Amaranth is a gluten-free grain high in proteins, vitamins and minerals. The Aztecs utilized amaranth as a major staple in their diets. While native to Peru, the crop is also grown in Africa, India, China, Russia, South America and North America. The tall plant boasts broad green leaves and bright purple, red or gold flowers. Amaranth benefits include the ability to reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol levels, promote a healthy digestive system and more.
1. Increases Protein Intake
Amaranth benefits the body by increasing protein intake. One cup of cooked grain contains nine grams of protein. The body utilizes protein to build muscle mass, balance hormones, support neurological function and aid in digestion. (1)
2. Reduces Inflammation
Amaranth benefits the body by reducing inflammation, which is often at the core of many health conditions. A 2014 study published in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research suggested that amaranth may work as a natural treatment for arthritis, osteoarthritis and other inflammatory conditions. (2)
3. Supports Bone Health
Amaranth contains calcium, which plays an important role in healing broken and weak bones. A calcium deficiency can increase your risk of a fracture and osteoporosis. A 2014 study found that amaranth benefits the body by effectively increasing the nutritional value of calcium, iron and zinc. (3)
4. Lowers Cholesterol
A 2003 study published in the International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research found that amaranth grain was able to decrease LDL cholesterol levels by 21-50%. Amaranth benefits the body naturally lowering cholesterol levels to promote a healthy heart. (4)
5. Aids in Digestion
Amaranth’s high fiber content stimulates the digestive system to help regulate bodily waste excretion. Amaranth benefits the body by promoting a healthy digestive system to help prevent health conditions such as leaky gut syndrome. (5)
6. Fights Diabetes
One cup of amaranth provides the body with over 100% of the daily recommended amount of manganese. The manganese in amaranth helps reduce high blood sugar levels to prevent and fight diabetes. (6)
7. It’s Gluten Free
Amaranth benefits the body as a gluten-free grain. People with sensitivities or intolerances to gluten can enjoy amaranth’s many health benefits without fear of gluten sensitivity symptoms such as headaches, joint pain and fatigue.
8. Promotes a Healthy Pregnancy
The folate in amaranth benefits pregnant women by helping the body make new cells. A folate deficiency in pregnant women can increase the risk of health problems with the baby, including spina bifida and heart malformations. Folate ensures that the baby’s cells are able to grow properly. (7)
9. Aids in Weight Loss
Amaranth contains fiber, which helps keep you feeling full longer to reduce snacking and overeating. Amaranth benefits weight loss by reducing inflammation, keeping the digestive system health and strengthening the bones to support physical activity. Adding amaranth to your diet can also help fight feelings of fatigue by increasing energy and stimulating muscle growth.