When Cordain was asked about Quinoa ( http://thepaleodiet.blogspot.com/2009/11/paleo-diet-q-11909_09.html ), he also mentioned Amaranth, saying the saponins found on these plants are a problem and could cause IBS and other gut issues. However, I read that amaranth's saponin numbers are lower than Quinoa's, and Quinoa's saponins can be removed for the most part after soaking them and washing the seeds:
Could this make amaranth flour and seeds saf-er than we think they are?
For the record, I eat amaranth greens, which is considered a superfood on its own, and it's totally safe paleo-wise. It's a common food in Greece from ancient times (Greek recipe picture: http://www.flickr.com/photos/eugenia_loli/5052708729/sizes/l/in/photostream/ ). However, we don't eat the seeds, only the greens. In fact, we STOP harvesting the greens when the plant has started seeding! My mother and grand-mother told me that, like nettles, when these plants are seeding, they are not safe to eat anymore. Is their traditional wisdom correct?
I also was wondering that maybe amaranth's seeds are a bit misunderstood by the Paleo researchers regarding its saponin amounts, or not. I mean, even asparagus has saponins... The question is, how much, and what kind? There's really very thin research about all this...
I am working on a review paper that will be submitted for publication in the next few months that covers the effects of sprouting on the nutrient profile of gluten-free grains. The types covered are amaranth, rice, millet, sorghum, corn, quinoa, and buckwheat.
I have found some very interesting things regarding nutrient content as well as antinutrients as a result of germination. I don't eat amaranth but after reading a lot about it I am not opposed to it, presuming it has been properly prepared. I would say the same for buckwheat and millet.
I'll include a link if/when it gets published.
I have posed this same question to others, and have gotten sub-optimal answers. On anecdote I do have is that birds "flock" and live in golden amaranth plants and will eat the black amaranth seeds from the red plants only after their other favorites are gone.
Saponins are good!!!!
horrsechestnut! vascular healthh! horsetail! Nettles!! dont panic!!!
i actually leearned to eat nettle seeds. esspecially in winter this is delicious. probabbly tthis is ddifferent in eevery region. nettles in greece are different than nettles in germany or in france orr in norway. The plant changes cuase tthe soil and the mineral cchanges. So you cant judge from the plant alone.
include the circumstances. rather go for ethnobotanics.
ddoes this people look unhealthy?
this are nativve tribees from anddean region. So listen to your heart* and explore the mystery.