Amaranth is a type of spinach vegetable that has many health benefits. The crop with the scientific name Amaranthus is a crop in the Amaranthaceae family. It’s still related to quinoa. Here, we are going to share some of the health benefits of amaranth as well as facts that we should know. Amaranthus is a plant native to Central and South America. But now it is widely cultivated in areas with other warm climates.
Amaranth has many names, apart from amaranth there are several other names which are the mention of this plant, including Hindi: Lal sag, Thotakura Chaulai; Tamil: Punkirai; Marathi: Shavrani math, Rajgira; Telegu: Chilaka thotakoora etc. Apart from that name, there are also other names attached to this type of spinach such as: Amaranto, Amaranthus hypochondriacus, Chua, Amaranthus frumentaceus, Amaranthus leucocarpus, Velvet Flower and Red Cockscomb.
Before we take a look at the health benefits of amaranth, let’s get to know amaranth further.
Plant and Seeds
Amaranth is an annual plant with a height of about 90 to 130 cm. The leaves are spiky green which lie alternately about 3-4 cm in size. The amaranth plant produces many flowers that contain tiny seeds in the summer and fall, these are August and October.
The color of the flowers is pink and some of them are white. While the color of the seeds varies, some are white, red, yellow, red, black, brown, or pink. Amaranth grows well in areas with warm climates and in well-drained soil.
How to Eat Amaranth
Is the amaranth edible? Of course, amaranth is a plant that can be eaten as a vegetable. The younger ones are usually made fresh vegetables, while the older leaves are cooked as a substitute for spinach.
Usually, amaranth is used as an additive in pasta foods, instant drinks, baby food or in bread. This food can be added to stews, soups, and is usually served as a breakfast menu. Meanwhile Popped Amaranth is a great addition to bread or in meat meals. There is also amaranth flour, you can mix it with wheat flour in making bread recipes or other foods that use wheat flour. That is, you can use amaranth flour if it runs out of flour.
That’s a glimpse of what amaranth is, now we enter into the core discussion of the benefits of amaranth for health. We have collected some of the important benefits of this vegetable plant from various trusted sources, hopefully it can make a valuable contribution to all of our readers.
Health Benefits of Amaranth
Amaranth is a green vegetable that is rich in protein, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, which have uses in preventing various dangerous diseases. Other benefits of amaranth include keeping the digestive system healthy, maintaining immunity, lowering high blood pressure, good for growing children, good for bones and can reduce varicose veins.
This plant is usually consumed as vegetables, salads, cereals or used as flour.
1. Antioxidant properties
In the amaranth plant, there are peptides that are useful for reducing inflammation and fighting free radicals, this prevents normal cells from mutating into bad cells or cancer cells. its anti-inflammatory content makes this plant great for curing gout, arthritis, and other inflammation.
2. Good for bone health
Amaranth is a green vegetable that contains calcium, so it is good for bone resistance.
The presence of calcium in food has an important role in preventing demineralization of bones. Liking this vegetable has made you a part of the people who love the bones, because eating amaranth regularly can prevent osteoporosis.
3. Amaranth is rich in protein
Amaranth is a vegetable that is rich in protein content. This is very important for health because this protein will be used by the body to break down vegetable protein into amino acids, mentioned in thealthbenefitstimes.com. Then, used by body for various needs.
Protein is an essential mineral for muscles, it stimulates the growth of new tissue and new cells.
4. Benefits of amaranth to reduce varicose veins
This is a vegetable that contains flavonoids, as well as Rutin which is useful for strengthening capillary walls and eradicating varicose veins.
In addition, amaranth is a leaf rich in vitamin C. While the vitamin functions not only as an anti-oxidant but also produces collagen and repairs damaged blood vessels.
5. Amaranth for eye health
Amaranth leaves contain quite a lot of carotenoids and vitamin A, both of which are great for improving eye health. both can act as weapons against macular degeneration and cataracts. Vitamin A and carotenoids are useful for reducing oxidative stress and provide great benefits for eye health.
6. Good for the digestive system
Amaranth health benefits for digestion. Amaranth is a vegetable that is rich in fiber, we know that fiber is quite an important nutrient for digestive health. Fiber is able to cleanse the intestines properly thereby increasing the absorption of nutrients.
In addition, this vegetable is a great gluten-free food as an alternative for those of you who are intolerant of gluten such as Celiac’s disease patients.
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7. Good for Heart health
The high dietary fiber in amaranth leaves is good for balancing cholesterol and reducing bad cholesterol in the cardiovascular system. In addition, this vegetable is also rich in vitamin K which one of the benefits is that it is healthy for the heart. There is also a potassium content which is useful for dilating blood vessels so that there is no tension and high pressure.
The benefits of amaranth for the heart are also supported by the content of phytosterols, this helps in reducing the amount of bad cholesterol.
8. Prevent birth defects
Perhaps this is one of the important benefits of amaranth. It is rich in folate, while folate is an essential nutrient for pregnant women. If the fetus is deficient in folate, neural tube defects may occur.
To meet the needs of folate, pregnant women should consume lots of green vegetables such as broccoli, spinach and amaranth.
9. Benefits of amaranth for weight loss
The high content provides faster satiety so that there is no desire to increase the portion of food.
Apart from reducing food portions, consuming fiber-rich vegetables also prevents you from snacking between meals, which is quite a good thing for losing weight.
10. Maintains hair health
Furthermore, the health benefits of amaranth are to keep your hair healthy. The content of lysine, which is a rare amino acid, cannot be made by the body, it must be obtained from food and amaranth is one of the producers of this amino acid.
Lysine has the benefit for maximizing calcium absorption so it is good for strengthening hair follicles. The way to apply amaranth to hair is to make juice from amaranth leaves, then rub it on the scalp, this will strengthen the hair roots and prevent baldness.
Amaranth Nutritional Value
For 98 grams of amaranth, it contains 9.35 grams of protein, 45.98 grams of Carbohydrate and 5.2 grams of fiber.
In addition there are various other important minerals found in amaranth such as thiamine, vitamin B6, riboflavin, panthothenic acid, folate, calcium, magnesium, iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc.
In addition, amaranth seeds also contain large amounts of lysine, this is very rarely found in other grains, and the benefit of lysine is to maximize calcium absorption.