Nutritional Value and Utilization of Amaranthus (Amaranthus spp.) – A Review
Amaranth consists of 60-70 species, 40 of which are considered native to the Americas. They are grown in the temperate and tropical climates, and are used as grain or vegetable. They are highly nutritious, contain vitamins and minerals. The leaves, shoots, tender stems and grains are eaten as pot herb in sauces or soups, cooked with other vegetables, with a main dish or by itself. The plants are used as forage for livestock. Traditionally, the boiled leaves and roots are used as: laxative, diuretic, anti-diabetic, antipyretic, anti-snake venom, antileprotic, anti-gonorrheal, expectorant, to relieve breathing in acute bronchitis. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, immunomodulatory activity, anti-androgenic activity and anthelmintic properties.
Keywords: Amaranth, species, nutritional value, anti- nutritional factors, nitrates