Amaranth grains are high protein grains that offer a remedy for several everyday ailments. Thanks to a high concentration of essential vitamins and minerals, it is often referred to as a super food. The high dietary fiber content of amaranth improves the digestive system of your body, while also reducing the cholesterol levels which leads to the improved cardiovascular health. This grain works wonders for your hair, strengthening them and making them more lustrous. Amaranth is found to a richer source of calcium than even milk, making it the perfect food for improving bone health. The vitamin C content of this grain helps in boosting the immune system, while the high vitamin A concentration helps in improving the health of the eyes. Other benefits of this grain include helping in weight loss, controlling diabetes, boosting muscle growth, preventing the celiac disease and much more.
Amaranth grain, or chaulai as it is commonly referred to in India, is known to be one of the most ancient cultivated grains in human history, with its origins being traced back to more than 8000 years ago. Throughout this time, the grain has been known as a rich source of nutrients and extremely beneficial for the human body. Amaranth grains, leaves and other parts of the plants are all beneficial for the body. Though not the most popular grain, it is still one that most nutritionists recommend for its benefits that are produced thanks to the rich concentration of vitamins, fiber and minerals. Having been out of cultivation for a while, scientists and nutritionists woke up to the multiple benefits of amaranth and the plant was brought back into cultivation in the 1970s. From that point on, this food has become one of the most in-demand grains due to the fact that it is a healthy protein source.
Amaranth grain is rich in several vitamins, minerals and a great source of protein, without adding too much fat to the body. For 100 grams of amaranth grain, the fat concentration is just 1.6 grams. Carbohydrates are about 19 grams in every 100 grams of amaranth, out of which 2 grams is fiber. In every 100 grams of amaranth, you also get about 3.8 grams protein. Amaranth is found to be rich in several important vitamins, with the concentration vitamin B6 and vitamin E making up 9% and 2% of recommended daily intake respectively. Amaranth is also a rich source of several minerals, with the recommended daily intakes being compensated by every 100 grams of the grain in the form of iron’s 27% of daily value, magnesium’s 19% of daily value, 15% of daily value of phosphorous, 43% of daily value of manganese and copper’s 8% of daily value, among many others. Amaranth grain is also found to be a rich source of fatty acids and amino acids.
As discussed in the nutritional values, amaranth grains are rich sources of dietary fiber, which is very beneficial for the digestive system and makes sure that entire flow of food through the system remains smooth. This can also help protect against ailments like bloating, constipation, cramping and many more. The dietary fiber present in amaranth also helps in protecting against serious conditions like gastric ulcers and colon cancer. Another major advantage of the dietary fiber present in the amaranth grains is that it helps increase the nutrient uptake efficiency in the body. With a rich concentration of nutrients present in the grain, this becomes all the more important since increased nutrient uptake efficiency means that higher levels of nutrients from the grains are absorbed by the body.
Lysine is an important amino protein for the body and is extremely beneficial in creating usable proteins in the body, which in turn ensures improved metabolism and complete development and growth in the body. Amaranth is the one grain which is found to be rich in lysine, with some grains having no concentration of this amino acid. This is why amaranth is often referred to as the complete protein. The lysine rich content of amaranth is what it makes it a popular food in cultures that don’t traditionally have access to a diverse range of food items.
Another significant advantage of the high dietary fiber content in amaranth is that it helps in balancing the cholesterol levels in the cardiovascular system of the body. Along with the dietary fiber, the phytosterols found in this grain also help a great deal in reducing the cholesterol levels. This in turn helps in reducing the chance of your body developing conditions like atherosclerosis which can lead to heart attacks and strokes. The high potassium content of amaranth grain also helps in improving the cardiovascular health by making sure that the blood vessels are relaxed. The vasodilation properties of potassium reduce the tension and strain on the blood vessels and arteries, resulting in lowered blood pressure, which leads to reduced chances of heart diseases.
Amaranth is known for its distinguished chemical composition, which has benefits for the whole body. Amaranth grains are great for increasing the luster and quality of hair, while also making for a great remedy to flatten hair that can be branded wiry. This grain is a wonderful source of lysine which, as discussed earlier, is a critical amino acid but not found in most other grains. A good lysine concentration in the body leads to healthier and stronger hair with better roots, while also affecting a reduction in hair loss. Regular use of amaranth grains also helps in reducing the graying of hair.
Calcium is the most important mineral for bone health. While traditionally milk is considered to be the richest source of calcium, amaranth provides at least twice the concentration of calcium when compared to milk. This makes amaranth grain a highly effective source of nutrients when it comes to improving bone density and the overall health of your bones. Making amaranth grains a part of your diet can help you slow down or even completely prevent the onset of diseases like osteoporosis.
