With its profuse plumes of striking red flowers, the amaranth plant is a sight to behold. It can grow to about two metres high and produce many thousands of seeds. Not only is the amaranth plant beautiful, it is also extremely adaptable. It suffers no major diseases, is resistant to heat and drought, grows intensively, and photosynthesises fast and effectively.
Amaranth was a staple in the diet of pre-Columbian Aztecs who believed it to be endowed with supernatural powers that provided them with great strength. Homeopathic and Ayurvedic experts have long recognised the amazing health benefits of this superfood. Amaranth is a complete protein superhero, rich in lysine which helps the body absorb calcium and convert fatty acids into energy. But there’s more – amaranth is also rich in fibre and delivers a host of other nutrients like calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper, potassium, phosphorus, folic acid and iron, as well as vitamins A, B2, B3, B5, B6, C and E.
On top of all these, amaranth is naturally gluten-free, making it an excellent alternative for those with gluten intolerance. This tiny grain with a mild nutty flavour is well suited to adding to soups, stews and casseroles. It can also be popped, just like popcorn, to produce a delightful, nutritious snack or added to cereals and salads.
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