Amaranth is a grain of ancient use, which was once the Aztecs’ staple food. The plant belongs to the family of chard, quinoa, beets and spinach, and produces thousands of tiny grains, similar to rice. It is still not widely used in Brazilian food, but its great nutritional value is being discovered. In addition to the grains, amaranth leaves can also be consumed.
Amaranth contains 251 calories per 300 ml cup. It has little fat, not saturated. The food is rich in iron and magnesium and contains good amounts of calcium and phosphorus . Manganese is one of its main elements, which works as an antioxidant improves the body’s metabolism, bone health and wound healing.
Amaranth is a great option for vegetarians, the elderly and for those who practice physical activities, as it is rich in proteins with high biological value , that is, which are well used in the body. Calcium, accompanied by phosphorus and magnesium, are good sources in amaranth for the health of bones and teeth. However, it does not replace milk. Amaranth also contributes to the immune system with vitamin C and zinc , and is also rich in fiber, which improves intestinal transit.
In addition, because it is rich in proteins, amaranth has healthy amino acids for the proper functioning of the body, such as isine, methionine and cysteine. The cereal has no gluten , being released for those who have celiac disease. Some studies
have shown that amaranth can have the following benefits:
- Control blood pressure
- Help with weight loss
- Assist in muscle mass gain
- Cancer prevention
- Cholesterol control
Its benefits can already be felt by consuming two to three tablespoons a day , about 45 grams.
There is a published table that compares the properties of amaranth with that of other foods:
|Nutrientes – 45 g
|Cooked black beans
|Cooked carioca beans
|Baked black-eyed beans
Source: United States Department of Agriculture.
How to prepare amaranth
Amaranth has an enormous versatility of uses: either being cooked as a cereal, or mixed with other grains, such as rice. Gluten-free flour is also made from it, which can partially replace wheat flour in cake and bread recipes, for example.
To make cookies, the amaranth grain can be put in the oven and become a crunchy consistency. In the case of the leaves of the amaranth plant, they can be used to make much more nutritious teas, soups and sauces .
Rice and quinoa can be substituted or used together with amaranth in recipes. In the proportion for cooking, you should use 2.5 to 3 cups of water for one cup of amaranth grain. The rest of the process is similar to that of rice: wait for the grain to absorb the water in about 20 minutes.
Amaranth can also replace couscous or risotto in dishes, as its texture and size do not differ much, just use a little less water so it does not “swell” too much. Amaranth has a mild flavor, which matches most recipes, sweet or savory. Its flavor is sometimes described as similar to that of nuts. It can be used in grains or flour to thicken soups, in salads, etc.
A fun way to prepare amaranth is to make an amaranth popcorn for a crunchy snack. When taken to the microwave or hot pan for a few minutes, it bursts just like corn.
Contraindications and Risks of Excess Amaranth
Amaranth has a high glycemic index , so it is not very recommended for diabetics , who may suffer from rapid glucose absorption. As the plant is rich in proteins, care should be taken with its excessive consumption, especially by those with kidney disorders, as over time it can overload the functioning of the liver and kidneys .
Furthermore, amaranth is not a light food, as it is a source of carbohydrates just like other cereals. So it is best to consume in moderation, along with a balanced diet and regular exercise.
See also: Tea to Get Pregnant
My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.
Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.