Amaranth grain is one of the very few grains that have Vitamin C content. Vitamin C is extremely important for the immune system. It improves the immunity by boosting the production of white blood cells. Vitamin C is also beneficial for the repair of cells and faster healing, due to its contribution in producing collagen in the body.
Amaranth grains help in lowering the insulin levels in your body, while also releasing hormones that can be termed pretty much the opposite of hunger hormones. These hormones tell the body that you are full. This effectively reduces your urge to snack between meals, making sure that you don’t gain any excess weight. So when looking for a high protein food laced with health benefits, going for amaranth is one of the best options out there.
The properties of controlling blood sugar and lowering insulin levels in the body hold amaranth in good stead when talking about foods that are highly beneficial for diabetic patients. It effectively combats the two biggest issues for diabetes, obesity and high insulin levels, and makes sure that there are no sudden spikes in the blood sugar levels. Being one of the most effective foods for lowering insulin levels, amaranth is widely considered to be extremely important for people at risk of diabetes.
Vitamin A, which is essential for the health of the ocular system of your body, is found to be in rich concentration in amaranth. Apart from vitamin A, amaranth is also a great source of beta-carotene, which is an antioxidant. It is hugely beneficial in preventing cataracts and also slows down the onset of any macular degeneration.
Proteins are always suggested as a key part of your nutritional intake if you are looking to make sure that you have a healthy and toned body that is functioning properly. Amaranth is among the grains that have the highest protein content, making it perfect for anyone looking to build up muscle mass. Being a completely natural source of plant protein makes amaranth a far better option than most supplements for the people who are looking to make sure that there is a healthy growth of their body tissues, muscles and even skin.
Celiac disease is caused due to allergic reactions to gluten that is present in several common food items like wheat. Amaranth is a completely gluten-free food, making it a great, nutritious alternative to wheat.
Amaranth grain is used commonly in various cuisines across the world. Apart from the culinary uses, this grain is used for medicines for several ailments and a few hair care products as well. It is used to produce a few alcoholic beverages as well.
Amaranth grains do not have any major side effects or toxicities to be careful about. It is advised that the grain not be eaten raw since in that state there are a few oxalates and nitrates present on the grain that might be a danger for some people. Due to its ability to lower insulin, people suffering from hypoglycemia are advised to regulate the intake carefully or avoid eating the grain totally.
The production and usage of amaranth can be traced back to the ancient Greek culture, more than 8000 years ago. North America, Central America and India are among the regions where amaranth production is the highest. In today’s times, USA is the largest producer of amaranth, followed by Mexico.
Post Natal Diet Plan
Prefered foods during postpartum:
Fresh - warm - oily - soupy - moist - nourishing - delicious - creamy - digestible
• boiled warm milk
• milk puddings w/o egg
• split lentils soaked overnight made into thin soup, perhaps
• almond or other nut milks
• nuts or seeds, well soaked (24 - 48 hours) for snack or prepared with soups,
Vegetables, grains, or sauces
• yogurt or buttermilk drink thinned half with water and seasoned with desired
• ricotta, cottage and other unfermented cheeses
• chicken and fish soups after about 4 weeks for non-vegetarians
• basmati rice (cook with an extra 1⁄2-1 cup water per cup of rice)
• unleavened wheat such as couscous, pastas, chapattis (unleavened tortillas)
• grains such as oats, quinoa and amaranth.
• favor less refined sugars such as honey, succanat, turbinado, and especially iron
Rich sweeteners such as dates, raisins, molasses and dark indian jaggery if available.
Prepare all vegetables until tender, season well and enjoy with healthy oils (sesame, sunflower, walnut, avocado, almond) or butter
• fresh dill and fennel
• pumpkin and winter squashes
• yams or sweet potatoes
After the first three weeks postpartum, the following vegetables can be introduced; summer squashes, green beans, broccoli, peeled eggplant, spinach or chard cooked with plenty oil, seasoning, salt, and lime or lemon juice.
Use healthy fats and oils more abundantly than normal. This is important for optimal rejuvenation. Fats are building blocks for hormones and are important support and functional components of the cell membrane. Research show that low blood lipids are associated with depression and low hormone levels.
Essential fatty acids (efas - omega 3, 6, and 9) are, as the name indicates, essential to the body, mind and nervous system. The brain does not produce enough of these important oils, and if we get depleted, we are likely to suffer from anxiety, restlessness, and depression. Furthermore, low breast milk production and engorgement has been linked to low efas. The brain is more than 60% fat and needs a lot of healthy oils for its health.
