What is Amaranth?
Amaranth is an herbal plant that has much purpose and had been used by many countries. A thousand years ago, Mesoamerican Indians cultivated this staple food. Many people mistaken amaranth as grain. However, the truth is it is a seed that contains an unbelievable amount of nutritional content. It was known to contain minerals, vitamins, amino acids and fiber. For this reason, amaranth was regarded as one of the best super foods in the world.
Considering the health benefits it brings, many health conscious people are taking it as part of their daily diet. Stores that are selling natural foods and even restaurants are promoting this amazing gift from nature. For over twenty years, the seed is continuing to gain popularity especially in the natural health industry. Amaranth is seen to be the stable food of the future. Although the grain has just been very popular today, people cannot say that it is a new discovery. People from the ancient times had already known about this grain and those people knew about the benefits it brings to an individual taking it.
If you would go back thousands of years ago, amaranth seeds were the basic food of the Mesoamerican hunters and gatherers. Come 3000 B.C., amaranth became one of the domesticated plants along with beans, squash and maize. In South America, the Incas were also known to cultivate the grain. However, the amaranth was not that popular to their culture compared to the Mesoamerican Indians.
The Aztecs knew that amaranth is a super food and most of them believe that it contains magical properties. As for proof, hunters using it gain more endurance and prolonged energy. As part of the Aztec rituals, the grain of amaranth is crushed and is blended to honey and blood. The mixture will result to a paste and the Aztecs mould it into Indian idols. These idols are used during rituals or ceremonies.
As a super grain or super food, the amaranth is a good source of protein, which is unusual for a grain. It is estimated to contain fifteen to seventeen percent of protein by weight. Below is the list of the important characteristics of the Amaranth seed.
Amaranth is not difficult to incorporate in anyone’s diet. The grains of Amaranth can easily be incorporated with daily diet. It can be used as salad toppings, can be steamed like rice and add with other dishes like eggplants, soups and peppers. Amaranth is also best for breakfast eaten along with honey and fresh fruits. Regular flour used for baking may also be substituted by flour made from Amaranth. Breads and other baked goods made from Amaranth flour are considered more nutritious and delicious than baked goods made from regular flour.