Pectins are included in a long list of substances necessary for a person to function normally. They cleanse the body, can help with light food poisoning and are a source of energy. Are actively used in medicine, cosmetology, food industry. Dietology pays serious attention to them: no diet can do without a significant amount of pectin, whether it was created for 509.jpg weight loss or is developed for a sick or recovering person. Pectins are safe for a weakened organism, and the vital activity of an active person is impossible without them.
Pectins are contained in most edible plants, and amaranth is not an exception. All varieties of amaranth, including cereals and fodder, and even some wild ones, are rich in pectins, although in cereals and fodder these substances are much more. Drugs are produced from amaranth pectins, and they are also used in cosmetic preparations, mainly cleansing and resisting aging.
About amaranth pectins, their potential benefits and possible negative effects – in today’s material.
Amaranth pectins: what it is and how they appear
Pectins are a variety of polysaccharides – the most common carbohydrates in the world, which provide energy to the organisms of all living things. Polysaccharides are involved in the formation of most organic tissues, providing adhesion between cells, support the immune system and perform dozens of other functions. There is one thing common to these functions: they all require a significant amount of energy – and polysaccharides give this energy.
Pectins are only found in plants (and, in particular, therefore, plant food is vital for any mammal, including humans). Sometimes they are perhaps the main structural element of plant tissues, in other cases they are present in relatively small amounts, while other polysaccharides constitute the main plant tissue.
The functions of pectin as a polysaccharide in a plant are that it:
a) provides the elasticity of tissues, increasing their permeability and accelerating biological processes in the plant;
b) strengthens the plant tissues – in the literal sense: the more pectin in the tissues, the stronger (not harder, stronger) the tissue itself.
Pectins make the plant more drought-resistant, since the tissues rich in them are able to accumulate water in greater quantities than fabrics with a low pectin content. Also, thanks to pectins, already collected products can be stored longer. The reason is the same: in pectin-rich tissues, substances that are able to withstand rotting and other destructive processes longer accumulate.
Amaranth is weather resistant due to its high pectin content. It tolerates drought perfectly, as it is able to accumulate a large amount of water in the stems and leaves, and pectins are capable of doing this. Amaranth is wind and cold resistant, because its tissues are strong due to pectins and protect from both relatively low temperatures and damage caused by winds (kinks and others).
In grain and feed varieties amaranth pectin more than in the wild. This is noticeable in their appearance: grain and fodder varieties are often taller, stronger, resilient, have a more saturated color, while wild ones are thinner, brittle and dim. This is due to the fact that for high pectinization amaranth requires a large amount of potassium, calcium and phosphorus, which it takes from the soil. Soil-rich soil is usually prepared specifically for growing grain and foxtail-amaranth fodder varieties, while in the wild, amaranth simply does not receive the number of elements necessary for high pectinization.
In general, the amount of pectin in a plant can be partially determined by focusing on the elasticity and fragility of its tissues. For example, one of the recognized leaders in the content of this substance are apples. But, of course, there is also an unequal amount of pectin in them, and this is very noticeable. The skin of some apples is thinner, albeit tough, and the apple itself easily gives off water (juice) and strongly crunches (fragile tissue). In such fruits pectin less. In contrast, they are apples with a softer, but dense and elastic skin, rich juice and its good holding pulp. This picture means that this fruit is rich in pectins.
With amaranth the same way. Even grain and fodder varieties can be grown on poor soils, in poor conditions. The result will be weakness, brittleness – and a low content of pectins. Other plants are grown in compliance with all norms and recommendations regarding the selected variety – and can end up boasting high pectinization.
The amount of pectin in amaranth is an important indicator of its quality.
Fodder varieties with a high pectin content are valued not only because they provide poultry and livestock with this substance, but also because they promote calcium absorption better. Thus, a fairly significant amount of calcium is present in the green mass of amaranth. With a high content of pectins, its digestibility by animals increases to almost 75%, and with low pectinization of a plant less than half of calcium is absorbed. Therefore, farmers breeding animals for which calcium is especially important (laying hens, quails, cows, etc.) pay close attention to the variety and conditions for growing forage amaranth: among other things, pectins are important to them. But, strictly speaking, high pectinization of amaranth is important for any animal breeder.
