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7 Health Benefits Of Amaranth

Last updated July 9, 2017

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Amaranth was first known by the Aztecs as huauhtli, which represented 80 percent of the caloric consumption. Amaranth grains are toasted and mixed with honey, molasses, or chocolate to make a treat called alegría.

Amaranth or Amaranthus is cultivated as a leaf vegetable, cereal, and ornamental plant. It was first known by the Aztecs as huauhtli, which represented 80 percent of the caloric consumption. Amaranth grains are toasted and mixed with honey, molasses, or chocolate to make a treat called alegría

Here are the 7 health benefits of amaranth.

1.     Amaranth can be used as a staple food.

For centuries, amaranth has been used as a staple in Mesoamerica. One cup of amaranth contains 716 calories and only 3 grams of sugar.

2.     Amaranth may help improve your digestive health.

Amaranth is an excellent source of fiber. A one-cup serving of lima beans contains 13 grams of dietary fiber. The daily recommended dietary fiber intake for men and women are 38 grams and 25 grams, respectively. Dietary fiber may help prevent constipation, making one’s bowel movement easier to manage.

3.     Amaranth can help you build stronger bones.

One cup of amaranth contains 307 milligrams of calcium. An adult should be consuming 1,000 to 1,300 milligrams of calcium to help prevent osteoporosis and other bone-related diseases. The mineral plays a vital role in building stronger, healthier bones early in life and keeping bones strong and healthy later in life. About 99 percent of consumed calcium is stored in bones and teeth.

4.     Amaranth could help alleviate PMS symptoms.

One cup of amaranth contains 322 percent of the mineral manganese. A study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology suggested that taking manganese with calcium could help improve symptoms of the premenstrual syndrome like anxiety, restlessness, irritability, pain, depression, and mood swings.

5.     Amaranth can help prenatal babies develop properly.

Amaranth is an excellent source of B-vitamin complex like folate. Folate has shown to help in neural tube formation and red blood cell formation in prenatal babies. A deficiency of folic acid in pregnant women can lead to the birth of underweight infants and may also result in neural tube defects in newborns.

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Vitamins such as folate, play a significant role in the regulation of specific amino acids that the nervous system requires. Studies have shown that a deficient amount of dietary folate can increase the homocysteine levels, which can be a dangerous precursor to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. One cup of amaranth contains 40 percent of the recommended value of folate. Also, one cup of amaranth contains 15 percent of thiamin. Thiamin ensures smooth functioning of the brain and helps improve memory and concentration. Thiamin also helps relieve stress and helps strengthen the nerves.

7.     Amaranth can help your body have more oxygen in your body.

Copper and iron are essential for the new blood cell formation. One cup of amaranth contains 82 percent of the recommended value for iron and 51 percent for copper. A deficiency in iron can lead to anemia.

Additional Resources:

  1. Amaranth, uncooked Nutrition Facts & Calories. (n.d.). Retrieved July 09, 2017, from http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/cereal-grains-and-pasta/5676/2
  2. Houston, M. C. (2011). The importance of potassium in managing hypertension. Current hypertension reports13(4), 309-317.
  3. Cogswell, M. E., Zhang, Z., Carriquiry, A. L., Gunn, J. P., Kuklina, E. V., Saydah, S. H., ... & Moshfegh, A. J. (2012). Sodium and potassium intakes among US adults: NHANES 2003–2008. The American journal of clinical nutrition96(3), 647-657.
  4. The Magic of Fiber. (n.d.). Retrieved July 09, 2017, from http://www.dovemed.com/healthy-living/wellness-center/the-magic-of-fiber/
  5. Wang, T., Ha, J. H., Doguer, C., Wang, X., Flores, S. R., & Collins, J. F. (2017). Copper supplementation in drinking water reverses dietary iron overload-induced Cu-deficiency anemia and cardiac hypertrophy in mice. The FASEB Journal31(1 Supplement), 301-4.
  6. Matak, P., Zumerle, S., Mastrogiannaki, M., El Balkhi, S., Delga, S., Mathieu, J. R., ... & Peyssonnaux, C. (2013). Copper deficiency leads to anemia, duodenal hypoxia, upregulation of HIF-2α and altered expression of iron absorption genes in mice. PLoS One8(3), e59538.
  7. Camaschella, C. (2015). Iron-deficiency anemia. New England Journal of Medicine372(19), 1832-1843.
  8. McGarel, C., Pentieva, K., Strain, J. J., & McNulty, H. (2015). Emerging roles for folate and related B-vitamins in brain health across the lifecycle. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society74(1), 46-55.
  9. Hooshmand, B., Mangialasche, F., Kalpouzos, G., Solomon, A., Kåreholt, I., Smith, A. D., ... & Laukka, E. J. (2016). Association of vitamin B12, folate, and sulfur amino acids with brain magnetic resonance imaging measures in older adults: A longitudinal population-based study. JAMA psychiatry73(6), 606-613.
  10. Czeizel, A. E., Dudás, I., Vereczkey, A., & Bánhidy, F. (2013). Folate deficiency and folic acid supplementation: the prevention of neural-tube defects and congenital heart defects. Nutrients5(11), 4760-4775.
  11. Kopic, S., & Geibel, J. P. (2013). Gastric acid, calcium absorption, and their impact on bone health. Physiological reviews93(1), 189-268.
  12. Lupsa, B. C., & Insogna, K. (2015). Bone health and osteoporosis. Endocrinology and metabolism clinics of North America44(3), 517-530.
  13. Gil-Riaño, S., & Tracy, S. E. (2016). Developing constipation: dietary fiber, western disease, and industrial carbohydrates. Global Food History2(2), 179-209.
  14. Ars, C. L., Nijs, I. M., Marroun, H. E., Muetzel, R., Schmidt, M., Steenweg-de Graaff, J., ... & Verhulst, F. C. (2016). Prenatal folate, homocysteine and vitamin B 12 levels and child brain volumes, cognitive development and psychological functioning: the Generation R Study. British Journal of Nutrition, 1-9.
  15. Penland, J. G., & Johnson, P. E. (1993). Dietary calcium and manganese effects on menstrual cycle symptoms. American journal of obstetrics and gynecology168(5), 1417-1423.

Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: Aug. 25, 2014
Last updated: July 9, 2017

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