• flax seed oil
• ghee (clarified butter)
• sesame, toasted sesame, and sunflower oils
• coconut and olive oil in the summer
प्राचीन काल से ही आयुर्वेद के तमाम खोजों के रूप में चौलाई आज हमारे सामने है. चौलाई के सबसे पहले भारत में ही उगाए जाने का प्रमाण है. लेकिन अब अमेरिका और अन्य देशों में भी इसे उगाया जाता है. चौलाई के पत्ते भी काफी स्वास्थ्यवर्धक और लोकप्रिय हैं. इसमें तमाम पोषक तत्व संयुक्त होने के कारण हमें स्वस्थ रखने में सहायक होता है. चौलाई में पाए जाने वाले तमाम पोषक पदार्थों में बेहद मूल्यवान एंटीऑक्सीडेंट और फेनालिक यौगिक होते हैं. इसके अलावा चौलाई बीज और पत्तों में विटामिन और खनिज की प्रचुरता होती है. इसके तमाम औषधीय गुण और फायदे जानने के लिए निम्नलिखित बिन्दुओं को देखें.
1. आंखों के लिए
आंखों के स्वास्थ्य के लिए विटामिन ए काफी महत्वपूर्ण होता है. चौलाई में विटामिन प्रचुर मात्रा में पाई जाती है. इसलिए चौलाई हमारी आंखों में होने वाले संक्रमण और तमाम धब्बे, दाग, अधः पतन और मोतियाबिंद के जोखिम को भी कम करता है.
2. बालों के लिए
चौलाई में लाइसिन नाम का एक अमीनो एसिड पाया जाता है. जिसका उत्पादन हमारे शरीर में नहीं हो पाता है. इस अमीनो इस अमीनो एसिड की खासियत यह है. कि यह कैल्शियम की दक्षता में सुधार करके बालों को मजबूती प्रदान करता है. इससे आपके बाल कम झड़ते हैं. इसके अलावा आप चौलाई का उपयोग शैंपू, बालों में मालिश आदि के लिए भी कर सकते हैं. इससे आपके बाल लंबे घने खूबसूरत और मजबूत होते हैं.
3. शुगर के उपचार में
चौलाई का उपयोग शुगर के उपचार के लिए भी किया जाता है. दरअसल चौलाई में इंसुलिन के स्तर को कम करने की क्षमता होती है. इसके अलावा यह रक्त शर्करा का स्तर भी घटाता है. इस तरह से चौलाई शुगर के मरीजों के लिए एक महत्वपूर्ण खाद्य पदार्थ बन जाता है.
4. पाचन तंत्र के लिए
चौलाई पाचन तंत्र को मजबूत करने और इसकी सक्रियता बढ़ाने में भी प्रमुख भूमिका निभाता है. चौलाई के बीज में पाया जाने वाला फाइबर हमारे पाचन एंजाइमों को सक्रीय बनाता है. इसके अलावा यह हमारे शरीर से विषाक्त पदार्थों को भी बाहर निकालने का काम करता है.
5. प्रोटीन के स्रोत के रूप में
प्रोटीन के लिए हम चौलाई का प्रयोग कर सकते हैं. दरअसल इसमें सभी आवश्यक 9 अमीनो एसिड पाया जाता है. बेहद दुर्लभ माना जाने वाला लाइसिन नाम का एमिनो एसिड चौलाई में भरपूर पाया जाता है. लाइसिन का मुख्य काम कैल्शियम का अवशोषण, स्नायु प्रोटीन का निर्माण, चोटों की रिकवरी और हार्मोन, एंटीबॉडीज व एंजाइमों का उत्पादन करना है. प्रोटीन की सहायता से हमारे शरीर में महत्व और कोशिकाओं का निर्माण होता है.
6. कोलेस्ट्रॉल को नियंत्रित करने में
कोलेस्ट्रॉल की समस्या से परेशान लोगों के लिए चौलाई का सेवन भोजन का एक अच्छा विकल्प माना जाता है. जाहिर हे चौलाई के बीज में फाइबर प्रचुर मात्रा में पाया जाता है. कोलेस्ट्राल के नियंत्रण के कारण ये धमनियों को सख्त होने से भी बचाता है.
7. हड्डियों के लिए
कैल्शियम हमारी हड्डियों के लिए बेहद जरूरी खनिज है. चौलाई कैल्शियम से समृद्ध खाद्य पदार्थ है. इसलिए यह हमें हड्डियों से संबंधित समस्याएं जैसे ऑस्टियोपोरोसिस आदि से बचाता है.यही नहीं ये हड्डियों के रिपेयर और मजबूती में भी काम करता है.
