Amaranth is a gluten-free pseudo cereal, rich in good quality proteins, fibers, vitamins and minerals such as calcium and zinc, providing excellent health benefits when included in a healthy and balanced diet.
This food is nutritionally richer than any other cereal, such as rice, wheat and rye. Amaranth can be found in grain, flour or seeds and can be Chinese . In addition, it was used to prepare cakes or pancakes, or to add to yogurt or milk, for example.
Amaranth can be found in health food stores, supermarkets or online health food stores.
Properties of Amaranth
Amaranth stands out for being rich in proteins with a high biological value, which makes it a great option for vegetarians, the elderly and those who practice physical activities. The food even has more calcium than most other cereals. In addition, as it has low amounts of phytic acid, tannins and oxalates, the bioavailability of calcium is high, that is, the mineral can be well used by the body. However, the food is not a milk substitute. While a cup of whole milk has 290 mg of calcium, the recommended amount of amaranth, 45 grams, has only 72 mg.
Calcium, along with magnesium and phosphorus, which are present in high amounts in amaranth, are good for healthy bones and teeth. The food also has good amounts of iron. Iron deficiency can lead to anemia and amaranth is considered an ideal cereal to provide good amounts of this mineral.
Zinc is present in cereals and is important for the action of several enzymes. Another important nutrient that amaranth has are the fibers that help with weight loss, as they provide satiety, and they even improve intestinal transit. Amaranth still has vitamin C, a nutrient that contributes to the immune system.
|Amaranth Nutrients – 45 g|
|Vitamin C||1.9 mg|
|Vitamin B-6||0.266 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.54 mg|
Benefits of amaranth for health (and how to consume it)
Regular consumption of amaranth could provide several health benefits, which include:
1. Reduce cholesterol
It is believed that it is able to reduce bad cholesterol, LDL, since it contains unsaturated fatty acids, such as linoleic acid, which is related to lowering cholesterol.
In addition, the presence of soluble and insoluble fibers in its composition can also promote the regulation of cholesterol levels. It is also believed that the presence of squalene and vitamin E, which are powerful antioxidants that could help to inhibit the synthesis of cholesterol and increase its excretion through the bile.
2. Favor muscle mass gain
Because it contains good quality proteins and is rich in potassium, consumption of amaranth before or after training could favor muscle growth and recovery.
3. Fight cancer
It contains squalene, a compound that has antioxidant effects and helps prevent free radical damage to cells, exerting anti-tumor properties.
4. Prevent osteoporosis
This pseudo cereal is rich in calcium, magnesium, manganese and phosphorus, minerals that are important for strengthening bones and teeth, preventing the onset of diseases such as osteopenia or osteoporosis.
5. Favor weight loss
When it forms part of a balanced diet and is consumed in an adequate portion, it can promote weight loss, as it has few calories, is rich in protein and fiber, which help to increase the feeling of satiety and reduce hunger. .
6. Strengthen the immune system
Because it is rich in antioxidants, vitamin A, C and E and minerals like selenium, consumption of amaranth helps to strengthen the cells of the immune system, reducing the risk of developing diseases.
7. Can be consumed by those who are gluten intolerant
Amaranth does not contain gluten and, therefore, could be an excellent alternative to prepare bread, cakes and biscuits for people who are sensitive or intolerant to gluten, as is the case with celiac disease.
How to Consume Amaranth
Amaranth can be added to smoothies, fruit salads, raw salads, yogurts and cereals. It can also be used as a substitute for wheat flour to prepare cakes and cookies, as well as to replace rice, pasta and quinoa.
Amaranth can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 6 months in a tightly closed container to prevent moisture from entering.
Recipes with amaranth
Some recipes that can be prepared with this cereal are:
1. Amaranth pie with quinoa
- 1/2 cup of quinoa in grains;
- 1 cup of amaranth flakes;
- 1 egg;
- 4 tablespoons of olive oil;
- 1 grated onion;
- 1 diced tomato;
- 1 dented boiled carrot;
- 1 cup chopped cooked broccoli;
- ¼ cup skimmed milk;
- 1 can of drained tuna;
- 1 tablespoon baking powder;
- Salt to taste.
In a bowl, mix all the ingredients. Distribute in a shape and take to preheated oven for 30 minutes or until golden.
Quinoa grains and amaranth flakes can be found in health food stores or supermarkets.
2. Gelatin with amaranth
- 50g of amaranth flakes;
- 1 bowl of gelatin or 300 ml of fruit juice.
Method of preparation:
Just add to fruit juice or even gelatin after training, in addition to being tasty, it is very nutritious.
3. Pancake with amaranth
This recipe is a great option for breakfast and can be used by people who want to lose weight and diabetics, as they are low in calories and help regulate blood sugar levels.
- 1/2 cup of amaranth flour;
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour;
- 1/2 cup cornstarch;
- 2 teaspoons of yeast;
- 1 teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate;
- 2 cups of milk;
- 2 large eggs;
- 1/2 cup canola oil;
- 2 cups of blueberries or strawberries.
Method of preparation: