Best amaranthus Species & Nutrition Flower Seeds 2023

Best amaranthus Species & Nutrition Flower Seeds 2023

Amaranth (an etymologically a plant that does not wither) is a type of grass of the Amaranthaceae family, widely distributed in temperate and tropical zones.

 It grows both in cold and dry climates, as well as in poor and moist soils. It is, therefore, an excellent food alternative for soils with no grasses (wheat, corn, rice. It is cultivated to obtain vegetables from its leaves, for its grains and as an ornamental plant for the beautiful blood-red color of its plumes.

The best apothecary we can turn to is nature; among the plants, amaranth stands out among all. It is a complete food that is very beneficial for health and wealth.

Its benefits are widely demonstrated. Amaranth and quinoa were two foods that NASA selected for the astronauts’ diet for their high nutritional value. Also been cultivated in space travel since 1985 for its short growth cycle, ability to grow in adverse conditions, and magnificent ability to remove atmospheric carbon dioxide and generate food, oxygen and water for space navigators.

It is native to the inter-Andean valleys, from southern Ecuador to northern Argentina. It can be grown from 100 to 3,000 meters above sea level and is very fast growing.

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Best amaranthus Species & Nutrition Flower Seeds 2023

Like quinoa, it is a pseudocereal that does not belong to the group of grasses, although it is used as a cereal because it has a high starch content, which gives it great energy and power; in fact, it has been the basis of food for centuries. For the indigenous peoples of that area of ​​​​South America.

Medicinal properties
  • Against cancer. It is especially notable in this field for having several compounds that are currently under study by many researchers:
  • Squalene: is an organic acid with antioxidant activity and proven anticancer effects. The best-known source of squalene is shark oil (hence its name), but while shark oil contains 1% of this substance, amaranth has a percentage greater than 8%.
  • Beta-sitosterol: a plant sterol in which anticancer properties have also been described.
  • Lunasin is a protein from the amaranth seed currently being studied at the Potosino Institute for Scientific and Technological Research in Mexico.
  • Prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases: It is a heart-healthy food due to its slow-absorbing carbohydrate content, it’s fat rich in essential fatty acids (oleic and linoleic) and the squalene described, which has antioxidant properties whose activity is three times higher than vitamin C.
  • Also, the high calcium, fiber and potassium content of the leaves and grains is beneficial in the natural treatment of hypertension.
  • Celiac disease and vegetarian diets. Amaranth contains the amino acid lysine, which is deficient in all cereals, and methionine, a limiting amino acid in legumes, which is why it complements these foods perfectly, resulting in a mix of proteins of high biological value.
  • This characteristic is essential in the diet of celiac people whose nutrition may be deficient in amino acids and vegetable protein because amaranth does not have gluten.
amaranth in the kitchen amaranthus

Amaranth can be consumed in seeds, flour and oil.

Seeds

They should be cooked for about 20 minutes, putting one measure of amaranth in 2.5 to 3 of water, covered and over low heat until the water is consumed. It is left to rest and can be used like quinoa, rice or couscous in salads, side dishes or stir-fry. It does not have gluten, so that it can be used in the diet of celiac people.

Added to any legume stew, it perfectly complements its amino acids, achieving a high-quality vegetable protein.

In desserts, make cookies, muesli, granola, etc.

Flour

To make biscuits, mix with other flours in a proportion not greater than 30%; since it does not have gluten, it will not rise the same, but it will provide a delightful flavor if we use nuts and a more significant amount of protein.

As the main ingredient of bechamel for celiac people.

Oil

It is in the process of experimentation, but it is therapeutic has been confirming its anticancer, heart-healthy and antioxidant properties.

Amaranth or a chapter of colonial repression and its resistance amaranthus

The pre-Columbian Mesoamerican peoples collected it wild and later selected the best-yielding seeds, expanding its cultivation to the south (present-day Peru, Bolivia and Colombia), in equal importance to the cultivation of corn and beans. 

The period of most extraordinary splendor of amaranth cultivation was with the flourishing and expansion of the Mayan and Aztec cultures.

The native chronicles of this time indicate that the Aztecs produced 15-20 tons a year in around five thousand hectares widely distributed throughout all the areas of tributary influence of the city of Tenochtitlán (present-day Mexico City). 

