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You Ask, I Answer: Amaranth

Posted Jan 13 2010 10:00pm

Amaranth Grain crop 001A few days ago on Twitter you recommended we give alternative grains like amaranth a try.

Can you tell me more about it?  How can it be prepared?

– Will Reicks
(Location withheld)

Although amaranth can be eaten as a savory side dish, I prefer it as an alternative to oatmeal, especially since it has a porridge-like texture.

I enjoy it topped with sliced bananas, chopped pecans, goji berries, and cacao nibs.

Like quinoa and wild rice, amaranth falls into the “pseudo-grain” category, since it is technically a seed.

Not only is it a completely safe food for those with gluten intolerances and wheat allergies — it also boasts a powerful nutritional profile.  One cup of cooked amaranth delivers:

  • 251 calories
  • 5 grams of fiber
  • 9 grams protein

It is also an excellent source of iron, magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus, and delivers substantial amounts of calcium, copper, folate, selenium, vitamin B6, and zinc.

Added bonus?  Amaranth contains exclusive phytonutrients that help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol as well as a powerful group of antioxidants called betalains that help reduce cellular inflammation and, consequently, the risk of different cancers.

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