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Nutrition Value and Health Benefits of Amaranth Leaves

Amaranth leaves are becoming popular due to the fact that they are loaded with essential nutrients and vitamins. Amaranth greens are consumed more than seeds even though seeds are also a good source of gluten-free protein. But again, people prefer to eat fresh and green for good reasons. Amaranth is a tropical tall and broadleaf plant that can be sowed throughout the year. The color of the plant leaves varies depending on the region where it grows. You can find it in green, gold, red or purple color. Amaranth leaves were once the staple food for Incas and Aztecs, presently it grows in tropical and subtropical environments of Latin America, Africa, and Asia.

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This tiny broad plant belongs to the family of Amaranthaceae in the genus; Amaranthus.

Nutrients Value:

Amaranth leaves are loaded with phytonutrients and antioxidants which aids in inflammation and increases nutrition to prolong general health. For detail nutritive value look at the table below.

The table below include in depth analysis of Amaranth greens nutrients per 100 g. (Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)

Principle

Nutrient Value

Percentage of RDA

Energy

23 Kcal 1%

Carbohydrates

4.02 g

3%

Protein

2.46 g

4%

Total Fat

0.33 g

1.5%

Cholesterol

0 mg

0%

Dietary Fiber

2.2 g

6%

Vitamins

Folates

85 µg 21%
Niacin 0.658 mg

4%

Pantothenic acid

0.065 mg 1%
Pyridoxine 0.192 mg

15%

Riboflavin

0.158 mg 12%

Thiamin

0.027 mg 2%

Vitamin A

2917 IU

97%

Vitamin C 43.3 mg

70.5%

Vitamin K 1140 µg

950%

Electrolytes

Sodium

20 mg 1.3%
Potassium 611 mg

13%

Minerals

Calcium

215 mg 21.5%

Copper

0.162 mg 18%

Iron

2.32 mg

29%

Magnesium

55 mg

14%

Manganese

0.885 mg

38%

Phosphorus 50 mg

7%

Zinc 0.90 mg

8%

https://www.nutrition-and-you.com/amaranth-greens.html

The table below includes in depth analysis of Amaranth greens nutrients per 100 g. (Source: FoodData Central)

Name

Amount

Unit

Water

91.69

g

Energy

23 kcal

Energy

97

kJ

Protein 2.46

g

Total lipid (fat)

0.33

g

Ash

1.5 g
Carbohydrate, by difference 4.02

g

Calcium, Ca

215 mg
Iron, Fe 2.32

mg

Magnesium, Mg

55

mg

Phosphorus, P

50

mg

Potassium, K

611 mg
Sodium, Na 20

mg

Zinc, Zn

0.9 mg
Copper, Cu 0.162

mg

Manganese, Mn

0.885

mg

Selenium, Se

0.9 µg

Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid

43.3

mg

Thiamin 0.027

mg

Riboflavin

0.158 mg
Niacin 0.658

mg

Pantothenic acid

0.064 mg
Vitamin B-6 0.192

mg

Folate, total

85 µg
Folic acid 0

µg

Folate, food

85 µg
Folate, DFE 85

µg

Vitamin B-12

0 µg
Vitamin A, RAE 146

µg

Retinol

0 µg
Vitamin A, IU 2917

IU

Vitamin D (D2 + D3), International Units

0 IU
Vitamin D (D2 + D3) 0

µg

Vitamin K (phylloquinone)

1140 µg
Fatty acids, total saturated 0.091

g

Fatty acids, total monounsaturated

0.076 g
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated 0.147

g

Fatty acids, total trans

0 g
Cholesterol 0

mg

Tryptophan

0.031 g
Threonine 0.099

g

Isoleucine

0.119 g

Leucine

0.195 g
Lysine 0.127

g

Methionine

0.036 g
Cystine 0.029

g

Phenylalanine

0.133 g
Tyrosine 0.08

g

Valine

0.137 g
Arginine 0.121

g

Histidine

0.052 g
Alanine 0.139

g

Aspartic acid

0.229 g
Glutamic acid 0.292

g

Glycine

0.132 g
Proline 0.121

g

Serine

0.111

g

Health Benefits of Amaranth Leaves

Amaranth leaves are a warehouse of numerous antioxidants, minerals, phytonutrients, and vitamins which contribute exceptionally in overall health and wellness.

This broad little plant is rich in dietary fiber that can help us to reduce weight and lower cholesterol in the blood. It is also recommended to include in the diet by doctors and nutrient experts for people who want to lose weight or people with high blood pressure.

100g of leaves contain only 23 calories and no cholesterol. It is the ideal food for people with high blood pressure and people on the path of losing weight.

Amaranth green leaves contain 2.32mg of iron that is a significant amount of daily routine intake. Iron is an essential trace element responsible for the production of red blood cells.

Fresh leaves are among the richest sources of Vitamin-C. Only 100g raw leaves contain 43.3mg of Vitamin C that is about 70% of daily recommended intake. Vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant, it plays an important role in wound healing and protection against infections. It helps form and conserves bone, skin, and blood vessels.

Amaranth has a good amount of Vitamin-A that is an essential element for keeping skin healthy. It is vital for eye health as well. Amaranth can provide 97% of the daily routine intake of vitamin-A. Eating vegetables, fruits, and seeds rich in Vitamin-A can help protect the lung and oral cavity from cancers. Amaranth also contains flavonoid polyphenolic antioxidants such as β-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. These flavonoid polyphenolic antioxidants with Vitamin-A works as a protective shield against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS).

Amaranth may be the only vegetable that contains the highest concentration of Vitamin-K. Only 100g of Amaranth can provide 1140ug i.e. 950% of the daily recommended intake of Vitamin-K. Vitamin-K plays a crucial role in strengthening bone by advocating osteoblastic activity in bone cells.

A sufficient number of B-complex vitamins can be found in Amaranth such as folates, riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, vitamin B6, and vitamin-b12. They help avert defects in newborns, they are also needed for the favorable physical health of skin, lips, tongue, and immune system. Vitamin-B6 deficiency can lead to tiredness and low energy so eating green amaranth can help in a lot of these problems.

Amaranth leaves contain a high dose of potassium, which is an important component of the cell and body fluids. Potassium helps regulate heart rate and blood pressure.

Furthermore, Amaranth has a high concentration of other crucial elements such as manganese, magnesium, copper, and zinc. Manganese and copper are utilized as co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase by the human body. Copper is also required for producing red blood cells.

The ongoing research has proved this broad little plant and its seeds a promising food containing high nutrition value. Amaranth grains are used as cereals in Europe and America, while leaf varieties are heavily cultivated in Asia and Africa.

Cultivation Time And Storage Life

Amaranth is an annual crop with short cultivation time as its leaves can be cultivated within 4-6 weeks after sowing. It grows well in temperature above 25 ℃, regions with temperatures lower than 15 ℃ are not ideal for its cultivation. It like fertile soil.

For tropical regions, it can be found in the market throughout the year. Always buy fresh leaves that are packed in bunches. Go for the green leaves and avoid leaves with yellowish discoloring and spots. Also, avoid large leaves as they have thick stems. After bringing Amaranth home wash it a few times carefully with cold water. Store it in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for 2-3 days only so consume it within 3 days to get the most nutritive benefits.

Ali Zubair is a data processing expert and blogger. He enjoys talking and writing about technology, travel, health and fashion... subjects you can read about on his blog, The Sage Insider.

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