Amaranth is defined as a “never-fading flower” in Greek. Various Amaranthus species were grown by the Aztecs 5,000 to 6,000 years ago, prior to the disruption of the South American civilization by the Spanish conquistadors. Both the grain amaranth and leaves are utilized for use for human as well as for animal food. The nutritional value of amaranth has been extensively studied. Grain amaranth has higher protein than other cereal grains and has significantly higher lysine content. It has been shown that amaranth leaves are an excellent source of protein, with its maximal accumulation in the blossoming phase.
Amaranth grain consists of 6 to 9% of oil which is higher than most other cereals. Amaranth oil contains approximately 77% unsaturated fatty acids and is high in linoleic acid, which is necessary for human nutrition. The lipid fraction is unique due to the high squalene content. Detailed studies on amaranth grain oil have been researched further in the last 2–3 decades. Pharmacological properties of different amaranth species also have been investigated. It was determined that Amaranth paniculatus and Amaranth cruentus are good sources of flavonoids.
It has been suggested that a reduction in the consumption of saturated and an increase in unsaturated fatty acids is beneficial and prevents CVD. Amaranth grain contains tocotrienols and squalene compounds, which are known to affect cholesterol biosynthesis.
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Amaranth oil is naturally gluten free. It has a very agreeable taste, so it pairs nicely with any flavor. It can also be used in smoothies, juices, teas, soups, and vinaigrettes. Amaranth oil can be added to meals when cooking and baking. Pairs well with ginger, quinoa, creamy flavors, herbs, tomatoes, avocado, meats, cinnamon and beans.
Benefits of Amaranth oil: High protein content, antioxidants, bone development, digestive health, cardiovascular health, vision, weight loss, hair health.