Amaranth, also known as the seed of joy or by the name of “huautli” or “kiwicha”, is a cereal-like food commonly consumed in Mexico and other Latin American countries. Its plant has many broad leaves, purple or reddish flowers and spikes. It is grown in different environments and its plant does not require much maintenance .
Nutritional aspects, properties and health benefits
Compared to other cereals, its nutritional content is very high. Thus, the content of protein , unsaturated fatty acids, starch, calcium and iron have very favorable values for health. Its protein level is 17%, a higher value than wheat (12%) or rice (between 7 and 10%). Amaranth
Its high content in lysine (an important amino acid not manufactured in our body) is very beneficial to improve memory and keep the mind agile.
It is a natural antioxidant and its high magnesium content helps to dilate blood vessels. Regular consumption of this food is considered to be helpful in preventing diseases associated with the bowel. Amaranth leaves have more iron than spinach, so it is strongly recommended for people with anemia. Its consumption is also beneficial for people who suffer from constipation. Amaranth
In some cases, it is used in diets to reduce weight, as every hundred grams of product contributes 300 calories to the body.
Amaranth has no contraindication whatsoever, so it can be incorporated into the daily diet as a healthy alternative.
Its excellent properties have led NASA to incorporate amaranth to feed astronauts more than 30 years ago.
A staple food in pre-Columbian cultures
There are indications that amaranth was consumed in Central America for 4,000 years before Christ. It is believed that the Maya began to cultivate it, while the Aztecs and Incas introduced it later. Amaranth was worth twice as much to the Aztecs: as a food highly valued nutritionally and as an element that was part of certain religious rituals. Amaranth
In current Mexican cuisine
Mexicans use this food in many ways. One of the best known is the so-called “bread of joy”, a dessert that is usually made by baking amaranth and adding honey and anise.
Its seed is used for breakfast or afternoon snacks to flavor certain desserts such as yogurt and fruit. It can also be used as a base for making confectionery products. Amaranth