Amaranth was recently featured on Dr. OZ. However, long before OZ hit the air, amaranth was used as a super grain in mexico and pre aztec times. It’s known for being a tough grain which can withstand dramatic climate changes but it’s also one of the best super foods based on it’s high fiber, low carb, and moderate protein content. Not to mention that it’s GLUTEN FREE (YAY!).
Benefits of Amaranth
- Protein – One cup of raw amaranth has 28 grams of protein. This makes it higher then oats and brown rice (in it’s raw form).
- Lysin – Amaranth has a high amount of lysin (an amino acid). Other grains contain less of this amino acid with makes it hard for the body to process, absorb and use the protein content. It’s bio-avialability of protein combined with lysin makes it similar to that of milk protein (one of the best sources yet one of the hardest to digest).
- High Quality Protein – The amount, types and digestibility of proteins in amaranth make it an excellent plant source of high quality proteins.
- High in Calcium – While teff is the #1 grain for calcium, amaranth is the second highest and calcium having 298 milligrams per cup (raw).
- High in Magnesium – 1 cup of raw amaranth contains 519 milligrams of magnesium, followed by buckwheat with 393 milligrams and sorghum with 365 milligrams. In comparison, an equal amount of white rice contains 46 milligrams of magnesium.
- High Fiber – One cup of raw amaranth contains 18 grams of fiber!
- Awesome Gluten Free Alternative – If you are on a GF eating plan then you know how hard it can be to find grains that agree with you. Amaranth has can be used to thicken recipes similar to flour but with a better texture. Things like roux’s, gravy, soups, stews and white sauces. You CAN NOT use it alone (instead of flour) because it will soak up all the water and fluid in the recipe. Instead try using 25% amaranth flour.
What Does Dr. Oz Say About Amaranth
Here’s what Dr. Oz’s experts say about this great grain: “With all the growing varieties of grains on the grocery store shelves, it is no wonder why customers are becoming so confused in making selections. But one thing is not at all confusing – the importance of putting down the white rice and trying to branch out of your comfort zone. Amaranth might be a new name you’ll want to look out for. Amaranth is a “pseudo grain” like quinoa and buckwheat and is extremely high in protein, 13 to 14% in comparison to other grains. Furthermore, amaranth’s inflammation-fighting compounds may play a role in improving heart health and reducing the risk of stroke (source).”
Try This Hot Cereal Amaranth Recipe From Bite Me Raw
As you refine what you eat you realize that grains are one of the most important things to focus on in your diet. They can help you or hurt you. They have the ability to drain your energy or energize you through out the day. Picking the right ones can make all the difference. Try to find grains such as amaranth that are high fiber, low glycemic, and benefit you the most in your diet.
CES, CPT, CES, BS