The health benefits of Amaranth grain are such that it helps in optimising the metabolism, prevents heart attacks, helps in improving digestion, provides hair care, boosts the immune system, supports patients suffering from Celiac Disease, controls diabetes, promotes growth of muscles, prevents cataracts, combats Anaemia, has anti-carcinogenic property, prevents osteoporosis.
Amaranth, which is classified as a pseudocereal, is grown for its edible starchy seeds like cereals, but it does not belong to the family of cereals such as wheat and rice. The yield of grain amaranth is comparable to that of rice or maize. It was a staple food of the Aztecs and an integral part of Aztec religious ceremonies. The cultivation of amaranth was banned by the conquistadores upon their conquest of the Aztec nation. However, the plant has grown as a weed since then, so its genetic base has been largely maintained. Grain amaranth is also grown as a food crop in limited amounts in Mexico, where it is used to make a candy called alegría (Spanish for joy) at festival times.
A 100g of Amaranth grain serves with 102 calories of energy. The fat content is 1.6g, sodium is 6mg, carbohydrate is 19g, fibre is 2.1g, protein is 3.8g, calcium is 5%, iron is 12%. Among the vitamins present in amaranth grains, Folate is 22.00 mcg, Niacin is 0.235 mg, Riboflavin is 0.022 mg, Thiamine is 0.015 mg, Vitamin B6 is 0.113 mg, Vitamin E is 0.19 mg, Alpha Tocopherol is 0.19 mg, Beta Tocopherol is 0.38 mg, Gamma Tocopherol is 0.24 mg, Gamma Tocotrienol is 0.02 mg. Among the minerals present, Copper is 0.149 mg, Calcium is 47.00 mg, Magnesium is 65.00 mg, Manganese is 0.854 mg, Potassium is 135.00 mg, Phosphorus is 135.00 mg, Selenium is 5.5 mcg, Sodium is 6.00 mg, Zinc is 0.86 mg. The Carbohydrate content is 18.69g and fibre is 2.1g.
One of the most desirable elements of amaranth grain is the fact that it features lysine in much larger quantities than other grains. Lysine is an essential amino acid (protein) for the human body, which makes amaranth a “complete protein”. This is very desirable for human health, as it delivers all the essential amino acids to create usable proteins within the body, thereby optimizing the metabolism and ensuring proper growth and development. This is why for indigenous cultures and those with limited access to diverse food sources, amaranth grain represents a vital component of their diet.
Amaranth contains a special amino acid called lysine. It also contains nutrients and minerals like magnesium, iron, phosphorous, potassium and vitamins C & E, to help eradicate free radicals that cause aging and lead to the formation of cancerous cells.
The phytosterols found in amaranth grain have been connected to lowering cholesterol levels, while the significant levels of dietary fiber also help to balance the cholesterol levels in the cardiovascular system, thereby lowering the chances of developing atherosclerosis and subsequently suffering from heart attacks or strokes. The rich potassium levels found in amaranth grain further boost heart health by relaxing the blood vessels. Potassium is a vasodilator, which means that it reduces strain and tension in the arteries and blood vessels, lowering blood pressure and reducing the chances of coronary heart disease.
As mentioned above, amaranth grain contains a high level of dietary fiber, which can help to optimize the digestive system and eliminate constipation, bloating, cramping, and more serious conditions, like colon cancer and gastric ulcers. Dietary fiber also helps to increase nutrient uptake efficiency, and with the high concentration of nutrients in the grain, this is a very important side effect of that dietary fiber.
The unique chemical makeup up amaranth grain has some rather unexpected benefits as well, including being a wonderful way to flatten wiry hair and increase luster and quality. Lysine is a critical amino acid that our body is unable to produce, so we must get it from our diets. Amaranth has higher levels of lysine than other grains, which makes it very important for hair health. Lysine has been linked to stronger, healthier hair, better roots, and a reduction in hair loss. One can reduce greying and hair loss by adding amaranth grains in their diet, although the exact pathway that benefit comes from is somewhat unclear.
Amaranth is rare for grains, in the sense that it has vitamin C, and this gives it an immune system-boosting edge over its dietary competitors. With high levels of vitamin C, amaranth grain can help boost the overall immune system, as vitamin C stimulates white blood cell production, and can also contribute to faster healing and repair of cells, due to its functional role in the production of collagen.
Like some other grains and grasses, amaranth grain is gluten-free, which is good news for those who suffer from Celiac disease. This disease prevalence has increased dramatically in recent years, partly explained by improved detection and testing techniques, but also due to a general change in our species’ dietary tolerances due to a wide range of environmental and dietary factors. In the coming years, the number of those suffering from Celiac disease (gluten intolerance) is expected to increase, making gluten-free grains like amaranth increasingly important.
Amaranth grain has the ability to lower insulin levels and control blood sugar intake through appetite control/suppression. This is an ideal situation for those at risk for diabetes, as elevated insulin levels and obesity are two of the causes or “red flags” for diabetes. Given the global pandemic nature of diabetes at present, anything able to lower those insulin levels is considered vitally important.
