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5 Reasons why Amaranth is a superfood


Amaranth is an ancient grain used for ages in India and has also been named as “Ramdana” (the grain of God) or “Rajgira” (the grain of kings). As it is evident by its local name, Amaranth is a desi superfood. This grain is boast of impressive nutrients that are further linked to multiple health benefits. Amaranth is gluten-free and holds great quantities of protein, fibre, micronutrients and antioxidants.

Megha Agarwal, a Clinical Nutritionist suggests 5 reasons why Amaranth is considered as a superfood: 

1. Heart-healthy food

With the changing environment & modern lifestyle, cholesterol build-up in arteries is one major modern-day concern. Due to the presence of phytosterols, Amaranth has been found to have cholesterol-lowering properties. It is, thus, a great pick for people suffering from cardiovascular issues.

2. Combats inflammation and has anti-cancer properties

Inflammation is an immune response of the body to protect against any injury or infection. However, if the inflammation continues for long and does not subside, it can contribute to chronic diseases, autoimmune disorders or even cancer. Studies show that peptides released during the digestion of amaranth have anti-inflammatory effects on the body. This is especially important for lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammation & chronic conditions like diabetes, and hypertension. The presence of bioactive peptide Lunasin imparts the grain its anti-carcinogenic properties.

Combats inflammation and has anti-cancer properties

3. High-quality protein source

Protein is very important at the cellular levels and is essential for maintaining muscle mass and various vital functions in the body. Amaranth is a great source of protein, especially for those who are on a plant-based or gluten-free diet. 100 grams of Amaranth contains 13.27 gm of protein. Due to an outstanding balance of essential amino acids, it is considered a high-quality protein with 87-89% bioavailability.

Also, as the saponin content of this grain is very low, it doesn’t require any soaking and is considered to be safe for gut health.

4. Good source of fiber

Along with being helpful in addressing constipation; Amaranth is also known to have prebiotic effects on the gut and increase the synthesis of helpful “short chain fatty acids” which promote gut health.

5. Loaded with micronutrients

Amaranth is a very rich source of minerals like calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, manganese, zinc and copper. These minerals are vital in thousands of processes of the body like skeletal maintenance, red blood cell formation, blood pressure & blood sugar maintenance and many more. Amaranth is also a good source of many essential vitamins, too, including Vit B6, and folate. These nutrients play an important role during pregnancy. Amaranth is exceptional, yet, undervalued superfood. It has a mild and nutty flavour. One can use Amaranth in several ways. It can be used as flour to make rotis, or as a cereal to make cutlets, porridge and even a pizza base!

Try this recipe to make your ‘Gluten-free Amaranth Pizza base”:

Amaranth Pizza Base

Ingredients:

3/4 Cup Amaranth flour

1/4 Cup Oats bran

1 tbsp Flax seeds (grounded)

1/4 Cup Water

1/4 Cup olive oil

1/4 Teaspoon Salt

Amaranth Pizza

Method:

Put the above ingredients in a big bowl.

Knead for a while into a smooth bowl.

Divide into smaller balls and press flat into a base.

Bake the base in a preheated oven at 180C for 8-10 mins.

Also Read: Here’s how to tackle the weight loss plateau





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