Which Should You Choose Between Quinoa and Amaranth?

Quinoa has been labeled as the new super grain in the world. In fact, there’s a funny adage doing the rounds on the Web! “Never eat ingredients you can’t pronounce. Except quinoa. You should eat quinoa.”  Yes, suddenly the world has woken up the super grain, as it is regarded as a weight watcher’s delight.  It’s a whole grain with a bulk of fiber, so satiety levels are high! So you don’t keep looking for food after finishing your main meal! Amaranth, on the other hand, is a super nutritious grain and a food which is great for the waistline and also for the wallet.

Which Should You Choose Between Quinoa and Amaranth_

The  amaranth vs. quinoa battle is hotting up with both the grains jostling for space on the nutrition horizon. So let’s find out why the quinoa seeds or amaranth grain are better than any other whole-grains crowding the market?

The Nutritious Seed Quinoa

Why is it regarded as so nutritious? Actually, quinoa is not regarded as a plant but it is a plant but used like any other grain. Quinoa Is a powerhouse of nutrition like protein, calcium, phosphorous essential amino acids, potassium, magnesium etc. It is a food which was proposed by NASA that it could be a food used by astronauts on long-distance space flights. Its high protein content makes it a winner among nutritionists and people who are looking at shedding extra pounds.

The Nutritious Seed Quinoa

Quinoa health benefits are not restricted to these. There are many other benefits as well. It contains a lot of fatty acids as well. Oleic acid is found in quinoa in great amounts. It’s beneficial for the heart as it contains monosaturated fatty acids, most of it is alpha-linolenic acids. The omega 3 fatty acid contained in plants, it is also found in some other seeds like flax seeds chia seeds. Quinoa, unlike other whole-grains, are completely gluten-free. So the quinoa benefits can never be ignored.

Nutritional Values of Quinoa in One Cup:

If you are still harboring some doubts about quinoa, it’s whopping nutritional value can let all your doubts to rest.

  • Protein-8 gms.
  • Manganese-58% of the RDA.
  • Phosphorous-28% of the RDA.
  • Folate-19% of the RDA.
  • Iron- 15% of the RDA.
  • Potassium-9% of the RDA.
  • Over 10% of the RDA for vitamins B1 B2 B6.
  • Small amounts Calcium, B3(Niacin), and Vitamin E.

Note: RDA – Recommended Dietary Allowance

Health Benefits of Quinoa:

Quinoa is full of protein, fiber, and minerals. It is also full of anti-inflammatory phytonutrients. The following points will enunciate the benefits of quinoa.

  • GlutenFree: Gluten, regarded by some nutritionists to be roadblocks to the weight loss journey. So people who want to lose weight, can have quinoa. As most other carbohydrates contain gluten. It can cause bloating and digestive issues for some . For people who has to strike off gluten from their diet can take quinoa. Not only is it nutrient rich but is completely gluten-free.
  • Low-glycemic index: Food with a low-glycemic index can keep your blood sugar levels steady, like quinoa. But foods like quinoa don’t spike the blood sugar levels suddenly. Refined flours which are causing havoc with our health are the ones which are guilty of  expanding our girth and gives an invitation to lifestyle diseases. Quinoa has a glycemic index of 53 which is way lower than other grains.
  • High in protein:  Quinoa is high in protein and amino acids. It is rich in protein sources about eight gram in one cup of cooked quinoa. It is a rich source of protein for people who are vegetarians or vegans.
  • High in minerals: Quinoa is rich in four main minerals like magnesium, potassium, zinc and iron.
  • High in anti-oxidants: It is high in anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants fight free radicals which neutralize free radicals which fight  aging and many diseases.
  • Rich in flavonoids: It contains flavonoids, plant anti-oxidants, which are Quercetin Kaempferol and it is antiviral, anti-cancer and also anti-depressant.

How to Incorporate Quinoa into your Diet

We have established that quinoa is great for our health but how much it is good for you and should you have it in breakfast lunch or dinner?  If you are looking for some serious clues to rustle up some cooking delicacies with the super grain quinoa. Take a look at the following Quinoa recipes and make some experiments of your own with  this queen of health cuisine.

Recipe 1: Tex- Mex Salad

A salad to begin with this quinoa salad sets your palate into a tizzy. Light and exotic you’ll be surprised to find that taste can equate health in this recipe. With the added benefits of avocados and cotija cheese. The good fats in the avocado and the protein content of the cottage cheese can make it a very healthy salad.

Tex Mex Salad

Ingredients For Tex- Mex Salad

  • One cup quinoa
  • Two cups water
  • One teaspoon kosher salt.
  • I/4th fresh lime juice.
  • Two tablespoons olive oil.
  • 1/8th teaspoon ground black pepper.
  • 14 ounce diced tomatoes, add to it some green chili peppers.
  • One bunch chopped cilantro.
  • Two cubed avocados.
  • I/4th crumbled cotija cheese.
  • And a dash of your chef magic!!!

