Amaranth does more for your health than wheat and rice ever can | brunch$columns | Hindustan Times
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Amaranth does more for your health than wheat and rice ever can

In addition to being nutrient-rich, Amaranth can be a lifesaver for gluten-intolerant people

brunch Updated: Apr 08, 2017 21:29 IST
Shikha Sharma
Amaranth is an excellent source of minerals, including calcium, iron and magnesium
Amaranth is an excellent source of minerals, including calcium, iron and magnesium(Getty Images)

It’s 2017 and finally, the amaranth grain is getting the publicity it deserves. Cultivated over centuries, it had crept out of the health knowledge system until recently. But you only have to try it once to see the effect it has on your health.

Unlike wheat and rice, amaranth does not stimulate side effects, making it safe to eat for everyone. And it offers some unique qualities and benefits.

1. It can be consumed during any traditional Hindu fast.

2. It is a rich source of the amino acid called lysine (amino acids are the building blocks of proteins), which makes it an excellent source of protein for all age groups, including infants and the elderly. Other carbs do not contain enough lysine for our needs.

3. It is also an excellent source of minerals, including calcium, iron and magnesium, which makes it exceptional for bone growth and strength.

4. Amaranth leaves (popularly called chulai ka saag and cooked as a vegetable), are rich in minerals.

5. Amaranth also contains an oil that greatly improves immunity, making it excellent for children suffering from allergies – especially wheat allergies.

6. Because its alkaline value is greater than most other grains, it is good for people with inflammations such as rheumatoid arthritis and skin disorders.

7. Amaranth can be a lifesaver for gluten-intolerant people. Replace wheat with amaranth grain, and symptoms of wheat intolerance such as facial bloating, weight gain, a groaning stomach, fatigue, sinusitis, sneezing and allergies will disappear in a week.

8. Heart patients and people with high cholesterol will benefit, as it helps reduce inflammation in the arteries, normalising blood pressure.

How to eat it

1. Soak the grain, then make a salted porridge with veggies such as carrots and beans.

2. Soak it and cook it with milk. Sweeten with prunes and dried apples, and top with sunflower seeds and nuts.

From HT Brunch, April 9, 2017

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