Health Benefits of Amaranth
Amaranth is emerging amongst currently popular grains due to its remarkable nutrition. This grain is higher in calcium, iron, phosphorus, and carotenoids, than most vegetables. It has phenomenal protein content; 28.1g of protein per cup, compared to the 26.3g in oats and 13.1g in rice.
Amaranth is a great source of lysine, which is an important amino acid. It also contains two primary proteins, albumin and globulins, which are more soluble and digestible. One cup of raw amaranth contains 15mg of iron, while white rice contains only 1.5mg, and one cup of raw amaranth also contains 18mg of fiber.
Amaranth contains more than three times the amount of calcium than other grains. It is high in manganese, yet low in carbohydrates and has health portions of magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.
Amaranth contains approximately 10% oil, which are predominantly unsaturated for a 77% unsaturated fatty acid profile that includes linoleic acid, a key for optimum nutrition. Amaranth is the only grain with documented vitamin C content.
A study on amaranth reported that its seeds also contain phytochemical compounds like rutin and nicotiflorin, and peptides that help lower hypertension and incidences of cancer. Researchers are also investigating the function of another health-beneficial peptide, lunasin, which was previously identified in soybeans. This peptide is thought to have cancer-preventing benefits, as well as lowering incidences of chronic diseases, such as inflammation, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
Since cardiovascular disease is linked to high cholesterol (hyperlipidemia), hypertension, obesity, and diabetes, scientists reported that reducing saturated fat while increasing unsaturated fatty acids can prevent this disease.
Amaranth is very nutritious but it's also a hard grain. Feeding raw has been shown to cause liver damage in chickens so it's not recommended as a grain you should sprout. Cook this grain much like you would quinoa and mix with other grains for a healthy grain addition to your chop.