Amaranto or Amaranth

What is the Amaranth or Amaranto?

The Amaranth, is an Andean Pseudocereal that grows in the Andean highlands being highlighted by its high level of proteins, calcium and phosphorus, even higher than other cereals and milk, being named as the best vegetable food for consumption, also known like Amarantus, kiwicha, kiguicha or Turkey mucus owns the scientific name of Amaranthus caudatus, part of the Amaranthaceae family.

The Amaranto belongs to the group of the best Andean Grains, it does not contain chemical compounds or fertilizers, it maintains a natural growth and flavor managing to maintain all its vitamins and nutrients, which makes it a totally organic food. At present it is highly valued, so much that has attracted the attention of the nasa thanks to its nutritional properties, for this reason it has been added to the diet of astronauts.

If you want to know everything about the Amaranth or Amaranto, here you will have all the necessary information to continue discovering more of this fabulous Andean Pseudocereal.

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Origin and cultivation of the Amaranth

The origin of the Amaranth or Amaranto is from the Andean regions of Peru and Mexico, this Andean Pseudocereal has been cultivated more than 4,000 years ago by the ancient Incas and Maya, although it is considered a rustic crop and it is estimated that it has been domesticated by the Going through the years It has also played an important role in the Inca culture and the Aztecs for the nutritional value, so much so that it was part of the nobility.

The plant of the Kiwicha or Amaranth is cultivated in the high regions of Latin countries such as Peru, Mexico, Bolivia, Ecuador and Argentina, between 1500 to 3600 meters above sea level, and the ideal temperature is 21º to 28ºC, although it can withstand higher temperatures than – 4ºC to 40ºC. Due to the knowledge of the powerful nutrients and benefits, countries like Russia, Iran, Siberia, China, Pakistan, Japan, Korea, etc., They added to the cultivation of this powerful Pseudocereal.

kiwicha planta

Characteristics and Types of the Amaranto

According to the characteristics of the Amaranth plant, it is herbaceous, measuring between 2 and 2.5 meters high in its mature state, although there are varieties that are even smaller, the cylindrical branches can get to decline and reach the height of the base of the plant, this is because they carry a great weight for the amount of seeds they carry.

The Amaranth flowers are beautiful and very seductive are those who carry the seeds sprouting from the main stem and can even reach up to 90 cm long, it is a plant that adapts easily to different ecosystems and has a type of photosynthesis (C4) very efficient that achieves that the growth is very accelerated and does not require any maintenance.

The Amaranthus is a very diversified pseudocereal account over 1200 species, thanks to the boom in popularity the cultuvo has become widespread in different parts of the world, adopted different names and ecotypes, these are the 10 most cultivated species worldwide:

  • Amaranthus leucocarpus S, Wats;
  • Amaranthus flavus L
  • The Amaranthus cruentus L
  • Amaranthus paniculatus L
  • The Amaranthus hybridus L
  • Amaranthus quitensis S
  • The Amaranthus tricolor L
  • Amaranthus gangeticus L
  • The Amaranthus tristis L
  • Amaranthus mangostanus L

Tipos de kiwicha

Nutritional properties of the Amaranto

Amaranth grain or Kiwicha is very popular for its high protein content between 13% and 18%, in the seeds concentrates an optimum content of amino acids, including lysine, cystine and methionine, calcium, phosphorus, iron, potassium, also vitamins of the B complex, vitamin E and zinc.

It also exceeds the amount of nutrients and vitamins to other foods that have the same attributes as Grain, Rye, Buckwheat, Rice and Milk.

The fiber of the Amaranth is much healthier because it is fine and soft, it contains a much better nutritional value than wheat and other cereals, so it is an extraordinary source of energy, just as it has thiamine and riboflavin.

kiwicha amaranthus alimento andino españa

I also highlight that the protein that has the Andean pseudocereal, contains 8 essential amino acids, including lysine, an amino acid that is not seen in most grains, making it an ideal food for vegetarians and vegans who know that Amaranth supports the growth and repair of cells.

Research carried out by experts confirm that 100g of Amaranto or Amaranthus contains twice the calcium as the same milk in the same proportion, highlighting its great nutritional value

You are not overestimating or exaggerating what the amaranto offers, to be a bit more explicit of the nutritional values ​​it contains, it shows a small comparison with the products with high value nutrients.

Comparison of nutritional propertie

Content of 100 grams
Amaranth Rye Milk
Proteins 14,0 % 13,0 % 3,5 %
Leucine 0,85 % 0,40 % 0,49 %
Carbohydrates 65 gr 73 gr 5 gr
Calcium  236 mg 38 gr 118 gr
Iron 10 mg 2,6 mg 0
Phosphorus 455 mg 376 mg 93 mg


Surely one of the characteristics of greater value of the Kiwicha, is the great concentration of essential minerals, for example; a glass of cooked Amaranthus provides the body, 29% iron PAD, 40% magnesium PAD, 36% phosphorus PAD and an immense 105% magnesium PAD; that is to say that only with a glass of this pseudocereal contributes me with all these nutrients.

He added that he also offers us twice the calcium of milk, potassium, zinc, copper and selenium and to finish he also gives us vitamin B6 and fotalo, although I do not have more vitamins, it is a powerful food.

An interview in Peru, a country where it is mostly grown, mentions that «These pseudocereals are a good nutritional alternative especially for children and older adults and they stand out for their excellent quality of proteins and minerals,» says Faviola Jiménez, director of the Peruvian Network of Food and Nutrition.