For grain varieties, high pectinization is even more important. Of these, many products are made for humans, and not only within the food industry. A significant amount of pectin significantly increases the value of such products. In the food industry it is: cereals, flakes, to some extent amaranth pasta and flour, although in the latter during processing, most of the pectins are lost. In the medical industry, pectin from amaranth is mined in its pure form – in the form of a white powder, which can then be mixed with iodine, silver and other elements – depending on which drug is produced. In cosmetology, pectin from amaranth can also be extracted in its pure form, although in some cases products of the processing of amaranth seeds are used. The result in all cases is the same: the more pectin in amaranth, the more valuable the plant.
Properties and application of amaranth pectins
Food industry: pectin in amaranth grain
In the food industry, pectin is generally used as a thickener, but it is known and popular because it is actually the most useful natural thickener, in contrast to numerous substances that imitate it. All quite expensive jams, marmalades, jellies, jellys, mousses and similar products are made on the basis of pectins, most often apple ones.
By the way, pectin in confectionery and other products is designated by the international code E440. You should not react to such an additive negatively: it is completely harmless.
Amaranth pectin can be used in the same way as apple pectin: it is extracted from the grain quite easily in the form of the same white powder. Can be used similarly. At home, unfortunately, it is difficult to remove it and make jams with it. But what can be done at home is to crush the cereal and mix it, for example, with fruit and sugar. IMG_8912 The resulting confectionery dish will be one of the most useful jam-like masses that can be made in principle.
A high amount of pectin in amaranth and their effect can be observed in the process of cooking ordinary amaranth porridge on water. It requires quite a lot of liquids – and this is already a sign of high pectin content. As mentioned above, pectins tend to absorb and “store” water, while reluctantly giving it away. Thus, a little cereal and quite a lot of water turns into a gelatinous, sticky mass. In addition, in a boiled amaranth porridge, one can observe a substance similar to a binding film — transparent, with a white tint — which, as it were, unites the grains of grain into one whole. The same substance appears when cooking oatmeal and some other cereals. This is pectins – that is, not only they, of course, since the film is formed from many elements, but pectins are its basis and main component. From a chemical point of view, they are produced in the process of cooking from protopectins – the precursors of pectin. Thus, if amaranth porridge turned out to be tough and jelly-like – there is exactly enough pectin in it.
True, you should pay attention to the water content. If it is poured too much (8-10 times more than amaranth), then amaranth, of course, will not be able to absorb all the water, so the geliness may suffer a little. In the same way, if the porridge is cooked for less than a minute, then the protopectins will not have time to transform into pectins, perform their function and take all the water. A small amount of water also does not allow pectins to show all the properties.
Some amaranth pectin can be obtained by soaking and drying amaranth cereals. So, if you pour a thin layer of cereal with water and let it dry on its own, you can find a light powder that has settled on the surface of the container. This is largely pectin.
Pectin amaranth cereals in the context of dietetics
Here we cooked amaranth porridge on the water – it turned out jelly-like mass, clearly containing pectins. What is the use of our body with that?
Surely everyone heard about the need for cereals in the human diet. Fresh, sugar-free and porridge salts are useful even for sick people or people recovering from surgeries; porridges feed people after food poisoning and various physiological stress. Moreover, weakened people are most often fed with oatmeal, occasionally semolina, but rice and buckwheat are considered more “heavy” cereals, which are included in the menu of mostly healthy people or at least not having serious problems with como-desintoxicar-o-organismo-rapidamente gastrointestinal intestinal tract. It’s simple: oatmeal contains a lot of pectin, semolina – a little less, but also quite rich in them. In turn, pectins cleanse the body.
Passing through the human stomach and intestines, pectins everywhere on the road adsorb all “not taken” by the body, but in fact toxic and undigested substances. On the walls of the human intestine is deposited a huge amount of “dirt” – unnecessary and harmful elements of food. Gradually, these elements are removed, but some of them are more viscous, and they leave far from immediately after digestion. Moreover, they may be passed by other undigested elements, and the “tenacious” will remain on the intestinal walls. Pectins take them from there. Practically, pectins are the most effective cleaners of the organism, apart from artificial ones (and not very useful for kidneys and liver). The beauty of pectins in the composition of cereals is that, due to their gelatinous properties, they pass through the gastrointestinal tract immediately in the form of peculiar “lumps”, and thanks to the smoothness they do not linger anywhere and do not “cling” to the intestines. Pectins in the composition, for example, apples do not have such properties, and therefore digest longer and clean the gastrointestinal tract is not as effective.
