to use both. To obtain the optimal ratio of fats per 1 unit of lnyanoe-maslo-275×300 linseed oil, 3-4 units of ordinary (not germinal) amaranth oil will be needed (units can be anything: spoons, drops, etc., depending on the required daily amount of fats) .

Of the other unsaturated (necessary for the body) fats in flaxseed oil contains only oleic acid in the amount of 20.2 g (in its amaranth 17.65 g).

From the usual – saturated – palmitic (5.3 g) and stearic (4.1 g) acids. In amaranth palmitic more and in general, the types of saturated fats are slightly more, but the rest, except for palmitic, are contained in extremely small amounts. Therefore, it can be said that with respect to saturated acids, both oils are almost equivalent.

Squalene
In flaxseed oil is absent. Amarantovoe is a champion in its content among all vegetable and most animal fats.

Vitamins
In flaxseed oil, you can only take vitamin E, but it is contained there in the form of the necessary alpha-tocopherol. In 100 g of its oil 17.5 mg. There is vitamin B4 (choline), but its only 0.2 mg, which does not even correspond to 1% of the daily intake of choline.

In amaranth oil, in addition to the high content of vitamin E, there are also vitamins of group B (including choline), vitamin C and some vitamin A from group A in the form of beta-carotene.

Minerals
There are no minerals in flaxseed oil. Amaranth contains 5 microelements and 5 macronutrients – the same as in amaranth seeds.

Phytosterols
In flaxseed oil are absent. In amaranth – there are 2 g, which is quite a lot.

Thus, flaxseed oil is superior to amaranth only in omega-3 fat content. In all other respects, amaranth oil is healthier.

General comparative characteristic
So, when it is possible to replace amaranth with flax, and when – it is not worth it?

Amaranth oil will definitely not be able to replace flaxseed if the first is used to obtain squalene. Here, to diversify the diet, perhaps olive is suitable (although for this it will need about 5 times more than amaranth).

If there is so much olive oil in the diet that it satisfies the daily need for squalene (or if you are suddenly lucky to get animal fat containing squalene), and amaranth used to obtain the necessary unsaturated fats, then flaxseed can fully replace it. True, then flaxseed will need to be combined with other fats containing linoleic acid (or other omega-6 acids), but olive oil and a number of others are also suitable for this purpose.

Before replacing amaranth oil with flaxseed, take care of additional sources of vitamin C and vitamins of group B, which are contained in amaranth oil and which are not in flaxseed, as well as the source of phytosterols.

In general, the nutritional value of amaranth oil is slightly higher than the nutritional value of flaxseed oil. The first is valuable due to the content of squalene and the content of omega-6 fatty acids in the presence of omega-3 acids. Not the last role is played by vitamins, phytosterols and minerals, although they are easier to find in other products. The value of flaxseed oil is almost exclusively in omega-3 fats, however, they are found in such quantity so rarely that flaxseed is recognized as one of the most valuable vegetable oils.

But, despite the usefulness of both oils and the ability to manage to replace one with another, they are not considered interchangeable in dietology.

The situation is different with flax and amaranth seeds, especially for raw foodists, vegetarians and people in general, who receive some of the necessary substances by chewing raw seeds. Since the use of 100 g of seeds in raw form is not particularly practiced, it is possible to replace the standard 20-30 g of amaranth seeds with flax seeds and vice versa almost without loss.

If we are talking about large portions, then flax seeds can be consumed with a strong lack of fiber in the diet, and amaranth seeds will help in this case, but less. But the product should still be less than 100 g. But in the amaranth there is starch, which is not in flax seeds. It is expedient to eat flax seeds for the sake of polyunsaturated acids. But if the goal is to simply satisfy the need for healthy fats, then amaranth seeds are better suited. Flax seeds are more beneficial than amaranth seeds for proteins: flax will provide the body with a slightly higher content of amino acids. If we consider the vitamins and minerals, the seeds of flax and amaranth are almost completely interchangeable. However, you should be careful when choosing flax seeds: when used in quantities of more than 50 g, the body may be oversaturated with dietary fiber, manganese and copper.

Summarizing, we can say that amaranth seeds are considered more suitable for introduction into the daily diet. The content of substances in them is more harmonious, an excessive amount of one or another substance practically does not threaten (with the exception of manganese), they lose to flax in some points insignificantly, while in others they gain altogether.

But, since we considered whether it is possible to replace with amaranth with flax, it is more appropriate to make a conclusion: it is quite reasonable to use as a periodic substitute for amaranth seeds. And in order to crank the same with butter, it is necessary to rebuild the menu strongly and to the non-standard side.

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