Amaranth nutritional table for every 100 grams

  • Energy            —————> 343 kcal
  • Protein            —————> 12.8 grams
  • Total Fat          —————> 6.6 grams
  • Carbohydrates —————> 69.1 mg
  • Fiber                —————> 2.5 grams
  • Calcium           —————> 236 mg
  • Iron                  —————> 7.32 mg
  • Vitamin C         —————> 1,3 mg
  • Phosphorus     —————> 455 mg
  • Leucine            —————> 0.85 grams

kiwicha amaranthus

What benefits does the Amaranth have?

What is the Amaranth good for and what is it good for? .There are many people who ask these questions, but you should know that this powerful Andean Pseudocereal offers a series of benefits, I will mention the 10 main benefits of Amaranthus.

Amaranth is ideal for celiacs

Of course, if, like Quinoa, Amaranthus does not contain gluten, being a good option for people intolerant to gluten and people suffering from celiac disease, more studies are showing indicating how harmful it is to our body, this is it must to that activates the Zonulina protein generating the closing of our intestinal cells originating an immune response and other damages more.

Fights physical wear

For the consumption of 100 grams kiwicha or Amaranth, our body receives almost 400 calories and energy which helps us to fight fatigue and be able to perform any physical activity, it is a pseudocereal recommended for athletes and athletes.

Does eating Amaranth change our mood?

Of course, if the consumption of kiwicha can achieve, tryptophan through metabolic processes becomes serotonin that allows us to be in a good mood suppressing the effects of stress and anxiety.

Its an ideal Pseudocereal for diabetics

Kiwicha helps to stabilize the levels of glucose and blood fat, being very advisable for diabetics and people with cholesterol problems.

Shows cardiovascular benefits

Recent studies reveal that the kiwicha could benefit the cardiovascular system, a publication in the American magazine Lipids in Heath and Disease revealed that a study was done on Amaranthus oil and showed beneficial results for those suffering from coronary heart disease, this news was published in January 2007.

Amaranthus improves brain function

The kiwicha is good for memory, because this super pseudocereal is that balances calcium, phosphorus and magnesium that can keep the brain in good condition.

By containing lysine (amino acid of high biological value) helps memory, intelligence and high learning, so it is recommended that children bring to school.

Its a Pseudocereal that satisfies hunger

Because it is a high fiber and protein food, the kiwicha or Amaranthus reduces the blood insulin levels, which helps to feel satiated, reduce the anxiety of eating and not gain weight.

Fights anemia

The body needs iron to maintain a balance, if we do not have enough we can cause one of the most common deficiencies such as anemia, the Amaranthus has a high content of iron which helps us maintain balance and maintain the energy we need.

Its an anti carcinogenic food

This Andean Pseudoceral has lusanine that is a substance that has anti-carcinogenic properties, preventing and curing several types of cancer, also has squalene is another substance that reduces the likelihood of cancer and has anti-tumor properties.

Amaranth boosts the immune system

Studies conducted confirm that the Andean Pseudocereal manages to increase the immunity function, due to the fact that it has powerful vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, the content of squalene found in Amaranthus oil is being used in immunological vaccines.

Other unknown benefits of Amaranth

Although we mentioned the benefits of Amaranthus, we can also highlight these benefits but of the plant, we show a list with the unknown benefits.

  • It is good to eliminate diarrhea, eat the cooked roots of Pseudocereal
  • Consuming ground seeds of Amaranth allows to control parasitic infections, especially amoebic dysentery.
  • The infusion made with the stem of the Amaranth serves as a laxative, to eliminate impurities from the body.
  • The thiamine content of Amaranth helps improve memory and concentration.
  • External application of the cooked leaves of Amaranth is used to reduce inflammation of the bladder.
  • Kiwicha consumption helps to cure throat irritation
  • The amaranth prevents and heals the problems of atherosclerosis, that is, narrowing of the arteries.

Beneficios kiwicha or amaranto Benefits (1) (1)

Recommended dose and contraindications of the Amaranto

At present there are no known contraindications to kiwicha, but they can cause negative effects of low proportion in people suffering from diarrhea, irritable bowel and intestinal irritation, in addition to people who do not consume fiber frequently.

The excess consumption of the kiwicha can reach fattening since 100 gr contains almost 400 calories, if consumed it is necessary to take an exercise routine so as not to reach overweight and take advantage of all its nutrients.

Questions about Amaranto

How many calories does the Amaranth have?

It is an Andean food with great nutritional properties has a regular amount of calories, but are nutritious for the body and great source of energy, this Andean tuber has 343 calories per 100 grams.

Does the Amaranth make you fat or thin?

The Amaranth does not get fat but it does not lose weight just by consuming it, if you want to lose weight this Pseudocereal is a great complement to do it, it helps to diminish the absorption of sugar in the blood, it calms the satiety of eating and increases your resistance and energy levels . With an exercise routine or practice sports, be sure that you will lose weight.

In what presentations can I buy the Amaranth?

You can buy it in different presentations such as; Amaranth powder, grain amaranth, swollen amaranth, amaranth oil or energy bars, the most important is the consumption of nutrients and their benefits.

Images of the Amaranto

Recipes with Amaranto

Amaranth is one of the Andean Foods with value in the market for its nutritional benefits and benefits, you can find recipes for food and dishes made with Kiwicha or Amaranth to lead a healthier, more nutritious life and a balanced diet

And if you ask yourself, how can I consume the Amaranth? Well here you will learn how to prepare, make or cook the Amaranth with these fabulous and nutritious recipes, you can enter by clicking on the images of the recipe you want to learn to cook or click on the following link to see (amaranth recipes).

If you can’t go to the recipes by clicking on the images, don’t worry, we leave you the links (Recipes in Spanish):
Kiwicha pudding
Kiwicha flan
Kiwicha Cookies

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