The body of sick, recovering people is weakened. He has little energy. Digesting food takes a decent amount of energy, and the harder the food, the harder it is for the body to digest it. The weakened organism simply does not digest some heavy food for reasons of energy conservation, although it assimilated it well in a healthy state. This includes fatty foods, red meat, heavier raw fruits and vegetables, and more. Therefore, weakened people are fed with light broths, low-fat cottage cheese, cereals and other food, for the digestion of which energy is not needed.
Pectin porridges in diets of weakened people are very important for several reasons:
They are a source of easily obtained energy, which is worth its weight in gold for a weakened organism.
At the same time, much less energy is consumed in their digestion than in the digestion of other foods, since, as mentioned above, they easily and quickly pass through the stomach and intestines.
They clean the stomach and intestines from toxins and harmful substances, which, even in a healthy body, create a feeling of heaviness, and the patient is overloaded too much.
From here oatmeal and semolina. And amaranth, which contains much more protein, beneficial unsaturated fats, calcium, potassium, and other elements than both oatmeal and semolina, is therefore much more useful for a weakened organism.
An important role is played by pectins in cereals during weight loss. The fact is that pectins strengthen the walls of the gastrointestinal tract, or rather, its mucosa. They generally strengthen any mucous membranes, acting on the same principle as for strengthening plant tissues. Strong and healthy mucous membrane in the gastrointestinal tract has good blood circulation, good blood supply and high speed of biological processes. All this contributes to:
a) faster absorption of food;
b) higher digestibility of food;
c) activation of microflora, which processes individual elements of food;
d) activation of microflora, which is responsible for the synthesis of vitamins and vitamin-like substances;
e) active synthesis of anti-inflammatory and regenerating substances in the gastrointestinal tract.
The first two points are extremely rare in people who are overweight. As a rule, their food is processed for a very long time; this process is accompanied by insulin jumps, which “sends” to fats something that could be processed right now; due to unbalanced insulin production, the body rejects many nutrients. Metabolism in obese people is slow. As a result, the organs that need energy loss do not receive it, because the body does not have time to produce it, and absorbed carbohydrates and fats go to the fat reserves, because you need to put them somewhere. So that this does not happen – in the diet for weight loss include pectin porridge.
Why pectin porridge, and not just, say, apples? Here the microflora of the gastrointestinal tract comes into play. As mentioned above, cereals pass through the gastrointestinal tract faster than any vegetables and fruits, since they are smoother and are digested by lumps. These “lumps” and the speed with which they pass through the stomach and intestines, as if “wake up” the system, roughly speaking, and various biological activity begins in it. Among other things, microorganisms are activated.
With regard to the synthesis of anti-inflammatory and regenerating substances in the gastrointestinal tract with the consumption of pectins, it is rather important from a medical point of view, and the question of losing weight is indirectly related. Nevertheless, a healthy gastrointestinal tract without ulcers, and even more extensive ulcers, damage caused by gastritis and other diseases, processes food more quickly and efficiently. The body does not have to save resources in order to heal wounds, and as a result, more energy is spent on metabolism and normalizing the distribution of calories.
Amaranth pectin in medicine
Pectin, as mentioned earlier, is a natural enterosorbent, that is, a substance that absorbs and removes toxic substances from the body. This property is widely used in medicine for a variety of purposes. The most obvious, of course, is the use of pectin for poisoning. In light food poisoning and disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, pectin successfully replaces activated carbon. For the treatment of the effects of more severe poisoning is used as part of a comprehensive detoxification treatment. In addition, the above-mentioned pectin diet is prescribed to restore the body to the patient.
