Amaranth: what it is, its properties and best recipes
Amaranth is considered one of the healthiest plant-based foods for humans. If you didn't know it, pay attention because in this post we will tell you all about these seeds that are so nutritious and beneficial for your health.
Discover the properties of amaranth and the most delicious recipes you can prepare to start including it in your diet.
What is amaranth?
Amaranth is a pseudocereal, very similar to quinoa, which has numerous health properties. For this reason it is widely used in cooking, especially in Mexican and other tropical American recipes.
It is considered one of the oldest crops in the world, dating back more than 7,000 years. In fact, in the Mayan or Aztec culture, amaranth was not only a very popular food, but was also widely used in rituals.
Today, thanks to the numerous health benefits and properties of these seeds, they have become an essential part of many diets.
Properties: benefits and contraindications of amaranth
Amaranth is characterised by its high nutritional value, mainly due to its high content of vegetable protein, vitamins, minerals and folic acid. It also stands out above other foods because it is gluten-free, contains much more calcium than milk and all the essential amino acids. For this reason, it is a highly recommended food to include in the diet of coeliacs.
Benefits of amaranth
Regulates the digestive system
Thanks to its high fibre content, amaranth helps regulate the digestive system and reduces bloating, making digestion quicker and easier. Similarly, it can also prevent colon cancer. The best way to take advantage of this property is to make an infusion. By the way! Take a look at our post on the properties of Black Tea. Discover all its health benefits and how to prepare it.
Helps keep you fit
Amaranth is an essential ingredient in the diet of those looking to keep fit, as it contains a large amount of fibre which gives it satiating properties. Combined with a good exercise routine, it will help you lose weight much faster.
Improving mental performance
One of the advantages of amaranth being gluten-free and rich in carbohydrates and protein is that it helps stimulate the brain and improve mental performance. This is why amaranth is often recommended for children and all those people who are very active intellectually.
It may also reduce the chances of suffering from neurodegenerative diseases.
Improves mood and reduces stress
Amaranth is high in tryptophan, an essential amino acid that promotes the secretion of serotonin, better known as the happiness hormone. These seeds therefore help to improve mood, combat depression and reduce stress levels. It is also highly recommended for women with hormonal imbalances because it helps regulate hormones.
Regulates blood cholesterol
This food helps to regulate blood cholesterol levels, reducing bad cholesterol and increasing good cholesterol, which in turn is very beneficial for the circulatory system. In addition, its antioxidant properties help to prevent cardiovascular diseases.
One of the peculiarities of amaranth is that it has twice as much calcium as milk, as well as other compounds such as magnesium and phosphorus. This makes it a perfect food for strengthening muscles and bones. In this way, it prevents diseases such as osteoporosis and reduces the chances of muscle cramps.
Strengthens the immune system
Thanks to the zinc and selenium it contains, amaranth is a food that stimulates the production of antibodies, which strengthens the immune system.
Contraindications of amaranth
Amaranth is one of the healthiest foods available and it is not common for it to have negative effects. However, if you are prone to allergies, we recommend that you consult your doctor first. Similarly, being a fibre-rich food, excessive consumption can cause gastrointestinal symptoms such as abdominal pain.
Best recipes with amaranth: how is it consumed?
Amaranth is one of the healthiest foods for human consumption. In fact, it has been considered a superfood by the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations).
It is used in cooking for both sweet and savoury dishes.
These seeds can be used like cereals, just like quinoa. Add it to milk, yoghurt or you can even make your own bread with amaranth seeds. For breakfasts and snacks it will be your perfect ally.
It is also an ideal addition to salads. You can also cook it and add it to legume salads. If you want to cook it, add two cups of water for every cup of amaranth seeds you add.
Another option is to sauté and dress it to add to your favourite tacos, vegetables and other dishes.
Amaranth can be found in flour form and can be used as a thickener in sauces and to make soups, bread, biscuits or cakes.
Finally, there are many other recipes to which you can add amaranth, such as croquettes, aubergines or stuffed tomatoes. It is also very common to mix it with honey in sweet recipes, and don't forget to find out about all the properties of royal jelly and how to take it to make the most of its benefits.
Now that you know how to make the most of amaranth's properties, start including this vegetable superfood in your diet and start making the best healthy recipes!