What is amaranth?

What Does amaranth Mean

Amaranth is the generic name of the species that belong to the amaranth family group . The etymology of the concept comes from a Greek word that refers to that which never fades .

This genus refers to plants that have a stem of considerable thickness, with oblong-type leaves and flowers that, depending on the variety, can have different colors. The height of the amaranths, native to India, can exceed one and a half meters.
Amaranth is characterized by its resistance . It can grow in humid regions where there is a lot of rainfall, but also in dry areas. For its nutritional uses, it is a plant cultivated throughout the world .

Thousands of years ago, the pre-Columbian cultures of the American continent already used amaranth in various gastronomic preparations , as one of the most important products of their diet, at the same level as beans and corn, largely thanks to its rich protein content . With the amaranth grains flour was made to make tortillas and breads. They were also used as a cereal .
Due to its properties , amaranth was used as an energizing and healing food . Certain peoples also included it in rituals and even considered it sacred: that is why it was among the products that they placed in the tombs of their dead. Faced with this situation, the Europeans who came to America prohibited its cultivation and consumption, in an attempt to distance the settlers from paganism and convert them to Catholicism.
The cultivation of amaranth seed , therefore, dates from remote times; in some cases, several millennia ago. The medicinal properties of this plant are very important, since for centuries they have been used to treat various health disorders.
Something worth noting is that in recent times science has confirmed the validity of the healing properties that for centuries and millennia have been attributed to amaranth , and for that reason many people continue to take advantage of them. Besides being a good source of protein , it also contains calcium, iron, natural vitamins (A, B, B1, B2, B3, and C), folic acid, niacin, phosphorus, and amino acids (including lysine).
Some of its medicinal applications include the treatment against diarrhea, for which an infusion can be prepared , or the prevention of overweight, thanks to its rich fiber content. On the other hand, it can also be beneficial in patients with diseases such as high blood pressure, colon cancer, osteoporosis, hepatic encephalopathy, liver failure, constipation and chronic kidney failure.

If we compare it with rice, one of the most important food products on the planet, we can say that it doubles it in protein content. It also outperforms wheat in this same field, with 80% more protein. With regard to the amount of amino acids , it has three times that of corn.
One of the preparations with amaranth that is still popular is joy , a typical sweet from the Mexican state of Morelos . This sweet is made with amaranth seeds and sugar or honey, roasting the seeds so that they puff up. Once mixed with the sugar or honey, they are shaped with molds.
The so-called amaranth or popped amaranth cereal can be used in many ways within the food industry . The demand for this product grows day by day in different areas, ranging from general consumption to the naturist market. There are even social support movements that use derivatives of this food. Regarding the sales format, the popped amaranth can be offered in bags to be distributed in bulk or in previously weighed and sealed packages.

Go up