In the case of heavy metal poisoning, pectin is necessarily included in a comprehensive treatment. It significantly accelerates the removal of radioactive substances from the body, adsorbs lead acetate more active carbon. He is also able to bind radioactive cobalt, strontium, cesium, zirconium, ruthenium, yttrium and some other metals. Actually, it is not pectin itself that adsorbs them, but pectic acid, into which it turns, assimilating. It is this compound that binds with heavy metals and radionuclides that are in the body. The result of the compounds are insoluble salts, which are derived naturally naturally with the help of the kidneys. Nevertheless, pectin is able to bind radioactive substances through the blood, removing them through the liver.
Pectins successfully treat intestinal infections, including acute. According to Russian studies, where amaranth pectin was first used to treat acute infectious diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, an increase in the population of microorganisms that interfered with the gastrointestinal tract was suppressed for 2–3 hours after taking the medication.
Amaranth pectin is widely used in medicine and as an external bactericidal agent, also inhibiting the spread of infection and contributing to the accelerated healing of wounds due to its property to strengthen organic tissue. In 2001, a chemist Larisa Mikheeva conducted a study in Ulyanovsk (Russia) “Obtaining and Some Chemical Properties of Amaranth Pectins”, on the basis of which bactericidal preparations based on amaranth pectin and iodine, as well as amaranth pectin and silver were later created. Mikheeva found that amaranth pectin in combination with iodine is more effective than iodine, iodine in combination with alcohol (iodinol) and other bactericidal iodine-containing drugs. She was the first to establish the optimal ratio of amaranth pectin and silver for the manufacture of bactericidal preparations based on them.
Amaranth pectin is an element of many highly toxic drugs – for example, anti-tuberculosis drugs, because it accelerates their excretion from the body without reducing the positive effect. It is also used in preparations for the treatment of cirrhosis and other liver diseases, since it successfully and quickly absorbs the toxic substances that caused these diseases.
Not less actively amaranth pectin in medicine is used as an adjuvant. From it make capsules, shell tablets, suppositories and other similar elements. It is added to various medicinal gels, ointments and lozenges, since pectin is not only harmless, but the most useful substance that is able to give the drug the necessary form, without reducing the effect of its components.
Amaranth pectin in cosmetology
In cosmetology, pectins in general and amaranth pectin in particular are highly in demand, since at the same time they are both an active substance and a thickener in creams, gels and lotions.
Mostly amaranth pectin is used in cosmetic products such as:
- anti-aging creams;
- pencils and other anti-wrinkle products;
- anti-cellulite and other fat-splitting creams, lotions, tonics;
- protective cosmetology;
- makeup bases, tonal tools and similar products.
“Rejuvenates” pectin, giving the skin elasticity, plasticity and internal permeability and cell strength – that which is called skin tone in cosmetology. In addition, vitamins and some minerals are usually added to anti-aging creams with pectin, which are necessary for the complete formation and renewal of skin cells. Pectin accelerates, in fact, the process of renewal and formation of the skin. As a result, instead of old cells, which were often underperformed by certain substances, new cells appear, which receive everything you need, or at least everything the cream can boast. Given the speed of action of pectin, the result is not long in coming. Anti-aging creams are in fact a very real and natural thing, contrary to skeptics. It is only necessary to find a tool that will include all those substances that will help new cells form a “young” skin.
Pencils for wrinkles and similar products with pectin usually have a smaller effect than anti-aging creams, precisely because they rarely contain the whole complex of substances necessary for the rapid renewal of tissues. As a rule, they contain only pectin in different quantities, which is why they make the skin on wrinkles more elastic, strong and healthy. Its elasticity slightly smoothes, but the wrinkles do not disappear. However, if wrinkles are weak, then they may disappear.
Well-behaved among anti-cellulite pectin creams. Here, pectin performs exactly those actions that eliminate cellulite and any subcutaneous fatty lumps, namely: it speeds up the metabolism; restores capillary blood circulation, which in the most neglected cases of cellulite in general stops at some sites, and in ordinary cases simply slows down; nourishes the skin with additional beneficial substances that make up the cream. As a result of all the above, the fatty lumps are split up and removed faster – and cellulite, at least partially, disappears. To achieve complete extinction, even pectin cream will need to be used for a long time and together with massage and other anti-cellulite procedures, but it gives a good effect. Moreover, the same cream can then be used to restore the skin, which, after the disappearance of fatty lumps, still does not have a perfect aesthetic appearance. As a rule, such a cream is quite capable of tightening it.
