Amaranth is known for its healing properties and the ability to use in various industries. This versatility is due to the rich chemical composition of the plant, the presence of almost perfect protein in it, a large percentage of squalene compound, and a balance of amino acids. The substances contained in amaranth determine its nutritional and energy value. However, the study found that the percentage of a useful substance in a plant or a product based on it may differ depending on the variety. The results of such studies really deserve attention.
AMARANT AS A SOURCE OF LIFE FORCES
Such a statement would seem to someone an exaggeration, and the mention of the fact that in ancient times amaranth was valued very highly and served as the equivalent of gold – just a legend. However, it is enough to analyze the composition of this plant. First of all, it should be noted that amaranth is considered to be the leader among cultures in terms of high-quality vegetable protein content, which is also ideally balanced in the presence of amino acids, due to which it exceeds all known vegetable and animal proteins in nutritional value. Moreover, in terms of protein content, amaranth has the greatest coincidence with the theoretically calculated ideal protein, and according to the adopted quality scale it is estimated at 100 points. For comparison: the coefficient of assessment of cow’s milk protein is 72 points, soybeans – 68, barley – 62, wheat – 60, corn – 44, peanuts – 32.
Speaking about the value of protein, which in amaranth up to 16%, it should be noted that it contains lysine. This essential amino acid is essential for growth, tissue regeneration, the production of hormones, antibodies and enzymes. Muscle proteins and collagen, a component of connective tissue, are built from lysine. It affects the strength of blood vessels, the elasticity of the ligaments and the degree of absorption of calcium. Amaranth also contains:
- saturated fatty acids (their amount reaches 77%, and in this amaranth is superior to wheat and other cereals, and the acids themselves help in the regulation of blood pressure and smooth muscle stimulation);
- sterols (they are especially important for athletes, because they increase stamina and performance, contribute to muscle building);
- vitamins C, K, E, A, group B;
- mineral substances such as zinc, selenium, copper, manganese, iron, phosphorus, sodium, magnesium, calcium, potassium.
It can be added that plant sterols are necessary for asthenia, heart failure, and they bind cholesterol into insoluble complexes and thereby prevent its absorption from the intestine. It is difficult to overestimate the value of vitamin E. It serves as an excellent tool to fight against free radicals, to restore lipid metabolism and stabilize the amount of cholesterol with the help of phytosterols, which are also part of amaranth.
It is necessary to dwell separately on the characteristics of such a component as squalene or “oxygen vitamin”. It is a natural unsaturated hydrocarbon, but hydrogen atoms are necessary for its stable state, and, as you know, man consists of 80% of water, and it is with it that squalene reacts, releasing oxygen and saturating the cells with it. It is extremely important to have enough of it in the body, since it is the lack of oxygen in the body that leads to premature aging and the development of tumors. In the body, squalene acts as an antimicrobial, anticarcinogenic, and fungicidal agent. Therefore, preparations and products based on squalene effectively fight against malignant tumors, heal skin inflammation and wounds, activate the immune system, protect the body from all sorts of infections and viruses. In the largest quantity this hydrocarbon is found in vegetable oil, which is obtained from amaranth seeds.
ON THE VALUE OF INDIVIDUAL TYPES OF AMARANTH
About 75 common amaranth species are known, and each of them has unique properties due to its rich composition. However, much depends on the type of plant. For example, the amount of protein in one is 14%, potassium up to 4%, and in the other – 20% and 6%, respectively. True, not all representatives of amaranth have been studied, and researchers have paid more attention to its most common species.
Caught amaranth or “Inca wheat” has a huge amount of nutrients, and especially protein (29, 3%). A plant of this type also contains up to 59.0 mg of ascorbic acid, 11.7 mg of carotene and other useful components in each of its parts, which provides it with high antioxidant activity.
Amaranth crimson, paniculate in different parts contains up to 20, 0% protein, 40, 1 mg% ascorbic acid, 4, 5 mg% carotene. The seeds of a plant of this species have an extremely high content of carotenoids, proteins, minerals, lysine amino acids and methionine, and in oil – squalene.
The three-colored amaranth, the annual, is distinguished by the fact that a significant part of the nutrients is in the leaves. So, they contain carotene 46, 5 mg / g, and vitamin C – 151, 2 mg / 100 g. Researchers also noted a significant antioxidant activity and radioprotective effect of the green part of this species amaranth. Therefore, it is not surprising that the leaves of this plant are recommended to be included in the diet for therapeutic and prophylactic purposes.
