The word amaranth means "everlasting" in Greek. Indeed, this tiny seed has endured the ages, as an important food source for ancient civilizations in South America and Mexico, to its current resurgence as a highly nutritious gluten-free grain. It can be can be used as a high-protein grain or as a leafy vegetable, and has potential as a forage crop. Each year more and more of it is grown in the USA. Grain amaranth plants are about five to seven feet tall when mature, and are dicots (broadleaf) plants with thick, tough stems similar to sunflower. The tiny, lens-shaped seeds are one millimeter in diameter and usually white to cream-colored, while the seeds of the pigweed are dark-colored and lighter in weight.
There are many good reasons why you should be planting some of Home Farm Herbery’s Amaranth, Herb (Non-Hybrid/Non-GMO) heirloom seeds in your garden and here are a few of them. Several studies have shown that amaranth seed or oil may be of benefit for those with hypertension and cardiovascular disease. - Regular consumption reduces blood pressure and cholesterol levels - Also shown to have high antioxidant properties
Seeds are very small, so it is important to have a fine, firm seedbed and it is 85 days to Maturity. You can get our seeds at http://www.localharvest.org/amaranth-herb-seeds-non-hybrid-non-gmo-C24898
Amaranth contains more magnesium than other gluten-free grains. 1 cup of raw amaranth contains 519 milligrams of magnesium, followed by buckwheat with 393 milligrams and sorghum with 365 milligrams. In comparison, an equal amount of white rice contains 46 milligrams of magnesium.
Amaranth contains more protein than any other gluten-free grain- and more protein than wheat. One cup of raw amaranth contains 28.1 grams of protein. Oats are a close second with 26.3 grams of protein. In comparison, 1 cup of raw white rice contains 13.1 grams of protein.
Amaranth is second only to teff in calcium content. 1 cup of raw teff contains 347 milligrams of calicum, amaranth 298 milligrams. In comparison, 1 cup of white rice contains 52 milligrams.
Amaranth is an excellent source of lysine, an important amino acid (protein). Grains are notorious for low lysine content, which decreases the quality of their proteins. The high lysine content in amaranth sets it apart from other grains. Food scientists consider the protein content of amaranth of high "biological value", similar in fact, to the proteins found in milk. This means that amaranth contains an excellent combination of essential amino acids and is well absorbed in the intestinal tract.
Amaranth is slightly lower in carbohydrate content compared to other gluten-free grains. 1 cup of raw amaranth contains 129 grams of carbohydrates, white rice 148 grams, brown rice and sorghum 143 grams and teff 141 grams of carbohydrates. Oats contain 103 grams of carbohydrates, making them the lowest carb gluten free grain.
Amaranth is a good source of polyunsaturated fatty acids (as are most whole grains) and it contains vitamin E in similar amounts to olive oil.
Amaranth contains more iron than other gluten-free grains. 1 cup of raw amaranth contains 15 milligrams of iron. Teff is a close second with 14.7 milligrams of iron. In comparison, white rice contains 1.5 milligrams of iron.
Amaranth contains more fiber than other gluten-free grains. 1 cup of raw amaranth contains 18 grams of fiber- buckwheat and millet contains 17 grams. In comparison, white rice contains 2.4 grams of fiber.
Maybe this is a crop for your garden!