But pectin cellulite lotions and tonics, as well as lotions and tonics for weight loss (for massage or other procedures) often give less effect – because there are less active substances in them. Such tools are suitable as auxiliary and additional, but not as basic.
Pectin is also very effective when it is necessary to protect the skin from the cold. Moreover, such creams are safe for any skin, with the exception, perhaps, of the thinnest (on the eyelids, etc.), so even pectin hand creams can be applied on cheeks and forehead, if there are no alternatives. With many other hand creams it is dangerous to do this. There are also creams with the addition of pectin for thin skin around the eyes: there, as a rule, the pectin itself is slightly smaller, but more moisturizing elements. Pectin strengthens the skin and helps it resist frost without loss in the same way that amaranth (or another plant) protects against cold during growth and maturation. In addition, creams with pectin protect skin well in dry air conditions and are among the most long-lasting moisturizers.
On the other hand, to protect the skin in a polluted environment, it is better not to use pectin creams: an adsorbent can absorb heavy metal particles and other elements that polluted cities are rich in and that are completely unnecessary to the skin.
Essential make-up and pectin-based foundation creams are important to use with high-quality decorative cosmetics to prevent harmful substances from being absorbed into the skin. However, in general, such products themselves contain a substance that does not allow decorative cosmetics to be absorbed too actively, so with rare use they will not be able to harm. It is important to pay attention to everyday cosmetics. On the other hand, pectins protect the skin from “freezing” under cosmetics, maintain its elasticity, plasticity and general tone even in conditions of reduced oxygen access, which is created by the use of cosmetics.
Depending on height and weight, 12-15 g of pectin is the norm for an adult per day, while losing weight should be consumed not less than 18 g, and preferably about 20 g, so that there is at least some effect. To understand: 10 g of pectin is contained in about 1 kg of fresh vegetables and fruits, rich in pectins in principle. A person with a strong stomach is quite capable of digesting 25-30 g eaten per day. For a person with a weak gastrointestinal tract, this may turn out to be too high a load, therefore digestive disorders are possible.
By the way, it is possible to strengthen the gastrointestinal tract, simply starting with a small dose of pectins and gradually increasing it: when the tissues become stronger, the stomach can also perceive large amounts of pectins.
Pectin overdose is possible with regular use of more than 27-30 g of pectin per day. Symptoms have the following:
- colic caused by fermentation in the digestive tract;
- allergic reactions may occur if the person is allergic.
It cannot be said that overdose is very dangerous, at least in isolation from allergies, but the consequences are very negative:
The microflora balance is disturbed, as a result of which the entire work of the gastrointestinal tract is destabilized. Microorganisms, simply put, cease to function.
Digestibility of food is broken. With particularly strong overdose of the digestive tract may not take food for a while. It will be accompanied by vomiting and diarrhea at the slightest inclination to eat something.
Such strong violations of digestibility, as well as allergic reactions occur mainly in response to an overdose of pectins from fresh vegetables and fruits. An overdose of cereal pectins may cause indigestion of the stomach and intestines, accompanied by diarrhea, but vomiting, as a rule, does not occur because of the rapid patency of pectin porridges. For an overdose of porridge pectins, it will be necessary to eat for several days, 1200-1500 g of pectin porridge daily, that is, to eat practically only with them. So overdose with cereals is extremely unlikely.
Amaranth pectins in general – one of the many useful components of this plant, widely used for different purposes. Pectin production in the world at the moment is very common, because the substance needs a number of the above industries. Amaranth in this context is very promising, since its cultivation is quite simple and does not require significant economic costs. At the moment, in the CIS, due to the low prevalence of amaranth, amaranth pectin production is not carried out, at least on an industrial scale. But in South America, amaranth pectins are treated with great attention: entrepreneurs from Brazil, Peru and some other countries master the sector and quite successfully bring amaranth pectin to the international market. It is possible that after some time we will be able to observe this process, but for now it remains to use amaranth pectins in the form in which nature supplies them, that is, in the form of amaranth porridges. Perhaps even more useful.
Eat tasty and be healthy – with amaranth!