Interesting facts about Amaranth

Amaranth was a staple food of the Aztecs
Amaranth was a staple food of the Aztecs

Amaranth is a nutritional power house. Amaranthus species were grown by the Aztecs 5,000 to 6,000 years ago, prior to the disruption of the South American civilization by the Spanish conquistadors. Amaranth is actually the common name for more than 60 different species of amaranthus, which are usually very tall plants with broad green leaves and impressively bright purple, red, or gold flowers. The name comes from the word amarantos, which in Greek means “everlasting” or “the never fading”. It aids in the production of antibodies and enzymes, while helping your body to produce collagen and elastin, as well as muscle protein and tissue repair. Many of us know that it’s a healthy whole grain but did you know all the benefits of including Amaranth as part of your gluten free diet? Here’s our pick for the top 10 interesting facts about this ancient grain.

Amaranth Grain
Amaranth Grain

Top 10 reasons to love Amaranth 

  1. LOWERS CHOLESTEROL – Amaranth helps to save lives; literally! The grain has been part of numerous studies for cardiovascular diseases, such as coronary heart disease and hypertension. Researchers have found that Amaranth is highly beneficial for people at risk to cardiovascular diseases by lowering the amount of total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and VLDL (very low-density lipoprotein) significantly. Other studies in 2003 have found that the grain contains phytosterols which have cholesterol-cutting properties.
  2. ANTIOXIDANT – Amaranth is a natural antioxidant, capable of protecting cellular membranes against oxidative damage.
  3. PROTEIN – Amaranth is a great source of essential amino acids. One cup of raw amaranth contains 28.1 grams of protein. In comparison, 1 cup of raw white rice contains 13.1 grams of protein. Not only that, the protein in Amaranth “albumins” and “globulins”, making at an excellent source high quality proteins.
  4. LYSINE – this amino acid is hard to come by in good quantities. That’s why it’s an important part of this list, since the high lysine content in Amaranth sets it apart from all the other grains. L-Lysine plays a major role in calcium absorption; building muscle protein; recovering from surgery or sports injuries; and the body’s production of hormones, enzymes, and antibodies
  5. GOOD FAT – Amaranth is a great source of good fatty acids such as Omega 3’s. It also contains vitamin E in similar amounts to olive oil.
  6. IRON – Amaranth is a great source of Iron, in fact one cup of Amaranth contains a whopping 82 percent for iron.
  7. CALCIUM – One cup of uncooked amaranth has 31 percent of the RDA for calcium. In fact, 100 grams of Amaranth contain twice the amount of calcium than the same volume of milk!
  8. MAGNESIUM – Magnesium is known to help fight migraines by relaxing blood vessels and preventing constriction and rebound dilation.
  9. FIBRE – Amaranth is one of the highest grains in fiber content. This makes Amaranth an effective agent against cancer and heart disease.
  10. GLUTEN FREE – Lastly but most importantly Amaranth is a great alternative to wheat. Besides, Amaranth is also much healthier and nutritious than regular wheat for all the reasons above, so even if you don’t suffer from gluten intolerance, there are too many positive reasons for implementing this super grain into your diet.

Our Amaranth bread is baked fresh ever day in our artisan, certified gluten free and non-GMO bakery in Coquitlam, BC. If you haven’t tried Glutenull’s Amaranth Zest bread before visit our Retail Locations page to find a retail location closest to you or read more about it on our products page.

Gluten Free Amaranth Bread
Amaranth Zest Bread

Sources: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1779269/

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