Amaranth prickly in all studies showed a high antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antiplatelet, antidiabetic, antihepatotoxic, anti-carcinogenic activity. His antipyretic, antidiabetic and spermatogenic effects have also been noted.
Other types of amaranth were also investigated, and in each of them a high content of protein, pectin, squalene, dietary fiber, vitamins (A, B, C, E), macro- and microelements was noted. Therefore, researchers advise to widely use the plant in the production of bakery, confectionery and dairy products, as well as for the production of dietary supplements.
VALUE OF VARIETIES WHEN PRODUCING FOOD PRODUCTS
One of the promising crops for use in the food industry is amaranth. Researchers have attracted the properties of native amaranth flour as an unconventional source of starch, which is often used in food production, including in baking and in the production of various sauces. Since the most popular are the white seed plants “Fortress”, “Kizlyarets” and “Sam”, the content of vitamins and minerals was studied, first of all, from the amaranth flour of these varieties. The energy value of the product was also assessed.
So, the flour was amaranth extruded varieties
“Sam” “Fortress” “Kizlyarets”
Mass fraction of fat% 1.3, 2.4 and 1.2, respectively.
Mass fraction of protein% 9,24, 10,12 and 9.92, respectively.
Mass fraction of pectin substances% 2.19, 1.99 and 2.71, respectively.
Starch, g 79.8, 77.8 and 79.1, respectively.
The energy value of the grades, respectively, 368, 373 and 367 kcal. As for the content of vitamins, B1 is not found in the flour from amaranth sorts “Sam” and “Fortress”, and in the flour from amaranth varieties “Kizlyarets” it contains 0.02 mg / 100 g
The studied varieties differ in the content of mineral substances. Moreover, some – quite noticeable. In the same flour amaranth extruded sorts “Sam” “Fortress” “Kizlyarets” found:
- iron 7.79, 12.85 and 8.16, respectively;
- calcium 1875.25, 1911.16 and 1907.23, respectively;
- magnesium 879.13 911.06 and 805.34, respectively;
- phosphorus 1284.06, 1312.48 and 1255.12, respectively;
- sodium 166.4, 150.0 and 170.6, respectively;
- potassium 5049.0, 5023.6 and 5050.4, respectively,
You can see that the flour from amaranth grain of all three varieties contains a large amount of magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. This increases the nutritional value of foods and gives reason to recommend them to people of all ages. In addition, obtaining the body of minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus and potassium contained in foods, has a positive effect on health.
The absorption of vitamins of group B and calcium, the metabolism of vitamin C, phosphorus, sodium and potassium, the activity of 50% of enzymes in the body depends on magnesium. It also participates in the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates and energy metabolism. As a result of magnesium exposure occurs:
- improvement of the heart (normalization of the pulse, providing oxygen, dilation of blood vessels, lowering blood pressure, reducing the risk of blood clots, normalization of sugar content);
- normalization of the nervous system (resistance to stress, reduction of fatigue and irritability, normalization of sleep, removal of spasm, muscle relaxation);
- improvement of the reproductive system (prevention of fetal development failure, premature birth and miscarriage);
- improvement of the digestive and urogenital systems;
- obstruction of calcium deposits, as well as the appearance of kidney stones and gall bladder;
- reduction of asthma and chronic bronchitis.
Magnesium is also needed for proper bone formation and healthy teeth.
Phosphorus, interacting with calcium, is involved in the formation of bone skeleton and teeth. Magnesium as well as potassium, iron, vitamins A, D, F, a number of enzymes and proteins affect the degree of its absorption by the body. Depends on phosphorus:
- kidney function;
- growth and recovery of the body;
- metabolic quality;
- good work of the heart;
- acid-base balance;
- saturation of the body with energy;
- the activity of the action of vitamins;
- healthy nervous system.
In the human diet should be foods high in potassium. This mineral substance is involved in the regulation of water balance in the body and the normalization of heart rhythm. Potassium also:
- normalizes water-salt metabolism and acid-base state of the body;
- contributes to the removal of edema;
- normalizes the activity of muscles and the functioning of all the soft tissues of the body.
Potassium is also considered a good natural anti-sclerotic agent, since it prevents the accumulation of sodium salts in blood vessels and cells. Foods high in potassium can prevent fatigue and reduce the risk of developing chronic fatigue syndrome. Such products are especially recommended to supporters of low-calorie diets and intense sports training, the elderly.
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