At Gluten Free Cuenca, we now have a truly amazing tasting bread (and one of my favorites) Amaranth, our “Superbread”. Nutty earthy flavor, full of nutritients and health benefits, and made with gluten free ingredients.
Very few people realize how many so-called "superfoods" are blatantly overlooked in today’s society. These are a whole new level of whole, natural foods that provide more health benefits than can easily be described in one article! Two of these superfoods are Quinoa, which we include in most of our products, and our newest recipe member: Amaranth.
Amaranth was a staple in the diets of pre-Columbian Aztecs in Mexico and Peru. There are over 50 different plant species and the Aztecs believed that consuming these tiny seeds imparted increased energy and strength. Spanish conquistadors tried to literally eradicate this God-giving nutritious miracle plant
with a few surviving only. Fortunately, the plant made a comeback! Furthermore, with the increased awareness of the page-long list of benefits it provides, Amaranth is now being cultivated in the US, South America, Europe, and China.
Unlike other grains, Amaranth is a rich source of essential fatty acids, including the heart-healthy oleic acid normally associated with olive oil. Amaranth is also full of health-enhancing peptides and phytochemicals such as rutin, nicotiflorin, squalene, and lunasin. This all-star nutrients can improve our health in many ways. Some of the extensive health benefits that Amaranth can provides for us are:
Cancer prevention: Adding Amaranth to our diet may be one of our best defenses against cancer. Lunasin, a bioactive peptide in Amaranth, has been shown to inhibit the development of cancer cells.
Cardiovascular Disease: Studies show that patients who presented with coronary heart disease and hypertension not only showed benefits from the inclusion of Amaranth in their diets, but also a decrease in the amounts of total cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL significantly.
Stronger bones: Amaranth offers up a payload of minerals renowned for keeping the skeletal system strong - calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese. Additionally, we find high amounts of Lysine, important for calcium absorption and calcium-loss reduction through urine. Lysine also helps for collagen formation (crucial for sturdy bones) and it works in conjunction with L-arginine, another amino acid, in making bone-building cells more active.
Anemia Prevention: Anemia makes you pale and weak, can cause headaches and a poor appetite. The iron in Amaranth can help! Loaded with 5.17 mg per 1 cup (250 mL) serving, Amaranth provides plenty of iron to keep anemia away.
Brain food: A bowl of Amaranth may be as good for our brain as it is for our heart. Rutin and nicotiflorin, two polyphenols found in Amaranth, have established anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and there is now evidence of a neuroprotective effect as well. A recent study found that they not only decreased inflammatory cytokines, but also aided in the repair of damaged brain cells.
I hope this info is quite enough for you to give Amaranth and the “superfoods” a thought!
Thank you for reading :),
Gluten Free Cuenca
Ps: if you are interested in Quinoa info, read our our previous article "fall in love with Quinoa"