Amaranth is fast becoming a nutritious showstopper of sorts in the country now. Did you know that the pseudo grain has been a part of Aztec diet (diet of central Mexico and meso Americans) since 8000 years! Also known as ramdana in Hindi, amaranth seeds are gluten-free in nature and are packed with health-benefiting properties. Amaranth seeds contain phytosterols, a class of plant hormone that helps regulate cholesterol and boosts heart health. They are also packed with anti-inflammatory components like lunasin, which helps fight inflammation and keeps you immune from diseases like cold, hypertension and diabetes. Not just the seeds, even the leaves of the plants are a hit for their rich nutritive profile and flavour. Amaranth leaves also called 'chaulai' in Hindi are available all through the winter months in northern India. These greens are rich in folate, fibre and a host of antioxidants and phytonutrients. Both amaranth seeds and amaranth leaves make for an excellent addition to weight loss diets.
Here's Why You Should Include Amaranth In Your Weight Loss Diet
1. High Quality Protein: Amaranth grains are a good source of plant-based proteins and amino acids. If you are on a weight loss spree, you may be well aware of the role of protein in cutting down the bulge. Protein helps increases levels of appetite-reducing hormones like GLP-1, PYY and CCK, while reducing levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin. If you feel full, you would naturally binge less and commit to your weight loss diet better.
2. Rich In Fibre: Both amaranth leaves and seeds are loaded with fibre too. Fibre takes long to break down and digest. It induces a sense of satiety and fullness, which prevents you from reaching out to fattening foods in a short spell of time. You can cook chaulai ka saag and have it with ragi or buckwheat rotis.
3. Helps in Detox: According to the book 'Healing Foods' by DK Publishing house, amaranth grain is packed with squalene, a strong antioxidant that can help reduce the impact of toxic substances on our system. Detox is an essential part of a weight loss regime. A clean and toxin-free diet has been linked to quicker weight loss.
You can cook amaranth seeds as you cook your rice and have it with seasonal vegetables. You could also toast them lightly and add to your salads and stir fries, or grind them to flour.
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