1. What is amaranth?
- Amaranth is grown extensively in the UK and the Americas:
Amaranth, a sweet radish (Beetroot in English) or red beet, is most commonly grown in areas in the UK, Central America, and North America.
Red amaranth is different from Sugar beet – usually larger, white, and used to extract sugar.
- Characteristics of amaranth:
Amaranth usually has two colors: crimson and charcoal purple along with a ragged black outer shell. When cutting across amaranth, you will see many concentric circles with different dark-light colors.
The color inside the red amaranth is due to a natural compound made from phytochemicals: betaxanthins (including yellow to orange pigments) and betacyanine (including red to purple pigments).
Amaranth, a sweet radish (Beetroot in English) or red beet. (Photo: Internet)
- Nutritional ingredient
Inside the amaranth and also its leaves are rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, and C. In particular, amaranth leaves and stems contain more iron than spinach. In addition, amaranth also contains a lot of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, sodium, and iron.
Moreover, amaranth provides nutrients such as choline (an important nutrient such as vitamin B, folic acid, iodine, manganese, organic sodium, potassium, fiber, and carbohydrates in the form of the natural digestive tract).
Inside the amaranth and also its leaves are rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, and C. (Photo: Internet)
In short, amaranth has long been considered a high nutrient content vegetable that is good for human health as well as helps to improve other diseases status (constipation, anemia, blood pressure, atherosclerosis, gout, dandruff, stomach ulcers, etc.).
2. Six uses of amaranth for health
Below is a quick glimpse of 6 common uses of amaranth to improve your health status:
Amaranth helps to reduce and regulate blood pressure
High levels of nitrate compounds in amaranth will contribute to lowering blood pressure (as in the DASH diet).
According to research by experts at Barts Hospital (London) and the Medical University of London, it has been shown that drinking 500ml of red amaranth juice per day, after 24 hours, will work very well to reduce blood pressure.
Most of the amaranth’s medicinal properties are effective in stabilizing blood pressure, whether it’s high or low blood pressure.
Amaranth is good for the circulatory and cardiovascular systems
- Improve anemia:
The high iron content in amaranth can help regenerate and re-stimulate blood cells while providing the body with the necessary oxygen. In addition, the copper content in amaranth also contributes to the production of more iron for the body.
- Prevent heart disease:
In addition to lowering blood pressure, red amaranth juice is beneficial in preventing cardiovascular disease and stroke symptoms (even for adults), as well as having a very good ability to antioxidants and lower cholesterol.
According to many studies, it is better to drink red amaranth juice in the morning than other sessions of the day.
- Prevent varicose veins:
Regularly drinking amaranth juice and eating some amaranth dishes will help prevent varicose veins because the elasticity of the arteries is kept stable.
- Reduce atherosclerosis:
The crimson color in the amaranth juice has a good effect on dissolving inorganic calcium aggregates – this is what causes arteriosclerosis.
Amaranth prevents intoxication and helps the body detoxify
- Support liver to work well:
Thanks to the betacyanine pigment found in amaranth, the liver function will work well, to quickly eliminate toxins and combat the formation of fatty layers. Therefore, amaranth not only helps to support your liver to work well, but also helps you lose weight effectively.
- Anti-acidosis (acid poisoning):
Alkalinity in amaranth is effective against acidosis which usually occurs when the lungs and kidneys are unable to keep their pH in balance, causing acid levels in the body fluids to exceed normal levels.
- Eliminate toxins:
Amaranth juice also contains Choline, which is both effective in eliminating liver toxins and helping the whole body to get rid of toxins in the most optimal way.
- Support the treatment of kidney and gallbladder diseases:
Using amaranth juice with carrots is effective in treating kidney and gallbladder diseases.
Amaranth helps cure gastrointestinal diseases
- Reduce constipation
The content of cellulose in amaranth will improve chronic constipation.
- Improve stomach ulcers:
Using amaranth juice mixed with a little bit honey, drinking when hungry, regularly 2 – 3 times a week, will improve stomach ulcers.
Amaranth makes your spirit more relaxed and fresh
- Improve your spirit to keep you young:
The amaranth contains a nitrogen compound – called bataine, which makes the spirit more relaxed and comfortable when stimulating the synthesis of serotonin (a neurotransmitter that creates natural excitement for the body). Therefore, the spirit is more refreshing and cheerful.
Amaranth strengthens the immune system and prevents cancer
- Strengthen the immunity system
Amaranth contains large amounts of vitamins and other nutrients, which stimulate the oxidation of cells as well as the production of new blood cells. Therefore, amaranth has been proved to be effective in boosting the immune system and fighting infections in the body.
- Prevent cancer
Amaranth juice will prevent the convergence of nitrosamines – the cause of skin cancer and lung cancer.
3. Precaution when using amaranth
Amaranth has a good effect on health due to its high nutrient content. However, it still has side effects that users do not expect when eating too much. Therefore, when using amaranth, you need to pay attention to some notes as follows:
Stalls the absorption of nutrients and causes kidney stones
In amaranth, the amount of oxalate (the reason causes kidney stones) accounts for a relatively high proportion. Oxalate has anti-nutritional properties, stalling the body’s absorption of nutrients including calcium, causing calcium precipitation when passing through the intestine. So, eating too much amaranth makes you at risk for kidney stones.
However, amaranth juice can remove toxins in the body as well as support the functioning of the liver and kidneys. But for people with a history of kidney stones, you should be careful and ask for a doctor’s advice before taking this juice.
May cause dizziness due to detoxification and hypotension
The amaranth juice can make you feel dizzy when some of the components in the amaranth are on a mission to eliminate toxins in the body. This effect will pass quickly! At the same time, you should also pay attention to the amount of amaranth juice when using it.
Because of the hypotensive effect (for people with high blood pressure), using too many amaranths can cause your blood pressure to drop below normal level and put your life at risk.
Do not use amaranth juice with milk because it may cause poisoning
Understanding the benefits of amaranth to health, some mothers often use amaranth juice to mix with milk for children. This is extremely dangerous because it can cause poisoning, especially in children under 5 months of age.
Nitrite contained in amaranth will cause Methemoglobin increased syndrome that will stall oxygen circulation to tissues in the bloodstream, causing the child’s skin to turn luish-purple, if not provided timely first aid, it will lead to death.
Amaranth has a good effect on health due to its high nutrient content. (Photo: Internet)
Avoid using too much amaranth as it affects the digestive system
Amaranth contains a high amount of FODMAPs (poorly absorbed starch) in the form of fructans (which are short-chain sugar powders, the food of intestinal bacteria). It may cause some symptoms of indigestion in sensitive individuals and irritable bowel syndrome.
In addition, Betaine compounds (useful for people with digestive disorders) in amaranth tend to have mild side effects that cause nausea, dyspepsia, and diarrhea. For people with kidney disease, this compound should be avoided as it may increase total cholesterol.
To avoid digestive problems when using amaranth, you should drink about 15 ml – 30 ml of amaranth juice at first, then mix the rest with other juices so that the body can adjust more easily.