Acquiring protein in our diet is one of the most reliable ways to keep our bodies toned, developed, and functioning properly. The unusually high levels of plant proteins in amaranth make it an ideal addition to the diet if one wants to ensure the healthy growth of cells, muscles, tissues, and skin.
The vitamin A found in amaranth has a major effect on the health of our ocular system. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant that prevents the development of cataracts and can slow the onset of macular degeneration.
Amaranth is a rich source of essential nutrients and one of the richest sources of iron, with more than five times the iron than wheat. Amaranth leaves instigate coagulation and have been known to boost blood haemoglobin content and RBC counts.
Amaranth is one of the richest sources of calcium. It has been found to decrease the risk of calcium deficiencies, and in turn reduces the risk of bone diseases like weak joints (osteoporosis) and rheumatoid pains. It is one of the best replacements for all lactose-intolerant people.
Amaranth is a plant which has wide use in medical science. The leaf contains a small amount of vitamin C. Amaranth is used for the treatment of ulcers, diarrhoea, and swollen mouth and throat. It is also used to treat high cholesterol. In foods, amaranth is used as a cereal grain.
Amaranth has no known toxicities and is good for general consumption. However, it should not be eaten raw because it does contain certain natural anti-nutrients components, such as oxalates and nitrates, which can be eliminated by boiling and proper preparation. Precautions should be taken by people with special conditions. For people with intolerance to lysinuric protein, eating amaranth may cause diarrhoea and stomach pain. Moreover, another side effect of lysine increase body’s calcium absorption, and bring free, damage-causing amount of calcium in the body. So avoid taking large amounts of calcium and lysine at the same time. For people with hypoglycaemic concerns, eating too much amaranth could be potentially dangerous because of its ability to lower insulin levels. Care must be taken in this case.
Amaranth is thought to have represented up to 80% of their energy consumption before the Spanish conquest. Another important use of amaranth throughout Mesoamerica was to prepare ritual drinks and foods. To this day, amaranth grains are toasted much like popcorn and mixed with honey, molasses, or chocolate to make a treat called alegría, meaning 'joy' in Spanish.
Because of its importance as a symbol of indigenous culture, its gluten-free palatability, ease of cooking, and a protein that is particularly well-suited to human nutritional needs, interest in grain amaranth (especially A. cruentus and A. hypochondriacus) revived in the 1970s. It was recovered in Mexico from wild varieties and is now commercially cultivated. It is a popular snack sold in Mexico, sometimes mixed with chocolate or puffed rice, and its use has spread to Europe and parts of North America. Amaranth and quinoa are not grasses and are called pseudocereals because of their similarities to cereals in flavor and cooking.
Several species are raised for amaranth 'grain' in Asia and the Americas. Ancient amaranth grains still used include the three species, Amaranthus caudatus, Amaranthus cruentus, and Amaranthus hypochondriacus. Although amaranth was cultivated on a large scale in ancient Mexico, Guatemala, and Peru, nowadays it is only cultivated on a small scale there, along with India, China, Nepal, and other tropical countries; thus, the potential exists for further cultivation in those countries, as well as in the U.S. In a 1977 article in Science, amaranth was described as 'the crop of the future'.
You pass by that cake shop and happen to glance at a sumptuous chocolate cake, and then realization dawns on you that you are not allowed to eat simple sugar. Why? The answer to it is diabetes, for which you only have your pancreas to blame. Situated behind the stomach in your body, the pancreas is an organ whose role is to produce hormones and enzymes that aid in the digestive process. One of the hormones that the pancreas produces is insulin which is required by the body to metabolize sugar that is present in various foods.
So, if your pancreas does not produce the required amount of insulin or fails to utilize insulin effectively, it leads to accumulation of glucose in your blood. The improper functioning of the pancreas leads to diabetes. There are four types of diabetes and they are classified with respect to the manner in which the pancreas mal-functions:
Another common link
Pancreatitis is a condition that is marked by an inflammation of the pancreatic cells. This inflammation can damage the beta cells that produce insulin, thus resulting in diabetes. Factors that contribute to it are a poor diet, lack of exercise, presence of excessive calcium in the blood or excessive alcohol consumption.
How can you avoid the same?
It is best that you incorporate lifestyle changes if you have any of these disorders, and talk to your doctor about a treatment plan. Making a few simple lifestyle changes such as eating healthy, avoiding smoking and exercising on a regular basis can reduce the chances of you suffering from both diabetes and any other pancreatic problems.
Diabetes mellitus is a chronic condition wherein the body doesn’t metabolise sugar properly. Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, is responsible for carrying the sugar or glucose, from the bloodstream to the individual cells. When the pancreas fails to produce insulin, glucose builds up in your bloodstream and enters your urine. Homeopathy focuses on the overall health of the individual. Homeopathic medicines for diabetes include:
1. Abroma Augusta: This homeopathic medicine is best for diabetics who have weak muscles, increased appetites and frequent urination.
