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Amaranth is a superfood for cholesterol and blood sugar levels! Know how to use it

Amaranth benefits include reducing cholesterol, increasing immunity and calming hypertension. Know how to include amaranth in your diet.
A bowl of amaranth
Amaranth halwa is a healthy option when you're fasting during Navratri. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Anjuri Nayar Singh Published: 14 Nov 2023, 03:04 pm IST
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Amaranth is quite the magic grain which comes with great health benefits. Research on amaranth has proved that this grain help to manage cholesterol levels and blood sugar levels. It is also anti-inflammatory in nature and helps with hypertension too! Let us know more about the health benefits of amaranth and how to add it to our diet.

What is Amaranth?

A gluten-free grain-like plant, Amaranth is also known as Rajgira, and is an amazing addition to our diets. It is also a great source of dietary fiber.

Both leaves and seeds of Amaranth can be consumed, says Ayurveda expert Dr Rekha Radhamony.

Why should we include Amaranth in our diets?

If you are wondering if it’s worth it to whip up ways and recipes to include this magic grain into your diet, read on!

“Amaranth is a good source of proteins, calcium, zinc, iron and vitamins A and C. It is also naturally gluten-free. Amaranth also has a high fibre content and antioxidants. Lysine – the essential amino acid in Amaranth leaves aids in improving your energy levels and calcium absorption,” says Dr Radhamony.

A study published in the Journal of Food Science states that consumption of amaranth decreases plasma cholesterol levels, stimulates the immune system, enhances anti-tumour activity in the body, reduces blood glucose levels and helps with hypertension as well as anemia.

However, Dr Radhamony warns, “Do not consume Amaranth daily as its overconsumption can increase Kapha (that may lead to weight gain, fluid retention and fatigue). It is best consumed once or maximum twice a week.”

Healthy woman
Amaranth has some great health benefits such as reducing body glucose and cholesterol. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

What are the health benefits of Amaranth?

Well, the benefits of Amaranth are many, provided it is included well and in the right proportion in our diets. Dr Radhamony lists down biggest health benefits of Amaranth.

1. Amaranth is great for bones

Amaranth is a rich and effective source of calcium. Including amaranth in your diet will surely help you strengthen your bones.

2. Keeps heart diseases as bay

The magnesium and phenolic acid contained in Amaranth help resist heart diseases and strengthen heart muscles. It helps with cholesterol levels as well, points out this study, published in International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Needs. It states that amaranth reduced very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) cholesterol by 21-50%.

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3. Amaranth helps build up energy

We all know that protein is a great supplement for the body and amaranth is great plant based protein. Amaranth also helps improve your energy levels. It also helps with muscle building and higher immunity, which helps in the overall well being of our bodies.

4. Helps with digestion

Being gluten-free, Amaranth is a great choice for people suffering from celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. It could also help with weight loss as it is a great source of fibre as well.

5. Anti-inflammatory properties

The roots of Amaranth have anti-inflammatory properties and are used to relieve pain and inflammation. A study published in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research points out that several markers of inflammation were reduced thanks to Amaranth.

6. Antioxidant in nature

The antioxidants present in Amaranth are great for our over all well being. There are many natural ways to cleanse the liver and consuming amaranth is one of them. A study published in Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, states that Amaranth is a good source of phenols and helps to protect the liver from alcohol damage.

7. Helps with health disorders

In Ayurveda, Amaranth is used for a wide range of purposes, including the treatment of blood and respiratory disorders, diabetes, urinary tract infections, diarrhoea, wounds, throat infections, blood purification, etc.

A woman cooking amaranth.
Amaranth can be included in various ways in your diet. Image courtesy: Freepik

How to include Amaranth in diet?

Including Amaranth in our diet is an absolute must as it comes with a wide range of health benefits. Here are some quick and interesting ways, suggested by Dr Radhamony, to eat this magic grain.

1. Cook it like rice

Cook and consume Amaranth grains like how you cook rice or quinoa. It can be a great addition to your simple dinner recipes.

2. Pop it

Pop amaranth grains to make popcorn. That would make for a healthy and guilt-free snack!

Also read: This delicious amaranth cookie recipe is 100% gluten-free!

3. Have it as a breakfast cereal

Create a nutritious breakfast cereal or porridge by adding cooked Amaranth grains with honey or milk.

4. Soup for the deadly winter

Amaranth soup also makes a great option and would it the ideal choice for a winter evening, no matter which part of the world you are in.

5. Spice it up

Sauté Amaranth leaves in ghee, seasoning it with black pepper and cumin to make a side dish.

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About the Author

Anjuri Nayar Singh has over 12 years of experience in writing for various topics including lifestyle, films, television and OTT. She also writes on art and culture, education and human interest stories. ...Read More

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