Meal prep time :20 mins,  Cook this super delicious  recipe in twenty minutes flat and try and stop yourself in devouring the whole thing in a much shorter duration.


Mix quinoa, salt and water in a saucepan. Reduce Heat to medium low and cover, and simmer until the seeds are tender, mix lime juice olive oil, pepper, and garbanzo beans.  Stir in the tomato mixture and remove from fire. Refrigerate it for two hours.  When the quinoa is cold blend in the avocado cilantro and cheese. Never forget to test your culinary expertise by having a spoonful!!

Another recipe using this wonderful grain would be quinoa tabouleh. Filled with protein this recipe is filling and keep hunger pangs at bay.

Recipe 2: Quinoa Tabbouleh

Another recipe using this wonderful grain would be quinoa tabouleh. Filled with protein this recipe is filling and keep hunger pangs at bay.

Quinoa Tabbouleh


  • Three cups of white quinoa
  • One and a half cup of parsley leaves.
  • One cup roughly chopped mint leaves.
  • One-fourth cup snipped chives.
  • Nine ounces of cherry tomatoes.
  • One tablespoon finely grated lemon zest.
  • Two tablespoons of lemon juice.
  • Two tablespoons of olive oil.
  • Black pepper freshly cracked.
  • Feta
  • Pitas for serving.


Mix quinoa, chives, tomatoes , parsley, lemon zest in a bowl. Top it with lemon juice salt and pepper, toss it with the salad. Serve it with crumbled feta and pita.

These two recipes can be had for supper as well as for dinner. Nutritious and filling it would keep you contented for many hours.

The best thing about quinoa is the nutty texture which makes it totally divine. And almost if there is no end to this list of benefits quinoa can be cooked super quick too! Cleaning it thoroughly is important just to get rid of the scum which gathers on the top.

Amaranth, the Wonder Grain

Amaranth is considered a wonder grain by most as it is full of healthy nutrients which keep your body fit and disease-free. Regular consumption of this nutritious grain can give you a number of benefits.


Nutritional Values of Amaranth in One Cup:

Amaranth is chockfull of essential nutrients. Here is a nutritional breakdown of the wonder grain.

  • Calorie- 183.
  • Protein-7.1 g
  • Carbohydrate-32.4g.
  • Dietary fiber-4.5 g.
  • Sodium-10.5 mg.
  • Calcium-75 mg.
  • Copper-0.4 mg.
  • Magnesium-130 mg.
  • Phosphorus-223 mg.
  • Potassium-179.5 mg.
  • Zinc-1.6 mg.

Health Benefits of Amaranth:

Amaranth grain benefits are too way to many and the uncanny resemblance to its twin in nutrition quinoa is surprising. Check out the benefits of amaranth and decide for yourself:

  • Gluten-free: Like quinoa it is gluten-free and can avoid it if you have trouble with gluten like other grains which are rye wheat barley. Use amaranth flour to thicken soups. It can be used with other gluten-free flours and gums for the purpose of baking.
  • Cholesterol: It significantly reduces the cholesterol levels including triglycerides and LDL.
  • Inflammation and cancer: The peptides present in the grain helps in the prevention of inflammation and also chronic diseases like cancer. The antioxidants in the grain can protect cells from getting degenerated.
  • Hypertension: The phytonutrients in the grain help to control diseases like hypertension, diabetes etc.
  • Protein: It’s a high source of protein but the protein can be easily digested, in comparison to other grains and milk protein.
  • Essential amino acids: The essential amino acids like lycine, makes it a potent grain as it helps to assimilate calcium, also builds muscles and is a source of energy.
  • Minerals: It is a treasure trove of all kinds of essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, etc. These minerals are essential in building strong bones, muscles, and also gives a fillip to the energy in the body.
  • Vitamins: These vitamins like A,C, E,K, B5, B6 folate niacin riboflavin are all part of this super-nutritious grain and they provide the body with the right dosage of antioxidants, help in the controlling the hormones and has a host of other benefits as well.
  • Premature Graying: The minerals present in the amaranth grain stops your hair from going gray.
  • Taste: It can be used as popcorn as it pops and can be turned into dessert recipe by using natural sweeteners like coconut sugar and honey.

Like all grains, it might consist of phytic acid which acts as a barrier to absorb nutrients. Also, it contains oxalic acid which might not be suitable for people who have a problem with gout and people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.

How can you Incorporate Amaranth into your Diet

Amaranth, as known as Chaulai or Amlan Ragin Pushp ka Paudha in Hindi is the super nutritious seed which was consumed by the Aztecs making it a part of their rituals. But how to incorporate it into your diets a la’ the Aztecs. Check out the following recipe to give a healthy start to your day. Mushrooms are very nutritious . They contain vitamin D, iron and they are low in calories as well. So the following recipe is rich in nutrients.

