The following content provided by: The Huffington Post
Benefits Of Amaranth:
1. It Was An Aztec Staple: Amaranth was a key part of the diets of the pre-Columbian Aztecs, and it was used not just for food but also as part of their religious ceremonies. Sadly, when Cortez and the Spanish conquistadors arrived in the 16th century, amaranth crops were burned and its use forbidden.
2. It’s Actually A Seed: Like quinoa, amaranth is not technically a grain but is the seed of the amaranth plant.
3. Amaranth Is Gluten-Free: Amaranth doesn’t contain any gluten, which makes it a great choice for people who are celiac or gluten intolerant and an excellent way to boost the nutritional power of gluten-free recipes.
4. It Contains Lysine: Most grains like wheat are short on lysine, an amino acid, but that’s not the case for amaranth.
5. Amaranth Contains Protein: Amaranth’s protein content is about 13 percent, or 26 grams per cup. To compare, a cup of long-grain white rice has just 13 grams of protein.
Protein Power Lentils and Amaranth Patties
6. The Plant Is Hardy: Amaranth prefers a high elevation, but can grow at almost any elevation in temperate climates if it has moist, loose soil with good drainage.
7. You Can Eat Other Parts Of The Plant: Amaranth seeds may be the best-known part of the plant, but the leaves are also edible. They’re commonly used in Asian and Caribbean cuisines.
Warm Beef & Veggie Amaranth Salad
8. It’s A Source Of Key Vitamins And Minerals: Amaranth contains calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and iron. One cup of uncooked amaranth has 31 percent of the RDA for calcium, 14 percent for vitamin C, and a whopping 82 percent for iron.
9. Humans Have Eaten It For Millennia: It’s estimated that amaranth was first domesticated 6,000 to 8,000 years ago.
10. Amaranth Can Be Popped: Popped amaranth is used in Mexico as a topping for toast, among other things. It looks like tiny popcorn kernels and has a nutty taste.
11. It Grows Around The World: Though amaranth is considered a native plant of Peru, it is now grown around the world in countries including China, Russia, Thailand, Nigeria, and Mexico.
12. Amaranth Is Good For Your Heart: Several studies have shown that amaranth could have cholesterol-lowering potential.
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