Health Benefits Of Amaranth: 5 Reasons To Cook With This Superfood

Health benefits of amaranth.

A delicious addition to porridge, salads, ravioli, cookies, and even cupcakes – amaranth is popular in gluten-free, vegan, and health-food circles. And if you’ve been wondering whether it’s worth getting creative with this grain, we’ve got a list of health benefits that it provides that might help you make up your mind.

1. Aids Weight Loss

Amaranth can make shedding those extra pounds easier. A cup of its serving offers 9.35 g of protein, which has been found to decrease levels of ghrelin, the hormone that stimulates hunger.1 In fact, several studies validate that a high-protein diet lowers appetite and overall caloric intake. In addition to this, amaranth is high in fiber, with a cup offering 5.2 g (20.8% recommended daily intake) of the macronutrient. This fiber moves slowly through the gastrointestinal tract undigested, helping promote satiety for longer. Studies have found that increased fiber intake lowered body fat and with it, the risk of obesity.2 3


2. May Lower Cholesterol

If you’re trying to keep your cholesterol levels in check, adding amaranth to your diet might help. One study has found that amaranth (particularly, its oil) decreased the levels of total and “bad” LDL cholesterol by 15% and 22%, respectively and, in turn, increased the levels of “good” HDL cholesterol.4 In addition to this, a study conducted on chickens found that a diet high in amaranth decreased by up to 30% and “bad” LDL cholesterol by up to 70%. That said, further research is needed t fully understand and validate this benefit.5

3. May Strengthen Bones

Consuming amaranth may keep your bones healthy.  A cup of its serving packs in 116 mg of calcium (11.6 recommended daily intake) which repairs and strengthens bones, in turn lowering the risk of fractures and, in the long run, osteoporosis.6 In addition to this, one study found that amaranth consumption increases the nutritional value of calcium, as well as iron and zinc.7


4. Aids Digestion

If you have a weak stomach, consuming amaranth regularly may help. The fiber in it helps regulate the excretion of bodily fluids. Research has found that 78% of the fiber in amaranth is insoluble, which is higher than what is found in wheat and maize.8 This kind of fiber bulks up stool and makes it easier to pass through the digestive system.9

5. Lowers Inflammation And Risk Of Related Disorders

Normally, inflammation is an important immune-system response that protects the body against injury and infection. However, chronic inflammation can lead to chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, and autoimmune disorders.10 Studies have found that amaranth can lower several markers of inflammation.11 One such study found that amaranth helped inhibit the production of immunoglobulin E, a type of antibody that is involved in allergic inflammation.12