The consumption of amaranth or huautli, how it was known, it was deeply rooted among the Aztecs. It was considered a ritual food, which was used in the preparation of various foods such as atoles, tamales, pinole and tortillas, and its leaves were also consumed as a vegetable.
The nutritionist Laura Romero from the Nutrest center and the dermatologist Rossana Janina from the Mexican Foundation for Dermatology tell us about this delicious food.
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Nutritional properties of amaranth
- It contains between 15 and 17% protein.
- It has an excellent balance of amino acids (lysine, phenylalanine, leucine, valine, threonine, isoleucine, methionine, tryptophan).
- Between 50 and 60%, of starch, lipids of 7 to 8%, calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, folic acid and magnesium, as well as vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, C and fiber.
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Amaranth (Photo: Getty Images)
Benefits for your health
two. Helps control blood glucose levels. In addition, it contains a coenzyme (HMG-CoA) with biological activity to lower the concentrations of triglycerides and cholesterol.
3. The amaranth grain does not have gluten, so it is a recommended food for celiacs, that is, those people who have an intolerance to this element.
Four. Its fiber content improves intestinal transit, prevents constipation, as well as diverticula, and also provides food for the growth of good intestinal bacteria.
5. Amaranthine (protein present in amaranth), has the ability to lower blood pressure, helping to prevent and control some chronic conditions (heart, kidney and cardiovascular).
6. Ideal in anemia and malnutrition because it is a food rich in iron, proteins, vitamins and minerals.
7. It inhibits the proliferation of cancer cells, therefore it helps in the prevention of various types of cancer, such as; colon, breast, cervical, among others.
8. Its contribution of sodium, potassium, zinc, copper, magnesium, and iron collaborates in the functioning of the central nervous system.
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Benefits for your beauty
9. Hair. The fresh juice of amaranth leaves helps hair retain its color, keeps it soft, and is a great treatment for hair loss. Helps maintain good keratin production, giving hair strength and flexibility.
10. Skin. Its high content of essential fatty acids (linolenic and linoleic) serve as auxiliaries to keep the skin soft. The tocopherols (vitamin E) present in amaranth oil are active compounds used in cosmetics, hair products, skin care products, as moisturizing agents and antioxidants.
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How to include amaranth in your diet
We can include it in our diet by taking advantage of the addition of this grain to products such as cookies and breads, which are processed with amaranth flour.
On the other hand, amaranth has the possibility of being consumed almost from sowing, in the form of sprouts, of tender leaves in salads or ground to be served in the form of soup. Amaranth leaves, in addition to being eaten fresh, can be dehydrated and ground to preserve it in powder form.
Finally, the grain can be used as a cereal, roasted and ground to make flour and a large number of derivatives, such as: artisan sweets, granola, whole wheat flour, baked goods, pasta, edible oils, baby food, protein concentrates, energy bars and Special nutraceutical foods for diabetic or cancer patients.
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Recipe: Amaranth Horchata
1 liter of light milk
3 tablespoons of amaranth flour
1 sachet of artificial sweetener from the stevia plant
3 liters of water
1. Sweeten 1 liter of water with stevia. Dissolve the flour in the remaining water (2 liters).
two. Let it rest for 10 minutes. Strain and add it to the sweetened water. Add milk to taste and sprinkle with cinnamon. Serve cold.
Amaranth was one of the foods selected by NASA to feed astronauts. They need foods that are highly nourishing, lightweight, and easily digested.
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