Amaranth (Amaranthus spp.)
Amaranth, Chinese spinach, spiny pigweed, Joseph’s-coat (En); amarante, épinard malabar, épinard piquant (Fr); amarantos, moco de pavo, blero (Sp); 莧菜 (Cn)
A. tricolor, A. dubius, A. blitum, A. gangeticus, A. spinosus, A. viridis
All tropical and subtropical regions
Leaf and tender stem are eaten fresh, boiled, steamed, stir-fried, as soup, stewed, pureed; seed popped, ground to thicken stews or used as flour.
Beta-carotene: medium in leaves; vitamin E: medium in shoots; riboflavin: medium in leaves and seeds; folic acid: high in leaves; ascorbic acid: high in leaves, low in seeds; calcium: high in leaves and seeds; iron: high in leaves and seeds; protein: 2-4% in shoots. Leaves contain also betacyanin (amaranthine) and oxalic acid (ca. 0.5%). Seeds are rich in beta-sitosterol and other phytosterols.
Read more: Amaranth, in Discovering Indigenous Treasures: Promising Indigenous Vegetables from Around the World. 2009. AVRDC – The World Vegetable Center.
International Cooperators’ Guide: Vegetable Amaranth (Amaranthus L.)