The “Cuautla” (amaranth in the Nahuatl language) formed an essential chapter in commercial transactions, hence the payment of taxes in seeds that, based on known data, suggest that these amounts are close to the proportion of daily consumption of “Cuautla” for one hundred and fifteen thousand adults in one year.

 Although there are no verified data on the number of inhabitants of these areas, the “Cuautla” was a regular part of the self-production of the peoples of Central America to satisfy their local food needs. 

To this, we must add that the rulers stored the grain in granaries of approximately 110,000 l., each in the times of good harvests, to distribute them in the years of drought.

If the Aztec peoples revered corn as a source of life, the “Cuautla” was the living matter from which their gods were made. In religious festivities, women molded sophisticated red-dyed figurines made with a mass of amaranth flour, honey, molasses and sacrificial blood:

 the “totally.” The people ate them in a “textual” ceremony, which meant eating the gods.

When the conqueror Hernán Cortés and his retinues of missionaries and colonial armies arrived in Mexican lands -all of them Catholics in communion with the body and blood of Christ-

They assimilated the “teocualo,” and the ingestion of the “totally” to an act of heresy against the Catholic Eucharist and its practitioners were punished with anathema. Amaranth was considered a devilish food and the punishment for those who had consumed or planted it meant cutting off their hands.

Best amaranthus Species & Nutrition Flower Seeds 2023

To subjugate native communities and religions, the “Cuautla” fields were destroyed, and their planting was prohibited because it was the leading food of the native armies. 

It was replaced by the sowing of wheat and rice as colonization progressed, and in just a few decades, the “Cuautla” almost disappeared from the diet in this region.

Best amaranthus Species & Nutrition Flower Seeds 2023

 But it was preserved in a few pockets of resistance to colonization and has survived to this day as an underutilized food.

In 1980, the search for alternatives for developing rural populations in marginal semi-arid areas began in Tehuacán with the sowing and harvesting of amaranth for self-consumption.

 It was intended, in successive stages, that the poorest peasants would also use the seeds for the local elaboration of products with which to obtain resources when agribusiness did not give them work. In the 1990s, these practices spread to Mexico’s Mixteca territory and other regions. 

We just learned that amaranth could grow even in fields sprayed with glyphosate because it doesn’t die and would have to be uprooted by hand, gaining ground over the cultivation of transgenic soybeans. They are the so-called “amaranth bombs” that the peasants use against Monsanto.

nutritional benefits of amaranth amaranthus

It has approximately 16% protein, a higher percentage than wheat, corn or rice. But the importance lies in its quality because it has an almost perfect balance of the amino acids necessary to form human protein.

 The protein content of amaranth is of excellent quality, higher than that of milk. It is very abundant in lysine, and it has adequate amounts of tryptophan and sulfuric amino acids so that when combined with the proteins of other cereals, it complements them, facilitating their assimilation, which the body would otherwise discard; with amaranth and grain, we achieved a significant improvement in nutrition.

 In addition, it is a perfect food for celiacs because it does not contain gluten.The most significant component of amaranth seed is starch: 50-60% of its dry weight. It is a high-calorie food and contains fiber. Its granules are tiny, so its digestibility is 93% and faster than that of corn or potatoes. It is heart-healthy.

In addition to having its balanced amino acids, it is also balanced in minerals and vitamins A, B, C, B1, B2, and B3: it is rich in folic acid, niacin, calcium, iron and phosphorus.

It has anti-carcinogenic substances. One of them is squalene, an organic acid with antioxidant capacity, in the Japanese Pharmacopoeia that obtains it from shark oil at 1%. Amaranth has 8%. Another is beta-sitosterol, as well as other antioxidants under investigation.

cooking amaranth amaranthus

Like any cereal, you must wash it well and cook it in twice as much water as seeds for seven minutes. It tastes excellent cooked in liquids such as soups, tomato sauce, vegetable stews or stuffed vegetables. 

Its roasted seeds -which pop like popcorn- can be added to salads and used for pastries; for example, make the Aztec “joys”: roasted amaranth (2 cups) and warm honey (5 tablespoons) and nuts to taste, mix, let cool in a flat container and then cut into squares.

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Best amaranthus Species & Nutrition Flower Seeds 2023