Amaranth Flour Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

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Though it may feel like amaranth just hit the food scene, this grain was a staple food item in the Aztec diet. Technically, amaranth is not a cereal grain like wheat or oats but is classified as a pseudocereal. Since it contains many of the same nutrients as these cereal grains it's usually included in the same category, nutritionally.

Amaranth is naturally gluten-free, and contains fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It makes a nutritious addition to your diet. Here is a look at the nutrition facts, health benefits, and uses of amaranth flour.

Amaranth Flour Nutrition Facts

This nutrition information for 1/4 cup (30 grams) of amaranth flour comes from the USDA.

  • Calories: 110
  • Fat: 2g
  • Sodium: 6mg
  • Carbohydrates: 20g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 4g
  • Calcium: 40mg
  • Iron: 2.16mg
  • Vitamin C: 1.2mg


Carbs

Like other grains and starches, carbohydrates are the primary nutrient in amaranth flour. A 1/4 cup serving (30 grams) provides 20 grams of total carbohydrates and 2 grams of fiber. Carbohydrates are your body’s main and preferred source of energy. Amaranth flour is a complex carbohydrate and provides long-lasting energy.

Fats

Like most flours, amaranth flour has very little fat, with 2 grams of fat per 1/4 cup serving.

Protein

The whole-grain flour has 4 grams of protein per 30-gram serving. And, unlike many other grains, the protein in amaranth flour is a complete protein, providing all the essential amino acids. 

Vitamins and Minerals

Whole-grain amaranth flour is a source of some essential vitamins and minerals. The flour provides 12% of the daily value for iron, 4% of the daily value for calcium, and 2% of the daily value for vitamin C.

Calories

One 30-gram serving of amaranth flour has 110 calories. More than 70% of the calories in the flour comes from carbohydrates, with the rest coming from equal amounts of protein and fat. 

Health Benefits

There are a number of benefits to including amaranth flour in your diet. Here is an overview of the potential health benefits of amaranth flour.

Rich in Antioxidants 

Antioxidants serve as your body’s defense system against free radicals, which are substances that react with cells in your body, causing damage that may increase the risk of certain types of cancer and heart disease.

Amaranth is rich in many good-for-you nutrients, including phenolic compounds, which are a type of phytochemicals found in plants. In the diet, these phenolic compounds act as antioxidants, protecting your body from free radicals.

May Help Improve Blood Pressure

About half of all adults in the United States have high blood pressure and only about one-quarter of those adults have their blood pressure under control. High blood pressure increases your risk of heart disease.

Amaranth flour is an excellent source of high-quality protein, dietary fiber, and minerals. The ancient grain also contains peptides—a protein made up of a short string of amino acids that have antihypertensive activity. This means that they may help contribute to lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure.

Though more research is needed, adding this nutritious whole-grain flour to your eating plan may help you improve your blood pressure numbers. 

May Improve Cholesterol Numbers

Like high blood pressure, high cholesterol is a common health condition that increases your risk of heart disease. Genetics contributes greatly to risk for high cholesterol, as do some lifestyle factors.

Amaranth flour is an excellent source of fiber and researchers are investigating how the grain may help improve cholesterol numbers. Though animal studies show amaranth may lower total cholesterol, the few clinical studies involving humans have not provided conclusive results or convincing enough data to make health claims.

Good for Digestion

Most of the fiber in this ancient grain is insoluble fiber. This type of fiber speeds up the movement of food through your digestive tract and adds bulk to your stool. Adding amaranth flour and other high-fiber foods to your diet improves your overall digestion and health as well as helps to prevents constipation (as long as there is adequate hydration).

Fits the Gluten-Free Diet

Amaranth flour is gluten-free. If you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance, you can add amaranth flour to your list of gluten-free foods. You may use gluten-free flour to make baked goods, bread, or as a thickening agent in your soups or stews. 

Complete Protein for Vegans

One of the unique nutritional qualities of amaranth is its protein content. Unlike other grains, amaranth provides all the essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. If you follow a vegan diet, you may be searching for nutritious sources of complete protein.

Though amaranth does not provide enough protein to come close to that of something like tofu, tempeh, beans or lentils, it does contain complete protein and therefore can be an option for adding more protein to a vegan diet when used as a flour or cooked whole grain.

Varieties

Like wheat and oats, amaranth is also available as a whole grain. One cup of the cooked grain has 251 calories, 9 grams of protein, 4 grams of fat, 46 grams of carbohydrates, and 5 grams of fiber per cup of cooked grain.

You may also find amaranth as an ingredient in bread, snack bars, and cereal. However, these boxed goods may not be gluten-free. Be sure to check the label if you need to avoid gluten.  

Storage and Food Safety

You can store your amaranth flour in the pantry or freezer. It stays fresh for up to 2 months in the pantry after the date of purchase and up to 4 months in the freezer.

How to Prepare

There are many ways you can add amaranth flour to your menu. The nutrient-rich flour makes a good substitute for other flours when making flatbreads like tortillas or chapati. The nutty flavor of the flour also works well with baked goods like muffins, cookies, and pancakes. 

When using amaranth flour in baked goods, replace 1/4 of your usual flour with the amaranth flour to get the best results. Amaranth flour absorbs liquids, which may create a very dry muffin or cookie. Combining amaranth with other lighter flours may improve the taste of your goodie. Amaranth flour also works well as a thickening agent for soups, sauces, and gravies. 

Recipes



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11 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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