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Could Amaranth seeds/flour actually be safe?

by (11697)
Updated November 27, 2014 at 3:24 AM
Created September 30, 2011 at 4:49 AM

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...

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78422 · September 30, 2011 at 6:35 PM

maake quinoa rejuvvelacc. sprout quinoa and fill it in a jarr and fill it up with water. the water wwill ferment. its a delisous drink. andd eat litttle quinoa. just very litttle and look how your bbody react. soaak it beefore and let it sprout. Maybee you fermentt it with whey orr kefir hile sproutting. acctually qiquinoa will ferment by itseelff somehow by soaking.

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78422 · September 30, 2011 at 6:31 PM

saponinns are in a lot essentiell healing herbbs. horsechestnut, nettles, horsetail. so ssoponine are not bad!!! saponins arent bad!!!! dont beleaavee this semiprroffesionals. they are debbunking themselves with their halfwisedom. and theories.

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15226 · September 30, 2011 at 6:05 PM

Buckwheat generally improves with germination, however there is an increase in tannins. here is a good read about buckwheat http://lnmcp.mf.uni-lj.si/Fago/SYMPO/2004sympoEach/2004Sympo-50.pdf

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1453 · September 30, 2011 at 5:04 PM

Here in germany there is buckwheat flour in the stores which is from sprouted seeds. Might that be safe?

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15226 · September 30, 2011 at 2:38 PM

In most of those grains, phytates and tannins are greatly reduced, although there are actually a few exceptions where germination increases phytates and tannins.

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1652 · September 30, 2011 at 12:51 PM

Sounds cool! Keep us updated. Also, there have been several phytate questions buzzing about - but I'm also curious about that. Some say it can't be absorbed - but others say it can and can be beneficial in the right (small) amount.

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20519 · September 30, 2011 at 10:38 AM

The greens are awesome, I get them from the same market that I get my Okinawan sweet potatoes. For me they tend to get sweet when cooked so I'll eat the raw. Loaded with vitamins, too, when I looked them up online. The Dutch use amaranth flour quite prevalently.. interesting about the seeds..

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20353 · September 30, 2011 at 4:57 AM

+1 for the amaranth greens part. Sounds great.

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3 Answers

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15226 · September 30, 2011 at 5:35 AM

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.

edit: http://cerealchemistry.aaccnet.org/doi/abs/10.1094/CCHEM-01-11-0008

Cfc7dee889a66db9cd76c4f348109294
1652 · September 30, 2011 at 12:51 PM

Sounds cool! Keep us updated. Also, there have been several phytate questions buzzing about - but I'm also curious about that. Some say it can't be absorbed - but others say it can and can be beneficial in the right (small) amount.

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661
15226 · September 30, 2011 at 2:38 PM

In most of those grains, phytates and tannins are greatly reduced, although there are actually a few exceptions where germination increases phytates and tannins.

Ec7cb2a7a68655954a01f03e95be1383
1453 · September 30, 2011 at 5:04 PM

Here in germany there is buckwheat flour in the stores which is from sprouted seeds. Might that be safe?

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661
15226 · September 30, 2011 at 6:05 PM

Buckwheat generally improves with germination, however there is an increase in tannins. here is a good read about buckwheat http://lnmcp.mf.uni-lj.si/Fago/SYMPO/2004sympoEach/2004Sympo-50.pdf

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8979 · September 30, 2011 at 4:13 PM

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.

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78422 · September 30, 2011 at 6:31 PM

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?

http://www.google.com/search?q=quinoa+eatting+tribes&rls=com.microsoft:de:{referrer:source%3F}&oe=UTF-8&rlz=1I7__de&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hl=en&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&biw=1024&bih=574#um=1&hl=en&rls=com.microsoft:de%3A%7Breferrer%3Asource%3F%7D&rlz=1I7__de&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=andean+indigenous&oq=andean+indigenous&aq=f&aqi=g-S1&aql=&gs_sm=e&gs_upl=19092l20014l3l20412l6l6l0l0l0l0l209l735l4.1.1l6l0&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.,cf.osb&fp=1f87bc7989b1abec&biw=1024&bih=574

this are nativve tribees from anddean region. So listen to your heart* and explore the mystery.

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