Amaranth is a common name for about 60 different plant species from South America, which are distinguished by large green leaves and flowers that are colored in purple, red or yellow.
Amaranth grows quickly, easily withstands drought, heat, is resistant to diseases and insect pests, easily adapts to the new climate and land quality.
It was appreciated in almost all countries of the world, therefore the cultural cultivation of this plant species has spread throughout the entire planet. In this article, you will learn what amaranth is used for and what its useful properties are.
Useful components of amaranth
For medicinal purposes and for food, all parts of the plant are used: leaves, stems, flowers and seeds. Amaranth oil has the most beneficial properties. Seeds, leaves and amaranth oil contain such important vitamins as:
- Vitamin A, which is very useful for maintaining good eyesight, especially while staying in places with dim lights;
- B vitamins, in particular vitamin B6. He is responsible for regulating the hormone serotonin, which is responsible for maintaining a good mood;
- Vitamin K, which is responsible for blood clotting;
- Vitamin C, which has a positive effect on the body’s defenses, as well as other essential vitamins.
This plant contains lysine – an amino acid that is essential for human life. It is part of the proteins and performs a number of functions to ensure the normal functioning of the body.
In addition to vitamins, amaranth is extremely rich in essential human trace elements. It contains two times more calcium than in the same volume of milk. Another of its beneficial components is phosphorus, which is responsible for storing and transporting energy in our body. Amaranth oil is an excellent source of iron, zinc, flavonoids and antioxidants.
Amaranth for children
Amaranth roasted seeds are an excellent source of protein that can satisfy most of the protein needs of children and can also provide about 70% of the food energy. It is also recommended to introduce into the diet of children of all ages the juice from amaranth leaves, which is very easily absorbed by the child’s body and contains thirty percent more natural protein than, for example, rice or wheat. Due to the high content of vitamins and minerals, amaranth gently stimulates the body’s immune system, increasing resistance to influenza, colds and bronchitis, especially in areas with a cold climate.
In India, where children often suffer from anemia, amaranth is used as an iron-containing nutritional supplement during meals.
Amaranth for the treatment of diseases
Eating products from amaranth is very important in the diet of patients with celiac disease (cereal protein intolerance – gluten), due to its low glycemic index and high nutritional properties.
Amaranth green leaf salad lowers blood sugar levels, so it is very useful for people with diabetes. In addition, fresh amaranth leaves are an effective remedy for diarrhea.
Amaranth, used daily, has a beneficial effect on our body and helps to fight against such diseases as:
- high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases;
- diseases of the respiratory system (asthma, tuberculosis);
- skin diseases;
- gynecological diseases.
In addition, amaranth has wound-healing properties, therefore it is successfully used to treat wounds, eczema, thermal and chemical skin burns.
It has been proven that a high content of fiber and essential amino acids such as lysine makes it an important part of therapy in the treatment of certain types of cancer, as well as to reduce the level of “bad” cholesterol in the body.
Other benefits of amaranth
Its fiber effectively fights problems of the gastrointestinal tract, in particular with chronic constipation and diverticulosis, and is also ideal for use during a diet for weight loss. The taste of amaranth products is nutty, very pleasant, so there are no problems with their consumption.
Doctors in the USA and Europe recommend eating cereals as part of a diet with a healthy diet. Amaranth is one of the most useful plants in the world. Botanists and nutritionists have comprehensively studied this culture and concluded that amaranth has great nutritional value with a high content of fiber, protein, calcium, iron, phosphorus and folic acid. The composition of amaranth oil includes polyunsaturated fatty acids, phospholipids and squalene, which has a healing and anti-inflammatory effect.
The combination of amaranth and rice in a 1: 1 ratio was recognized as the best combination of cereals in dishes to get the required amount of protein recommended by the World Health Organization.
Despite the fact that amaranth is a very useful and noble plant, it is better to avoid its use in case you suffer from gout, kidney problems or rheumatoid arthritis. This is due to the fact that amaranth contains a large amount of oxalic acid, which reduces the body’s absorption of calcium and zinc.
In any case, if you want to change your diet or use new products to treat diseases, you should always consult with your doctor.
It is not recommended to reheat ready meals with amaranth, since reheating food can provoke the formation of substances that are harmful to health, especially for the smallest.
Although amaranth is gaining popularity in the modern world, it is still not widely used for food, as most people do not know how to cook and eat amaranth. On our site you can find recipes of various dishes with amaranth products. Information on the use of this beautiful plant will help include it in the diet more often, as well as properly used for medicinal purposes.
Amaranth is a plant with a great future, because besides its nutritional and healing properties, it is a promising raw material in the development of cosmetics, dyes and even biodegradable plastics.