Amaranth: Properties and Benefits

The herbaceous plant of amaranth belongs to the large family Amaranthaceae which includes more than 500 species and is native to Central America.

The discoveries made during archaeological excavations in Central America show that amaranth, along with corn and quinoa, was the basic food for the Incas and Aztecs already more than 3,000 years ago. In addition to its small and precious seeds, amaranth plant is grown for its leaves and flowers of dark red color, appropriately called amaranth.

For a long time this food was almost forgotten by the world population, until it was rediscovered in the '60 s in America. Today, the amaranth is grown in all parts of the world, even for ornamental purposes.
Amaranth: Properties and benefits
One of the main features of amaranth is the fact that it does not contain gluten and for this reason it is particularly recommended in the diet of people with celiac disease. Its beneficial properties are due primarily to the massive presence of substances "benevolent."

Amaranth is first of all very rich in high quality protein, about 16 %, contains high amounts of lysine, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and iron. Amaranth also has a good content of dietary fiber. In smaller quantities are: arginine, serine, glutamic acid, alanine and aspartic acid. In small amounts are also present B and C vitamins.

Benefits and Curative Properties of Amaranth

Thanks to the complete absence of gluten and abundance of fiber, amaranth is a highly digestible food, this is the reason why it is introduced in the diets of people with intestinal problems and in weaning babies; amaranth is very often used as a staple food in the preparation of meals for children and elderly.

Because of the abundance of nutritional properties and the presence of protein amaranth is a valuable ingredient in the diet of all those people who for one reason or another choose not to eat meat. Not only that.

Again, thanks to its digestibility and its excellent nutritional properties, amaranth is ultimately used in support diets for "bear" delicate treatments in the care of various diseases, including cancer.
Amaranth and Curiosity
Amaranth, when heated, has a behavior similar to corn for popcorn: bursts. Heating it in a pan, you can obtain a sort of popcorn that can be used in several ways.

Because of its high content of protein it's better be careful and not to go overboard with its use; in fact, the assumption is not recommended in combination with dishes based on meat, dairy and eggs.

Amaranth, considered by many people as a sacred plant, including the origin of its name from the Greek word amarantos which literally means "that does not fade."

The ancient Romans believed that amaranth, among its properties, was also able to remove envy and misfortune; amaranth was later used as a decorative element for clothes because it was believed that this plant would be able to ensure the physical well-being.

In India, where many children suffer from iron deficiency, are often fed with leaves of amaranth that that contain iron in excess of the same spinach. The method of preparation and cooking of the leaves of amaranth is the same that we use for spinach.

Not being part of the family Gramineae, amaranth, can not be considered a cereal, as they are not the buckwheat and quinoa.

Amaranth Seeds

Amaranth has very small and hard seeds which when cooked in regular pot requires about 50 minutes; you can find it in stores in the form of grains, flour and seeds blown. its taste a little special racalls the taste of hazelnut and for this reason it goes well with cereal.
Amaranth: Properties and benefits
Amaranth: Properties and benefits
Chemical Composition
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How to Prepare
After washing amaranth must be cooked in two parts of water and one teaspoon of sea salt for about 50 minutes (30 in a pressure cooker); after cooking is left to stand for another 10 minutes. Its appearance, once cooked, is similar to a gelatinous mass and it is preferable to consume it in combination with cereals such as rice and barley, or together with vegetables.
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