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Amaranth is a gluten-free pseudo cereal, rich in good quality proteins, fiber, vitamins and minerals, such as calcium and zinc, providing excellent he alth benefits when included in a he althy and balanced diet.
This food is more nutritionally rich 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 he alth food stores, supermarkets or online stores.
Regular consumption of amaranth could provide several he alth benefits, which include:
1. Lower cholesterol
It is believed that amaranth is capable of reducing bad cholesterol, LDL, as it contains unsaturated fatty acids, such as linoleic acid, which is related to lowering cholesterol.
In addition, the presence of soluble and insoluble fibers in its composition can also promote the regulation of cholesterol levels. The presence of squalene and vitamin E, which are powerful antioxidants, is also believed to help inhibit cholesterol synthesis and increase its excretion through the bile.
2. Promote muscle mass gain
Because it contains good quality proteins and is rich in potassium, consumption of 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 to prevent damage caused by free radicals to cells, exerting anti-tumor properties.
4. Preventing 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. Promote 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 sensation of satiety and decrease hunger.
6. Strengthen the immune system
Because it is rich in antioxidants, vitamins A, C and E and minerals such as selenium, consumption of amaranth helps to strengthen immune system cells, reducing the risk of developing diseases.
7. It can be consumed by people with gluten intolerance
Amaranth is gluten-free and, therefore, could be an excellent alternative for preparing breads, cakes and cookies for people with gluten sensitivity or intolerance, such as celiac disease.
Nutritional information for amaranth
The following table indicates the nutritional composition in 100 grams of raw or cooked amaranth:
|Components||Raw amaranth||Boiled 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, 116 mg||0, 015 mg|
|Vitamin B2||0, 2 mg||0, 022 mg|
|Vitamin B3||0, 923 mg||0, 235 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0, 591 mg||0, 113 mg|
|Folate||82 mcg||22 mcg|
|Vitamin E||1, 19 mg||0, 19 mg|
|Vitamin C||4, 2 g||-|
|Potassium||508 mg||135 mg|
|Calcium||159 mg||47 mg|
|Magnesium||248 mg||65 mg|
|Iron||7, 61 mg||2, 1 mg|
|Phosphorus||557 mg||148 mg|
|Zinc||2, 87 mg||0, 86 mg|
|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 he althy and balanced diet
How to consume amaranth
Amaranth can be added to 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, place 1 cup of amaranth grains in 3 cups of water. Once it boils, reduce the heat to low and keep for about 25 minutes or until the water is absorbed.
Amaranth can be stored in the refrigerator for 6 months in a tightly closed container to prevent moisture from entering.
Recipes with Amaranth
Some recipes that can be prepared with this cereal are:
1. Amaranth Pie with Quinoa
- 1/2 cup whole grain quinoa;
- 1 cup amaranth flakes;
- 1 egg;
- 4 tablespoons of olive oil;
- 1 grated onion;
- 1 chopped tomato;
- 1 mashed boiled carrot;
- 1 cup chopped cooked broccoli;
- ¼ cup skim milk;
- 1 can of drained tuna;
- 1 tablespoon of baking powder;
- S alt to taste.
In a bowl, mix all the ingredients. Distribute in a shape and take it to the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until golden.
Quinoa beans and amaranth flakes can be found in he alth food stores or supermarkets.
2. Amaranth gelatin
- 50g of amaranth flakes;
- 1 cup of gelatin or 300 ml of fruit juice.
Just add it to fruit juice or even gelatin after training, besides being tasty it is very nutritious.
3. Pancake with Amaranth
This recipe is a great option for breakfast and can be used by people who want to lose weight and by diabetics, as they are low in calories and help regulate blood sugar levels.
- 1/2 cup amaranth flour;
- 1/2 cup 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 canola oil;
- 2 cups of blueberries or strawberries.
Mix the milk, eggs and oil until obtaining a creamy consistency and let it rest for 5 minutes. Then add the dry ingredients and the fruit.
If the dough is too thick, you can add a teaspoon of water to make the dough a little more liquid. Make the pancakes in a frying pan and, when ready, add the rest of the blueberries or strawberry as a filling.