Highly Nutritious Underutilized Crop…Amaranth

Amaranth is an herb or sometime Vegetable grain (Pseudo cereal) locally called as Latte in Nepali. It has high nutritional value  and can be the best alternative source to paddy (rice). In context to our country rice is considered as one and only  staple food which is the main reason of Nutritional deficiency. Amaranth is underutilized exploited grain  recognized potentially as functional food it contains high level of protein and dietary fibre. Amaranth is a good source of Vit-A, Vit-C, Vit-E and Vit-B. It is a very good source of minerals like potassium, Calcium, magnesium and many more. It is considered as Functional food having positive influences in the prevention and control of several human diseases especially for cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

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Grain Amaranth

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Source: Davidson, 2006; and WHO database, 2004

                                                                                                                         

 

 

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Table: – Mineral Composition mg per 100g of the amaranth and some common grains
Source: Davidson, 2006

 

 

 

 

 

 

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                                         Vegetable amaranth

 

 

Amaranth is potential functional food and has property to prevent chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease and diabetes. This crop is superior from the Nutritional point of view. It contains ample vitamins and mineral value as compared to a Nepalese chief diet of rice and wheat.

 

 

Ordinary maize meal supplemented with little as 12.7% (by weight) of toasted amaranth flour provides a nutritionally superior source of protein that can satisfy a good portion of protein requirement of young children, and provides approximately

70% of dietary energy. (Morales et al., 1988). Amaranth protein has well balanced of essential amino acids with high biological value and nutritional superiority.

 

This underutilized crop needs to be promoted to escape from the devastating situation of Nutritional Insecurity in western Nepal.

 

 

 

 

 

 
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