Amaranth is a cereal that has been around since ancient times. Its history is deeply embedded in the cultures of the pre-Colombian new world. There are reasons to believe that the Aztecs used it extensively. The grain is able to tolerate harsh weather conditions and also has a high nutrient profile, particularly proteins. Its lysine content in particular is noteworthy. Amaranth has been seen as a means of curbing malnutrition and food insecurity owing to these properties. There are several pseudocereals that have competed with Amaranth for the top spot as a candidate to prevent several nutrient deficiencies. Millet, barley, quinoa and buckwheat are some of those nutrient-dense pseudocereals. However, the nutrient profile of Amaranth is far superior, and the ease of its cultivation has led to it being selected as a grain for cultivation in continents such as Africa where malnutrition and food insecurity are significantly prevalent. Thus, due to the rising nutritional, health and wellness needs of the global population and to provide nutrition for the malnourished, Amaranth appears to be the most viable selection out of all cereals and pseudocereals.
Part of the book: Nutritional Value of Amaranth