The amaranth lectin is responsible for the antiproliferative activity . Amaranth lectin IC 50, 0.1 mg/m. L, was 10 times more active than MPI and similar to MPI-h. Amaranth lectin exerts a cytotoxic effect that would promote apoptosis. A decrease in cellular adhesion was also demonstrated.
Whole Grains Raw wheat and other whole grains are high in lectins. Raw wheat germ , which is often sold as a source of fiber, can contain as much as 300 mcg of wheat lectins per gram.
Is amaranth a grain?
In reality, amaranth isn’t a grain at all. The amaranth most people refer to is the amaranth seed, which is sometimes ground into flour. Amaranth falls within the order Caryophyllales, making them relatives of cacti, beets, and carnations ( 2 ).
Although amaranth leaves are edible and a good nutrition source in their own right, many people harvest the small seeds which grow on the plants (up to 60,000 per plant) and eat them either whole or ground into flour. [tweet_quote] Amaranth is a vibrantly colored plant, and both its seeds and leaves are edible.
True cereal grains, like wheat and rye, come from the family Poaceae and are the seeds of grasses. [tweet_quote] Amaranth isn’t a grain — it’s a seed, which makes it Paleo-friendly . [/tweet_quote] This puts amaranth into that gray area of “pseudograins.” Many Paleo enthusiasts consider it technically non-Paleo.
This begs the query “How do you care for Amaranth?”
Let’s explore how to provide adequate care for growing amaranth and how to harvest the leaves and grain. Amaranth needs full sunlight, with a minimum of 6-8 hours. The USDA growing zone ranges from 3-10. The ideal temperature for germination is 65-85 degrees Fahrenheit.
What are lectins and how do they affect digestion?
Dietary lectins are antinutrients found in all sorts of foods like wheat, whole grains, raw kidney beans, nightshade vegetables, and more. Familiarizing yourself with the lectin content of lectin-containing foods may help you lower your lectin levels and support your digestive tract.
How do you know when Amaranth is ready to harvest?
Younger leaves are better raw while the older leaves are better cooked. About 3 months after planting, amaranth seeds will be ready for harvest. You can test if they are ready by rubbing the flowerheads between your fingers and checking if seeds easily fall out.
Once planted, amaranth seeds will germinate in 3-10 days and seedlings will appear to grow slowly. When the plant reaches 1 foot tall, then it will start to grow rapidly in height and produce beautiful flowers. The grains will be ready to harvest in the fall once the flowers are brown and dry.
So, when to harvest amaranth?
The best time to harvest the amaranth grain is on a dry day 3 to 7 days after a hard frost. An easy way to gather the grain is to bend the plants over a bucket and rub the seedheads between your hands. This method may take a little longer to do, but there won’t be as much chaff and debris to sort out later.
This begs the inquiry “When is the best time to plant amaranth?”
Keep in mind that if you want seeds before frost hits, be sure your last planting takes place 100 days before the first frost in fall. While it can be susceptible to some problems, growing amaranth isn’t such a challenge that you should forgo planting.