Recipe 1: Risotto with Mushrooms and Amaranth

Check out the following recipe to give a healthy start to your day. Mushrooms are very nutritious . They contain vitamin D, iron and they are low in calories as well. So the following recipe is rich in nutrients.

Risotto with Mushrooms and Amaranth


  • One ounce of dried porcini mushrooms.
  • Two cups boiling water and two and a half cups cold water.
  • Six tablespoons unsalted butter.
  • Two tablespoons olive oil.
  • Two cups amaranth.
  • One large yellow onion finely chopped.
  • One and a half teaspoons of salt to taste.
  • Three garlic cloves finely chopped.
  • One pound sliced mushrooms. You can choose from baby bella, white or a mixture.
  • One tablespoon of soy sauce.
  • Three tablespoons of dry or cream sherry.
  • Black pepper freshly ground to taste.
  • One teaspoon of chopped thyme or according to your taste.


Put the dried porcini mushrooms in a heat-proof bowl and simmer it. After it is a little tender drain the water out of the mushrooms and chop the mushrooms finely. Set aside the liquid and the mushrooms.

In another pan put one tablespoon of oil and butter and lightly fry the onions for 10 to 15 mins till golden brown. Add the amaranth coating it slowly with the butter. Once it is done add the tender mushrooms and reduce the heat and let it boil for a good 20 to 25 mins till it is totally absorbed. Let it sit for 10 to 15 mins.

Add the remaining oil and blend the entire by adding the onions and the mushroom freshly chopped and the ones in the reserve.  Add the salt and the soy sauce and saute’ until the mushrooms are visibly tender and luscious. Add the salt and the black pepper. Remove the pan to add the thyme. Add the remaining butter by slicing it into four. Serve the amaranth and pour the mushroom mixture on the top.

Recipe 2: Amaranth with Walnuts and Honey

Another recipe to explore the full potential of amaranth grain is amaranth with walnuts and honey. Easy to make this recipe is perfect for breakfast.

Amaranth with Walnuts and Honey


  • Two cups amaranth
  • Four cups water.
  • Half teaspoon salt.
  • Chopped walnuts, pecans or almonds.
  • Honey


In a flat bottomed pan boil the amaranth in water and salt. Let it boil till the liquid is absorbed.  Once the liquid is absorbed keep on stirring so that it does not stick to the bottom of the pan. Once it is done divide into bowls and top it with nuts and honey.

Amaranth vs. Quinoa

Let’s look at the differences between these two grains. They are very similar in nutrition but what separates the two grains are the following.

Amaranth vs quinoa

  • Amaranth grains are smaller than those of quinoa.
  • Taste wise owing to the saponin coating gives it a bitter taste to quinoa. Amaranth does not have this bitter taste.
  • Amaranth is ubiquitously used in casseroles soups and curries while quinoa is more suited to salads and fried dishes.
  • Quinoa has to be washed several times to get rid of the coating on the top while amaranth does not have to be washed quite so many times.
  • The protein content of amaranth is quite high; the Lysine protein in amaranth is way higher than quinoa.
  • The fiber content in amaranth grains is very high in comparison to that of quinoa. Amaranth also contains large amounts of phytosterols which lack in quinoa.
  • Amaranth is a little more pocket-friendly than quinoa which is a very lucrative feature of amaranth.

So should you go on a quinoa diet? Or should you choose amaranth?  The benefits of both these grains are many and we should take care to include both in our diets. As nutrition wise both are high in vitamins and minerals. So include both and learn more recipes to include both very versatile grains.  Your weight issues are solved by these nutrients dense grains.


In terms of proven health benefits, and nutritional value the winner here is clearly amaranth. Due to its high fiber content, it aids weight loss. It is also much higher in iron content than quinoa. Iron transports oxygen to different cells of the body and also protects the white blood cells, which in turn for our immune system. Amaranth seeds can reduce blood pressure, cholesterol and also blood-sugar.

These super grains are regarded as a repertoire of every vitamin and minerals in the book and pack a very nutritional punch. You do not have to eliminate carbohydrates from your diet to get a healthy body. You can make peace with your weighing scale by giving these grains a try.

Super foods are ruling the roost in the nutritional world as these foods contain a lot of vitamins and minerals which help us to combat the various diseases which afflict people today. As long as you keep a check in your consumption, too much consumption can lead to gastrointestinal problems. Also, these grains contain phytic acid which sometimes inhibits the absorption of minerals and vitamins.

So in order to be healthy, you don’t have to bid goodbye to carbs which have been regarded as the chief roadblock in your weight loss journey. Amaranth and quinoa have arrived and even if you love them or hate them you simply cannot ignore them!

    • Deblina Biswas
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