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Popped Amaranth Can Improve Blood Vessels and Cholesterol

Amaranth is a tiny grain that is often eaten popped, like popcorn, and is thought to have cholesterol lowering properties. To study this cholesterol lowering process, researchers in New Zealand fed 27 rabbits a high cholesterol diet or standard diet, and then gave some of the rabbits in the high cholesterol group popped amaranth. The scientists found that eating amaranth restored endothelial function (blood vessel health) to “nearly normal” during the 21-day recovery, and also substantially lowered total cholesterol and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.  
Food & Function. 2014 Nov 19;5(12):3281-6. (Caselato-Sousa V M et al.).

Cholesterol / Serum Lipids
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Sprouting Amaranth Can Increase Antioxidants

In a study in Mexico, researchers sprouted amaranth at different conditions to see which would maximize antioxidant activity. The scientists found that sprouting was able to increase antioxidant activity (300-470%), total phenolic content (829%), and flavonoid content (213%), and that the ideal time and temperature for sprouting amaranth was 30 degrees C for 78 hours. Additionally, protein and fiber content also showed increases from sprouting.
Plant Foods For Human Nutrition. 2014 Sep;69(3):196-202 (Perales-Sanchez JX et al.)

Diet Quality / Nutrients
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Health Through Heritage with Whole Grains in India

Scientists at Columbia University and Stanford collaborated to reflect on the association between rapidly rising rates of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease in India, and the adoption of refined carbohydrates – especially white rice and white flour – in that country. They advocated re-introduction of whole grains commonly consumed before 1950, including amaranth, barley, brown rice, millet, and sorghum, as a way to stem chronic disease in culturally-sensitive ways.
Nutrition Reviews, August 2011; 69(8):479-488

Diabetes / Insulin / Glucose
Heart / Cardiovascular Disease
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Amaranth Offers Advantages for Gluten Free Baking

Many gluten-free products are low in nutrients, and offer technological challenges to food processors. Scientists at the Research Center for Food and Development in Hermosillo, Mexico, experimented with amaranth, a food with a long culinary tradition in Mexico. They found that bread formulation with 60-70% popped amaranth flour and 30-40% raw amaranth flour produced loaves with an even crumb and higher volume than most gluten-free breads, and that cookies formulated with 20% popped amaranth flour and 13% whole grain popped amaranth also worked out well. Both foods offered acceptible dough functionality without some of the additives often needed in GF foods, and the final foods had a very high nutritional value.
Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, August 24, 2010 [Epub ahead of print]

Diet Quality / Nutrients
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