Amaranth is attractive because not only its grains are eaten, but also greens. It is rich in substances beneficial to the human body. About this site Organic Authority writes Sarah Novak.
The author of the article gives the 7th undeniable arguments in favor of amaranth greens. After reading them, you probably want to include the plant in your diet right away.
7 reasons for amaranth greens
As the author writes, usually amaranth was grown in the Caribbean, as well as in Asia and Africa. However, immigrants from these countries brought the plant to the United States of America, where it quickly gained relative popularity. Initially, it was amaranth grains, which are a gluten-free product, eaten in the USA.
But also its leaves are very useful for the person and are suitable for an everyday ration. There are several reasons why greens should be included in your menu.
1. Amaranth greens contain tocotrienols.
Tocotrienols are a form of vitamin E that can lower cholesterol levels as well as the risk of heart disease. This is evidenced by the data of specialized studies – their results were published in 2014 in the journal “Nutrition and metabolism.”
The study also showed that tocotrienols can become a defense against cancer and have anti-inflammatory properties.
2. Amaranth green significantly reduces the risk of stroke.
Amaranth leaves are a good source of potassium. The presence of a sufficient amount of potassium in the body helps to transfer oxygen to the brain, which stimulates nervous activity and cognitive function, while reducing the risk of stroke. Potassium can also improve brain function by maintaining electrical conductivity in the brain.
3. Amaranth greens reduce the likelihood of developing hypertension.
Amaranth leaves also contain magnesium, a mineral that combines with potassium, which can significantly reduce the risk of developing hypertension. According to data from studies published in 2007, magnesium effectively protects against the development of cardiovascular diseases.
Magnesium also has many other benefits. Among those definitely worth noting:
- increase human energy;
- calming effect, reducing anxiety levels;
- relieving muscle spasms and pains;
- prevention of osteoporosis.
4. Amaranth green improves digestion
Amaranth leaves are an important source of dietary fiber, which makes them useful for constipation. That is, the consumption of green amaranth allows you to get rid of constipation, as well as act as a preventive measure.
They are also easier to digest than other similar foods. For example, as cabbage, which is recommended to pre-cook to increase its absorption.
5. Amaranth greens are a good source of iron.
Finding good sources of iron among plant foods is not easy. But amaranth leaves are just that. They help prevent anemia, effectively defeat iron deficiency.
6. Amaranth greens, as fermented amaranth greens
Amaranth’s greenery is also good because it can be harvested for future use in order to consume it in the offseason. Fermented foods are good for digestion because they contain probiotics or good bacteria.
Fermenting the whole crop is a great way to use the stems.
All you need to do is add the amaranth leaves to a glass jar, then pour in clean or filtered water, add half of the chopped onion and two tablespoons of salt.
Store this mixture for several weeks in a cool place, opening the jar every few days to release fermented gases. And after the end of cooking, eat, such as sauerkraut. The refrigerator is stored for three to six months.
7. Universality of amaranth green
Amaranth leaves are a variety of greens that can be eaten in a salad, added to roast, soup or other dishes.
As mentioned above, they can be fermented for consumption all year round.
Add amaranth leaves to any dish that traditionally uses spinach or other greens. Note that amaranth and spinach greens have a similar texture and appearance.
How to grow amaranth: a few tips
Another advantage of amaranth leaves is that they grow easily. Seedlings can often be found in farmers’ markets and in Asian food markets (seeds for the USA – a comment of a translator), and seeds can be bought online.
Here are some tips on growing amaranth
If you plan to grow amaranth on the street, start growing seedlings in early spring by installing a seedling tray on a sunny windowsill. Let the seedling grow until it freezes, and then plant it on the open ground.
Watering amaranth plants in dry periods is enough once or twice a week.
Plants can be grown in dry clay soils, but they also feel really good in drained rich compost. If your soil is not perfect, consider growing amaranth in special trays with compost.
Plant seeds at a distance of 18 to 25 centimeters from each other, although they can tolerate a small thickness.
Amaranth grows really well in a warmer climate and is resistant to drought. But it can also be grown in a cooler climate.
Unusual recipe for the preparation of amaranth leaves
Amaranth leaves in coconut milk. Try this simple and tasty recipe for amaranth herbs.
For four servings you will need:
- about 850 grams of chopped amaranth leaves;
- 4 cups of water;
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil;
- 1 cup of coconut milk;
- 1 large sliced onion;
- 2 large sliced tomatoes;
- 1 teaspoon of table salt.
- wash amaranth leaves, then dry in a towel and cut;
- heat the oil in a frying pan to medium temperature, add the onion, simmer for five minutes;
- add tomatoes and amaranth, stew until soft.
- add coconut milk and salt and simmer for ten minutes.
The prepared dish is recommended to be served with rice or boiled amaranth grain.