Benefits of Amaranth Leaves

An Overview

We have heard and been recommended a number of leafy greens. We have been told about their benefits a number of times and been asked to include them in our diet. While kale, spinach, lettuce, fenugreek etc. are quite famous, Amaranth, also known as ‘chaulai’ has taken the backseat. Amaranth also called rajgira in India is an amazing ancient grain with wonderful nutritional benefits. We will immense health benefits, if we include it everyday in our diet and if we pop amaranth, it can be had as a high protein snack too. Here at home, we make a stir fry and mash with the leaves and stem of the plant.

The humble Amaranth leaves are witnessing a resurgence in their popularity after research has found them to be packed with essential vitamins and nutrients. The leaves are green, gold, purple or red depending on the area where it grows and is sold as chaulaiin the country. Amaranth grows all around the world in the tropical and subtropical environments. Several cultivars of amaranth grown meant either for vegetable leaves or grain. Botanically, amaranth species meant for its leaves are different from those grown for the purpose of grains (pseudocereals).

Health benefits of Amaranth Leaves

  1. Storehouse of Nutrients and proteins:

Amaranth leaves are a storehouse of essential phytonutrients and antioxidants which help to reduce inflammation in the body and provide an extra boost of nutrition to one’s health. The first thing I noticed when I read the label at the back of the pack is it’s high protein content, 100 grams contain astonishingly almost 14 grams of protein! Especially for people who are on a vegan diet, consuming amaranth will greatly help meet their daily protein requirements easily. This nutrient is used by every cell in our body – and is essential for building muscle mass and digestion. It also aids neurological function.

  1. Lower Cholesterol:

Any food that is rich in fiber helps lower cholesterol, fiber binds with the cholesterol and helps excrete it naturally. 100 grams of amaranth has around 4 grams of fiber, people with high cholesterol levels can include amaranth in their diet regularly.

  1. Low in Calories:

100gms of Amaranth leaves carry only unbelievably light baggage of just 23 calories. Traces of fat and absolutely no cholesterol make them a healthy go-to food option, especially those who are watching their weight or who want to reduce.

  1. Good for Diabetes:

Any food that keeps the blood sugar levels stable is very good for diabetes and amaranth does just that. Also amaranth is rich in manganese and diabetics usually tend to have low amount of manganese, so amaranth is a wonderful ingredient for diabetic patients to include in their diet. Although we need more studies in this regard, taking amaranth in moderation can be beneficial for diabetics (as it contains fiber as well). You might want to have amaranth along with lean protein foods and foods high in unsaturated fat.

  1. High in Fiber:

Amaranth leaves are rich in soluble and insoluble fibre that has many benefits. Eating fibre helps us to reduce our weight and wards off heart disease as it lowers the cholesterol in the blood. Amaranth is high in protein and fibre, both of which may help reduce appetite and increase weight loss.

  1. Weight Loss:

Amaranth keeps us full for long periods of time and is a perfect weight loss food. The last time I had a bowl of amaranth pudding, I didn’t feel hungry at all for a very long time.

  1. Good for Anemics:

Iron is needed for producing red blood cells and is also needed for cellular metabolism. Reap maximum benefits of this powerful punch of iron that amaranth leaves provide by adding some source of vitamin C as it facilitates maximum absorption of iron in the blood. So, you could add a dash of lemon or have the amaranth leaves dish with a glass of orange juice.

  1. Good for bones:

Manganese is one important mineral this vegetable contains, which plays a role in bone health. Amaranth is rich in calcium, 100 grams of amaranth has around 303 mg of calcium! Since calcium is very crucial for bone health, consuming amaranth regularly will help us have strong bones.  It also happens to be the only grain to contain vitamin C, which helps improve the health of ligaments and also fights inflammation (and associated inflammatory ailments like gouts and arthritis).

  1. Boosts Immunity:

Here is another reason why you should make amaranth leaves a regular part of your diet. These leafy greens are rich in vitamin C. having 100gms of the leaves will meet 70% of your daily requirement for vitamin C. This vitamin is a water-soluble vitamin and is needed for fighting off infections and for quicker wound healing. It also helps reduce the effect of free radicals in the environment which are responsible for ageing and many types of cancer. Amaranth is also rich in zinc, another mineral known to empower the immune system. Zinc has an important role to play, especially in the immune systems of older people. 

  1. Rich in Vitamin A and K:

Amaranth leaves are rich in vitamin A and a cup can meet 97% of your daily need for this antioxidative vitamin. They are also full of flavonoid polyphenolic antioxidants like beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, and lutein which provide a protective layer against oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Vitamin A is also needed for healthy skin and proper vision.  Vitamin K  is needed for good bone health and also plays an important role in blood clotting. It promotes osteoblastic activity and strengthens bone mass. Also, it is beneficial for those who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease as it controls the neural damage done in the brain.

  1. Fights Inflammation:

Amaranth is a great tool you can use to fight inflammation. And more importantly, it treats inflammatory conditions like arthritis and gout. This is especially true in the case of osteoarthritis. It is gluten-free (we will discuss that too), which offers an added advantage. The magnesium in amaranth also offers anti-inflammatory benefits.

  1. Good for Heart:

 It also increases the concentration of polyunsaturated fatty acids and other healthy long-chain acids from the omega-3 families. This also can have a beneficial effect on patients suffering from hypertension.

  1. Fights Cancer:

The protein in amaranth can play a vital role in cancer treatment. It builds the health of healthy cells that are otherwise destroyed in chemotherapy. According to another Bangladeshi study, amaranth can exhibit a strong anti-proliferative activity on cancer cells.

  1. Digestive health:

The fiber basically acts as bile and pulls the cholesterol out of the stool – which, apart from offering benefits to your heart, also aids digestion. It also regulates the excretion of waste. Amaranth also treats leaky gut syndrome, where the gut lining that prevents the bigger food particles (that can damage your system) from passing through gets inflamed. Amaranth leaves are helpful in treating diarrhoea and haemorrhages. Regular consumption has been known to benefit digestion.

  1. Good for Hair and Skin:

Amaranth is rich in vitamin, minerals and proteins making it a perfect skin and hair food. Amaranth especially contains lysine which is essential for hair growth.

The leaves and stems carry a good amount of soluble and insoluble dietary fibers. For the same reason, leafy greens including amaranth often recommended by dieticians in the cholesterol controlling and weight reduction programs.

Hope this Symptoms and cure article will be helpful to all. Do not forget to share your valuable suggestions if any.

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