“Amaranth (…) is a highly nutritional pseudo cereal with a superior amount of proteins when compared to true cereals. It is a reasonably well-balanced food with functional properties that have been shown to provide medicinal benefits. The health benefits attributed include decreasing plasma cholesterol levels, stimulating the immune system, exerting an antitumor activity, reducing blood glucose levels and improving conditions of hypertension and anemia. In addition, it has been reported to possess anti-allergic and antioxidant activities.”(1)
Amaranth is considered a superfood because of its many nutritional qualities. There has been renewed interest in this ancient seed and many studies keep showing its nutritional benefits. “The grain has 12 to 17% protein, and is high in lysine, an essential amino acid in which cereal crops are low (…) The grain is high in fiber and low in saturated fats, factors which contribute to its use by the health food market”.(2) “Amaranth contains approximately twice as much lysine as wheat, about four times as much calcium and twice as much iron and magnesium.”(3). The high lysine content in amaranth sets it apart from other grains. Food scientists consider the protein content of amaranth of high “biological value”, similar in fact, to the proteins found in milk.(4) Amaranth is also high in phosphorus and potassium and it’s also the only grain documented to contain Vitamin C.(5) Amaranth is also naturally gluten-free.
- Caselato-Sousa, V. M. and Amaya-Farfán, J. (2012), State of Knowledge on Amaranth Grain: A Comprehensive Review. Journal of Food Science, 77: R93–R104. doi:10.1111/j.1750-3841.2012.02645.x
- D.H. Putnam, E.S. Oplinger, J.D. Doll, and E.M. Schulte, Alternative Field Crops Manual, Amaranth, University of Wisconsin-Extension, Cooperative Extension
- US Department of Agriculture. (2006). National Nutrient Database for Windows, Version 1.0 (SR 19). Nutrient Data Laboratory, Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center, Beltsville, MD.
- Teri Gruss, MS, (2017), Reasons to Use Amaranth in Your Gluten-Free Recipes, Amaranth is a gluten-free nutritional powerhouse. The Spruce.
- US Department of Agriculture, National Nutrient Database for Standard reference release 2008, Basic Report: 20001, Amaranth Grain, Uncooked.