Know Your Ingredients - AMARANTH
Today's ingredient is a variety of greens that unfortunately, hasn't gained much popularity. It is loaded with nutrients and in my opinion, a SUPERFOOD. We are going to be talking about Amaranth.
Amaranth (Amaranthus) is also popularly known as African or Indian Spinach. It is called Rajgira in Hindi, Dantu in Kannada and Amarantha in Spanish.
The seed of the Amaranth plant is popularly known as Amaranth grain, although technically it is a seed. The seeds are pale yellow in color and resemble a mustard seed. Amaranth leaves, also called as Amaranth greens, come in vibrant colors like green, purple and reddish green. The leaves are tougher than other greens and have no fragrance.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF AMARANTH
Amaranth grains are naturally gluten-free, making it easier to digest. They work really well for people with gluten-sensitivity.
Both Amaranth greens and grains are a great source of protein. About 1 cup of cooked amaranth offers a whooping 9 grams of protein, making it an excellent source of plant-based protein.
Amaranth has anti-inflammatory properties and studies have shown that they can help treat inflammatory conditions like osteoarthritis and gout.
Amaranth is great for BONE HEALTH. They are rich in calcium, manganese and the amino acid - lysine . Lysine is an amino acid that helps with Calcium absorption. Our body cannot produce lysine and it therefore needs to be acquired from an external source.
Amaranth greens are a great source of iron and folate and may help combat anemia.
Amaranth may help fight cancer - Studies have shown that Amaranth can exhibit proliferative activity on cancer cells and may stop the cancer cells from spreading .
USES OF AMARANTH
Amaranth greens can be cooked like any other leafy greens. They can be added to soups, lentil curries and Stir Frys.
Amaranth grains can be used just like quinoa or oatmeal.
It can also be mixed with white rice if you are looking to cut down your carb intake.
Popped amaranth are super easy to make and makes for a great snack.
Amaranth can also be used for hair care, it is one of the ingredients I use in my DIY hair mask.
GROWING AND STORING AMARANTH
Amaranth greens are super easy to grow and grow abundantly in summer and fall seasons. Once harvested, they can be stored in a bag and refrigerated.