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This gluten-free, protein-rich grain is good for heart, bones, and digestive health

"The seeds can be consumed by children, adolescents, adults, and older people who suffer from poor nutrition or poor diet or who have diseases such as anorexia," Reema Kinjalkar, a nutritionist, said

Here's why amaranth should be a part of your life. (Photo: Pixabay)

In our bid to stay fit and healthy, we consume many foods — sometimes without even fully understanding their benefits. As such, if you have included amaranth in your meals, we are here to help you with the many nutritious benefits of this grain that comes power-packed with dietary fibre, essential amino acids, relevant lipids, antioxidants, and high amounts of calcium, manganese, and iron. “Amaranth aids in a variety of biological processes by functioning as an anti-hypertensive, anti-oxidant, antithrombotic, and anti-proliferative agent, among others,” Reema Kinjalkar, a nutritionist at Urban Platter, told indianexpress.com.

Often considered a superfood owing to its nutrient-dense and gluten-free nature, amaranth is also known to improve heart, bone, and digestive health, according to Dr Dimple Jangda, an Ayurveda expert, who listed some of its benefits on her Instagram account.

 

Heart health: It is a good source of magnesium, which is crucial for maintaining a healthy heart. Also, it is rich in phenolic acids, which help prevent diseases and strengthen the heart muscles.

Agreed Reema, and said that “amaranth contains phytochemicals such as rutin and nicotiflorin that help in lowering blood pressure. Amaranth oil, which is high in unsaturated fatty acids, tocopherols, and polyphenols, is a good example of functional food. Also, it significantly lowers total cholesterol, triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and very low density lipoprotein (VLDL).

Bone health: Amaranth is also rich in calcium and phosphorus and helps strengthen the bones. It is especially advised for women who have osteoporosis.

Adding, Reema said that a considerable amount of lysine present in amaranth aids in calcium absorption and decreases the excretion of calcium through urine while also playing a role in collagen synthesis. “It also contains L-arginine, which stimulates osteoclast cell activity. As a result, consuming extruded amaranth products may aid in improving calcium intake to support healthier bones,” she added.

Digestive health: Since it is rich in fibre, it helps improve energy levels and digestive health.

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Explaining the benefits of amaranth for digestive health, Reema said that it also helps prevent constipation. Amaranth has some amount of resistant starch which, along with insoluble fibre, helps add bulk to stool. “Intake of amaranth oil has shown beneficial effects on people with duodenal peptic ulcers and chronic gastritis induced by Helicobacter pylori,” she added.

Reema advised including the seeds in the diet of children, adolescents, adults, and older people, who suffer from poor nutrition or poor diet or who have diseases such as anorexia among others, where protein must be fulfilled.

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First published on: 14-11-2022 at 17:00 IST
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