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Amaranth or Rajgira:Why is amaranth banned in the US?

Amarnath or Rajgira leave or seed

Amaranth is the name for a group of grains, three of which are grown for their edible seeds. Technically, amaranth (like quinoa) is a pseudocereal, not a grain, but it is used like a grain and considered a whole grain due to its similar nutrient profile. Amaranth originated in Peru but is now available around the world. In areas like India, Mexico, and Nepal, amaranth is an essential ingredient in traditional breakfast porridge.
Amaranth is popular with those who follow a gluten-free diet. It is high in protein and packed with nutrition, making it a smart staple to keep on hand for any meal.

It's interesting to note that the name is derived from the Greek term ‘Amarantos’ that means “one that does not wither,”. It is grown all throughout India, since, it can grow in harsh and lackluster nutrient conditions. Furthermore, it is cultivated from the high slopes of the Himalayas to the many coastlines of the country.

Nutrition Facts of Amaranth

Amaranth is a great source of protein, fiber, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and iron. It helps keep your digestive system regulated, build your strength, and reduce the risk of fracture or broken bones.

According to the USDA, one cup (approximately 246 grams) of cooked amaranth grain has about:

✓251 calories
✓46 grams carbohydrates
✓9.3 grams protein
✓3.9 grams fat
✓5.2 grams fiber
✓2.1 milligrams manganese (105 percent DV)
✓160 milligrams magnesium (40 percent DV)
✓364 milligrams phosphorus (36 percent DV)
✓5.2 milligrams iron (29 percent DV)
✓13.5 micrograms selenium (19 percent DV)
✓0.4 milligram copper (18 percent DV)
✓0.3 milligram vitamin B6 (14 percent DV)
✓54.1 micrograms folate (14 percent DV)
✓2.1 milligrams zinc (14 percent DV)
✓116 milligrams calcium (12 percent DV)
✓332 milligrams potassium (9 percent DV)

Health benefits of Amaranth leaves

1.High in Fiber

Amaranth leaves are rich in soluble and insoluble fibre that has many benefits. Eating fibre helps us to reduce our weight and wards off heart disease as it lowers the cholesterol in the blood. Amaranth is high in protein and fibre, both of which may help reduce appetite and increase weight loss.

2.High in antioxidants

The human body contains harmful free radicals. Antioxidants are natural compounds that help in protecting the body against these free radicals. Amaranth carries high quantities of phenolic acid, vanillic acid, p-hydroxybenzoic acid, and gallic acid that helps in protecting you against many degenerative diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer.  

3.cardiovascular disease

Russian researchers used a 1996 study conducted on chickens as a model to determine whether or not amaranth would also show benefits for patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD). Patients who presented with coronary heart disease and hypertension not only showed benefits from the inclusion of amaranth in their diets, researchers also saw a decrease in the amounts of total cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL significantly.

4.Promotes Bone Health

Being rich in calcium and phosphorous, amaranth helps build bone strength and reduces risk of osteoporosis. Since it contains lysine (an essential amino acid found rarely in plants), it helps the body absorb calcium.

5.Helps to lose weight

The leaves and grains of Amaranth assist in losing weight by releasing the sated hormone from the appetite. The dietary fiber makes to feel for a long time which eliminates the snack between the meals.

6.Good for hair

Lysine plays an important role in maintaining healthy and lustrous locks. Topical application of amaranth juice to hair prevents hair fall and treats brittle hair. Amaranth leaves inhibit premature hair graying.

Why is amaranth banned in the US?

Amaranth (or red dye #2) is banned in the United states, as well as in many other countries, due to a link to cancer. It was banned in 1976 by the FDA. Red dye 2 was found, in an extensive study, to cause malignant tumors in rats. This study made its way to the FDA, where many consumers, as well as scientists, basically forced the FDA to ban it in all food products.

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