Amaranth (Amaranthus spp.)

Common Names
Amaranth, Chinese spinach, spiny pigweed, Joseph’s-coat (En); amarante, épinard malabar, épinard piquant (Fr); amarantos, moco de pavo, blero (Sp); 莧菜 (Cn)

Related Species
A. tricolor, A. dubius, A. blitum, A. gangeticus, A. spinosus, A. viridis

Plant Distribution
All tropical and subtropical regions

Edible Parts
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.

Health Values
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.)