Deidre from New York writes:
‘Hey there Kurma! So nice to see you on Facebook. Your daily blog comes right through to your page. Good reading! Was wondering if anyone had asked you about Amaranth before. My yoga teacher raves about it. Any information, please?
Hi Deidre! Amaranth is one of the most nutritionally wonderful pseudo-grains in existence, especially for vegetarians, since it contains some very rare and valuable amino acids normally only found in animal-origin foods. Amaranth seeds, like buckwheat and quinoa, contain protein that is unusually complete for plant sources. Most fruits and vegetables do not contain a complete set of amino acids, and thus different sources of protein must be used.
Several studies have shown that like oats, amaranth seed or oil may be of benefit for those with hypertension and cardiovascular disease; regular consumption reduces blood pressure and cholesterol levels, while improving antioxidant status and some immune parameters. While the active ingredient in oats appears to be water soluble fibre, amaranth appears to lower cholesterol via its content of plant stanols and squalene.
I often eat puffed amarath for breakfast. It makes a great food on Ekadasi fasting days when grain-based dishes are eschewed. It can be sprinkled on other cereal, but I also make it into a porridge. Mainstream supermarkets in Australia carry it on the shelves near regular breakfast cereals. Healthfood shops always carry it.
In Sanskrit, mara means death. Amara means deathless. The word in Ancient Greek (a descendant of Sanskrit) carries the same import – amaranthus: never-fading, never-dying.
Aesop�s Fables (6th century BC) compares the Rose to the Amaranth to illustrate the difference in fleeting and everlasting beauty:
A Rose and an Amaranth blossomed side by side in a garden, and the Amaranth said to her neighbour,
“How I envy you your beauty and your sweet scent!
No wonder you are such a universal favourite.”
But the Rose replied with a shade of sadness in her voice,
“Ah, my dear friend, I bloom but for a time:
my petals soon wither and fall, and then I die.
But your flowers never fade, even if they are cut;
for they are everlasting.”
much more fascinating information on Amaranth…