8. वजन कम करने में
चौलाई हमारे शरीर में इंसुलिन के स्तर को प्रभावशाली तरीके से कम करने की क्षमता रखता है. चौलाई हार्मोन को भी रिहा करके हमें पेट भरे रहने के एहसास को बरकरार रखता है. इसलिए चौलाई वजन कम करने वाले लोगों के लिए एक अच्छा विकल्प माना जाता है.
9. सूजन के लिए
चौलाई में सूजन को कम करने वाले गुण भी होते हैं. इसमें एंटीऑक्सीडेंट्स और एंटी इंफ्लेमेटरी गुण होने के कारण यह सूजन से संबंधित कई परेशानियों को कम करता है. चौलाई हमारे सेलुलर झिल्ली को ऑक्सीडेटिव नुकसान से भी बचाने का काम करता है.
10. सीलिएक से बचाने में
सीलिएक दरअसल रक्ताल्पता से संबंधित बीमारी है. यह छोटी आंत में विकार उत्पन्न करने वाले पोषक तत्वों के पाचन को मुश्किल बनाता है. चौलाई में पाए जाने वाले पोषक तत्व इस समस्या को दूर करने का काम करते हैं.
चौलाई के नुकसान
Tips for gluten free diet
1. Use gluten-free substitutes in place of gluten-containing foods
Pasta, bread and crackers all contain gluten, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy these foods in your diet. Instead, switch to gluten-free alternatives of your favourite foods, which you will find in most supermarkets and health food stores. Gluten-free substitute foods include pasta, bread, crackers, bread rolls, cereals and more.
2. Remember lots of foods are naturally gluten-free
Fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, cheese and eggs are naturally gluten-free, so use these as the basis to your meals.
3. Enjoy naturally gluten-free grains and cereals.
The gluten-free diet doesn’t mean that all grains and cereals are off the menu. Quinoa, teff, amaranth, polenta, buckwheat, corn, millet and tapioca are just some of the naturally gluten-free grains which can be included in the diet.
4. Know which alcohol to avoid
Gluten-free alcohol includes cider, wine, sherry, spirits, port and liqueurs, but remember that beer, lagers, stouts and ales contain varying amounts of gluten and are not suitable for a gluten-free diet. Gluten-free beers are available in some supermarkets and restaurants, but make sure you only drink those that are labelled in this way.
5. Be aware of cross contamination
Even a tiny bit of gluten can be enough to cause symptoms for someone with coeliac disease, so make sure you minimise the risk of cross contamination with gluten-containing foods. Do this by washing down kitchen surfaces before use, using separate butters, spreads and jams to minimise the spread of crumbs and invest in some toaster bags to keep your gluten-free bread separate.
6. Avoid sauces containing gluten
Lots of pasta sauces, gravies, stocks and condiments contain wheat flour, and therefore gluten, so ensure you read the label and exclude anything that isn’t suitable. Instead, try making your own pasta sauces and gravies using cornflour, arrowroot or potato starch to thicken them for a gluten-free option.
7. Experiment in the kitchenflour
Finding the right gluten-free substitute for your usual gluten-containing ingredients is a matter of personal taste, so spend time in the kitchen getting used to gluten-free flours and baking aids.
8. Remember, gluten-free meals can be just as delicious and healthy too
Once diagnosed with coeliac disease, you can start to make positive changes to your diet to improve your health.
Navaratri is just around the corner, and it will culminate into Dussehra. Each of the nine days of the festival is dedicated to nine forms of Goddess Shakti.
It is a time of fasting, and it is considered to be the best time to cleanse the body and make the body stronger. Most people who undergo fasting do not consume pulse, grain, and meat during this period which would make the body devoid of essential nutrients. It is important to make the most of this time, it’s also important to stay healthy and maintain a diet that helps you get through the coming 9 days of continuous fasting. Hence, here is an insight into how to carry on with the fasting and enjoy the festive spirit healthily.
Tips To Fasting In A Healthy Way!
Fasting is an age-old phenomenon, practiced for ages for religious purposes aimed at improving good health if done right. Embrace the joy of festival with the best of fasting recipes. From old favorurites to new ones, indulge in a lot more than just a usual fare-
#Recipe1: Banana Walnut Lassi Recipe
#Recipe2: Sabudana Khichdi Recipe
#Recipe3: Sabudana Bhel Recipe
If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Dietitian/Nutritionist.