Can You Tell Me About Amaranth

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<ul><li><p>8/11/2019 Can You Tell Me About Amaranth</p><p> 1/3</p><p>Can you tell me about amaranth?Amaranth has always had a place near and dear to my heart. Years ago, I heard about amaranth,</p><p>the grain that had once been a staple in the diets of pre-Columbian Aztecs. I had learned that</p><p>with the arrival of Cortez and the Spanish conquistadors, all crops of amaranth were burned, its</p><p>use was forbidden, and its possession was cause for severe punishment. I set out to find this</p><p>"lost" grain, to hopefully discover this treasure that lay at the heart of this incredibly powerfulpeople.</p><p>After 300 years of it being in obscurity, I rediscovered amaranth in Mexico where I was honored</p><p>to share it on ceremonial days with the descendents of the Aztecs, who believed that amaranth</p><p>provided them with supernatural power. Therefore, it is not surprising to me when people saythey are not familiar with amaranth as it was only in the 1970s that I reintroduced this ancient</p><p>grain to the United States.</p><p>Amaranth is a moderately tall, broad-leafed, bushy type of plant that grows about six feet in</p><p>height and produces a brightly colored flowery head containing a very large number of seeds.</p><p>(Amaranth plants can produce as many as 60,000 seeds.) These seeds are the amaranth grains</p><p>found in amaranth cereal and flour. Amaranth is a member of the Chenopodiaceae family of</p><p>plants and therefore is a relative of beets, Swiss chard, spinach, and quinoa. For this reason,</p><p>some of its nutritional characteristics are more like these dark green leafy vegetables than the</p><p>cereal grain foods, which are members of an entirely different plant family, called Graminae.</p></li><li><p>8/11/2019 Can You Tell Me About Amaranth</p><p> 2/3</p><p>(Like, quinoa and millet, amaranth is not technically a grain, but because it is enjoyed in meals</p><p>like other true grains, it is usually referred to as such.)</p><p>When it comes to a good number of nutrients, including numerous vitamins, minerals, and</p><p>amino acids, amaranth is very similar to other grains (like wheat) as well as to other green leafy</p><p>vegetables (like Swiss chard). However, I'd point to four nutrients as being significantly different</p><p>when it comes to amaranth.</p><p>First is the amino acid lysine. Most cereal grains, like wheat, are relatively low in this amino</p><p>acid. Alternatively, amaranth is relatively rich in this amino acid, containing approximately</p><p>twice as much lysine as wheat on an ounce-for-ounce basis. Next are the minerals calcium, iron,</p><p>and magnesium. In this mineral area, amaranth is much more like Swiss chard than wheat. It</p><p>contains about four times as much calcium as wheat and twice as much iron and magnesium.</p><p>Amaranth can be simmered like other grains and has a porridge-like texture. It can be combined</p><p>with other grains if you desire a more "rice-like" dish. It can also be popped in a skillet like</p><p>popcorn, which gives it a nutty flavor and crunchy texture.</p><p>The reason I didn't include amaranth as one of the featured World's Healthiest Foods is because</p><p>it is not as widely available as the other grains that I did include. Yet, I think that it is a very</p><p>valuable nutrient-rich food and I encourage you to enjoy it as part of your Healthiest Way of</p><p>Eating.</p></li><li><p>8/11/2019 Can You Tell Me About Amaranth</p><p> 3/3</p></li></ul>