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7 Amaranth health benefits (and how to consume)

Amaranth is a gluten-free pseudo cereal, rich in good quality protein, fiber, 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 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 food stores.

Regular consumption of amaranth could provide several health benefits, including:

1. Lower cholesterol

Amaranth is believed to be able to lower the bad cholesterol, LDL, as it contains unsaturated fatty acids such as linoleic acid, which is related to lowering cholesterol.

Furthermore, the presence of soluble and insoluble fiber 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, could help to inhibit the synthesis of cholesterol and increase its excretion through bile.

2. Favor muscle mass gain

As it contains good quality proteins and is rich in potassium, consuming amaranth before or after training could favor muscle growth and recovery.

3. Fighting cancer

Amaranth contains squalene, a compound that has antioxidant effects and helps prevent free radical damage to cells by 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 amaranth is 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

As it is rich in antioxidants, vitamins A, C and E and minerals such as selenium, the consumption of amaranth helps to strengthen the immune system cells, decreasing the risk of developing diseases.

7. Can be consumed by those who have gluten intolerance

Amaranth does not have gluten and, therefore, could be an excellent alternative to prepare breads, cakes and cookies for people who have sensitivity or intolerance to gluten, as is the case with celiac disease.

Amaranth nutritional information

The table below indicates the nutritional composition of 100 grams of raw or cooked amaranth:

Components raw amaranth cooked amaranth
Energy 371 calories 102 calories
Protein 13.56 g 3.8 g
Fat 7.02 g 1.58 g
Carbohydrates 65.25 g 18.69 g
Fibers 6.77 g 2.1 g
Vitamin B1 0.116mg 0.015mg
Vitamin B2 0.2mg 0.022mg
Vitamin B3 0.923 mg 0.235 mg
Vitamin B6 0.591 mg 0.113mg
Folate 82 mcg 22 mcg
Vitamin E 1.19 mg 0.19mg
Vitamin C 4.2 g
Potassium 508 mg 135mg
Calcium 159 mg 47mg
Magnesium 248 mg 65mg
Iron 7.61 mg 2.1 mg
Phosphor 557 mg 148 mg
Zinc 2.87mg 0.86mg
Selenium 18.7 mcg 5.5 mcg

It is important to mention that to have all the benefits mentioned above, amaranth must be part of a healthy and balanced diet.

How to consume amaranth

Amaranth can be added in 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.

To cook amaranth, put 1 cup of amaranth beans in 3 cups of water. Once it has boiled, it should reduce to a low heat and keep for about 25 minutes or until the water is absorbed.

Amaranth can be refrigerated for 6 months in a tightly closed container to prevent moisture from entering.

Amaranth recipes

Some recipes that can be prepared with this cereal are:

1. Amaranth pie with quinoa

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup quinoa beans;
  • 1 cup flaked amaranth;
  • 1 egg;
  • 4 tablespoons of oil;
  • 1 grated onion;
  • 1 chopped tomato;
  • 1 mashed boiled carrot;
  • 1 cup of chopped cooked broccoli;
  • ¼ cup of skimmed milk;
  • 1 can of drained tuna;
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder;
  • Salt to taste.

Preparation method:

In a bowl, mix all ingredients. Distribute in a tin and place in a preheated oven for 30 minutes or until golden.

Quinoa beans and amaranth flakes can be found in health food stores or supermarkets.

2. Gelatin with amaranth

Ingredients:

  • 50g of amaranth flakes;
  • 1 cup of gelatin or 300 ml of fruit juice.

Method of preparation:

Just add it 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 choice for breakfast and can be used by people who want to lose weight and by diabetics, as they are low in calories and help to regulate blood sugar levels.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of amaranth flour;
  • 1/2 cup ed whole wheat flour;
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch;
  • 2 teaspoons of yeast;
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda;
  • 2 cups of milk;
  • 2 large eggs;
  • 1/2 cup of canola oil;
  • 2 cups of blueberries or strawberries.

Method of preparation:

Mix the milk, eggs and oil until it has a creamy consistency and let it rest for 5 minutes. Then add the dry ingredients and fruit.

If the dough is too thick, you can add a teaspoon of water to make the dough a little more runny. Make the pancakes in a skillet and, when done, add the rest of the blueberries or strawberry as a filling.

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