The tiny seed of an amaranth grain may be able to help prevent cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer, according to a review of existing research in Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety.
Amaranth is an ancient grain used in a variety of foods such as soups, stews, sauces, porridges, cookies, bread and more. Amaranth contains high amounts of protein, minerals, B vitamins, lipids and is highly digestible. As consumer interest in plant protein sources rises, amaranth could be an ingredient worth considering.
Researchers from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Ciudad University in Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico found that from their review of studies, the amaranth grain could be used as a functional food; or peptides derived from amaranth could be used as ingredients in functional foods to help in the prevention and reduction of chronic diseases.
The amaranth grain has gained interest in the past 20 years due to both its nutritional and agricultural features. It’s fast growing, has a tolerance to drought conditions, can grow in poor soils and is easily cultivated throughout the year making an ideal crop in regions where conventional crops cannot grow.