Having whole grains is an essential part of a healthy and balanced diet. But very little is known about this super healthy grain called the amaranth. Once you know about its benefits, you too will be happily including it into your diet.
What is amaranth?
Grains are one of the oldest crops that were cultivated by humans, amaranth being one of them. It was a good source of all the healthy nutrients that the ancient Aztecs, Peruvians and other Central American civilizations had. This crop is still cultivated today and is as popular as ever. It is quite small and can be cooked just like rice, quinoa, oats or lentils using different spices to suit your taste. Here are 5 reasons why this grain is still cultivated today:
1. Rich in protein
Protein is one of the most important building blocks for the body. Meat is not the only source for protein one can have. Like spirulina, amaranth is abundant in proteins so even if you are a vegan/vegetarian you can get a good dose of protein form healthy grains such as amaranth.
The proteins found in amaranth help in digestion and promote a healthy lifestyle so even if you are trying to build some muscle, you can include amaranth in your diet. Just 1 cup of this super grain contains 9 grams of protein.
2. Gluten free
People with gluten allergies or Celiac’s disease can rejoice because this is absolutely gluten free. Gluten sensitive people have bodies that react differently to wheat and have problems such as constipation, diarrhea, vomiting etc.
No more bloating and digestion problems as you can use it as a wheat substitute and include it in your diet.
3. Improves bone health
Amaranth is rich in manganese which is an essential mineral good for the bones. People with arthritis and osteoporosis can greatly benefit from this mineral rich grain if they include it in their diet on a regular basis. It also contains traces of other minerals that are important for the bones such as calcium, zinc and iron. Do you know that amaranth is the only grain that contains Vitamin C? Vitamin C is important for improving the health of ligaments in the bone structure and combats inflammation therefore amaranth is something your bones are going to thank you for.
4. Good for the heart
Amaranth is a great grain that prevents coronary heart disease. It helps in decreasing bad cholesterol and fats from clogging up the arteries. It contains omega 3 fatty acids that promote HDL (good cholesterol) in the blood stream and encourages a healthy breakdown of fats in the body.
5. Source of lysine
Lysine is a very important amino acid that helps in absorbing calcium in the body. Amaranth is the highest lysine rich grain compared to others. Just 1 cup contains over 700 grams of lysine. It also helps in burning fat and maintains the health of cartilage, tendons and the skin as well coupled with immunity boosting properties.
Include amaranth in your diet and see what a world of a difference it can make to your overall health in as little as a month.