2. Phosphorus: If symptoms include weak vision, Phosphorus is the best remedy for it.
3. Syzygium Jambolanum: This is one of the best homeopathic remedies for diabetes mellitus. It acts efficiently and promptly in lowering sugar levels.
4. Phosphoric acid: If you feel exhausted or weak all the time, either physically or mentally, then Phosphoric acid is beneficial. Weak memory, forgetfulness and numb feet are also treated with Phosphoric acid.
1. Lachesis, Arnica, Belladonna and Phosphorus are combined in a treatment to treat retinopathy, which is damage to the eyes caused by diabetes.
2. Serum Anguillae, Arsenic Album and Lycopodium are used together to treat kidney damage (nephropathy) in diabetics.
3. Helonias, Sulphur and Phosphoric acid are taken to deal with neuropathy or nerve problems such as numbness in feet and hands.
4. Syzygium Jambolanum is combined with Secale Cornutum to treat skin ulcers, which is a common problem among diabetics.
5. For people suffering from constipation due to diabetes, Natrum Sulph, Defloratum and Carlsbad are the best medicines.
6. To improve weak memory, Phosphoric acid, Nux Vom and Kali Phos are the best remedies for diabetics.
7. Sometimes diabetics complain of extreme, incapacitating weakness. To improve energy and boost overall health, Carbo Veg, Phosphoric acid, Phosphorus and Arsenic Album are recommended.
1. Helps lower cholesterol:
Gram flour contains healthy unsaturated fats which help in lowering the cholesterol level of the body.
2. Controls diabetes:
It is a great food for diabetics. Use it in your rotis, paranthas as a replacement for flour.
3. Helps improve health of the heart:
Besan has high soluble fiber content which is beneficial for the health of the heart. It is also endorsed by the heart care foundation.
4. Helps getting rid of iron deficiency:
Being rich in iron, consumption of besan on a daily basis can help your body recover from iron deficiencies like anaemia.
5. Useful in pregnancy:
Gram flour is rich in folate, a vitamin which takes care of the foetus’ brain and spinal cord development and ensures a healthy well developed baby.
6. Helps during fatigue: gram flour is a good source of the vitamin thiamin which helps the body in converting food into energy.
7. Helps regulate mood and appetite: besan is rich in vitamin b6. Vitamin b6 is an important component involved in the synthesis of the neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin plays an important in mood and appetite regulation.
8. Helps regulate blood pressure:
The magnesium content of besan helps in maintaining vascular health and it also helps in the regulation of blood pressure.
9. Helps in strengthening of bones:
The phosphorous in gram flour combines with calcium in the body to help in the formation of bones.
10. Very. Effective for skin care and hair care.
Most of us today live a hectic life be it pressing deadlines or tiring social engagements, but in all this hustle and bustle we tend to often neglect our health. Do we know that today for all of us there is a great need for preventive care, especially in today's world where the threats are magnified. This also includes being able to get the proper guidance to imbibe a healthier lifestyle with regular tests and health checkups that will help us in knowing our present state of health and will help is in identifying risks and threats well in advance.
Osteoporosis is an age related condition characterized by low bone density and fragile bones. Lack of calcium and vitamin D are the most common triggers of this condition. These are vital elements for healthy teeth as well. Osteoporosis has a direct relationship with oral health and can trigger a number of issues such as loss of teeth and gum and periodontal disease. The effects of osteoporosis on oral health are seen more in women than in men.
This risk increases when talking about menopausal women.
The jawbone is one of the areas which bear the brunt of osteoporosis. The loss of bone density in this area can make teeth loose and cause tooth loss. It can also affect the gum ridges that hold dentures in their place. This can result in ill fitting dentures that need to be frequently changed.
Medication for osteoporosis is also linked to dental health. In rare cases, antiresorptive medicines that are prescribed to strengthen the bones can lead to a condition known as osteonecrosis. This refers to the death of a bone due to poor blood supply. Antiresorptive medication can be administered orally or intravenously with the latter having a higher risk of triggering osteonecrosis. Though it affects the hips and shoulder bones in most cases, it can also affect the jaw bone. It is marked by pain, swelling, infection and exposed bone. Loose teeth, gum infections and numbness or heaviness of the jaw are also symptoms of osteonecrosis of the jaw bone.
The risk of suffering from osteonecrosis cannot be determined beforehand. Hence it is a good idea to see your dentist before or just after starting antiresorptive treatment for osteoporosis and to schedule regular checkups for the duration of your treatment. Dental problems if any should be treated before starting medication for osteoporosis. Osteonecrosis of the jaw bone is most commonly seen after undergoing a dental procedure that affects the jawbone and associated tissues such as a tooth extraction. Ideally, invasive dental procedures should be avoided if you are taking antiresoptive medicines. However, it can also occur spontaneously.
Biophosphonates are also commonly prescribed to treat osteoporosis. This type of medication slows down the breakdown of bone tissue. However, this can lead to the development of new bones. This is not a troublesome issue when it comes to bones like the hip, leg or arm bones but can be very disruptive if it affects the jawbone. This is because the jaw bone is constantly reforming and reshaping itself.