South Africa: Amaranth - the Gluten-Free Plant High in Protein and Anti-Oxidants

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With impressive health benefits, amaranth has been praised for centuries for its nutritional qualities. Here's what you need to know about this gluten-free superfood plant.

A staple grain in many cultures - with origins traced back to pre-Columbian Aztecs - and eaten for centuries across the world, the amaranth plant has a two-fold offering - the seed and the leaf. These offer a variety of nutritive elements. The first, and more commonly used part of the amaranth plant, is the seed, also referred to as the grain (although not technically one), which can be likened to quinoa and prepared in a similar way (aka, cooked in boiling water or popped like popcorn). The second is the leaf, which is similar in nutritional value and texture to that of spinach, beets and Swiss chard.

If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, amaranth might work as the perfect protein boost as it is known to have 30% more protein than other grains. A study published in Plant Foods for Human Nutrition states that, "the amaranth protein is among the highest in nutritive quality of vegetable origin and close to those of animal origin products." This superfood seed is also incredibly high...

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