According to agronomists, amaranth can feed almost the entire population of the planet Earth. That is why this plant is quite promising.
- Brief characteristics of vegetable amaranth
- Why is amaranth useful?
- How to grow vegetable amaranth
Brief characteristics of vegetable amaranth
This plant comes from America. It was eaten by the Aztecs as cereals. Interestingly, in the Middle Ages, the Inquisition considered amaranth a devil plant. Now it is increasingly used as a grain or vegetable crop.
The plant has small, numerous flowers of orange or greenish color. They gather in inflorescences - panicles, which can also vary in color from brownish to red-purple. The plant blooms from early summer until almost the first frost. A little frost will hardly do it. The plant grows very quickly, its growing season is from 90 to 120 days. It can grow well in poor, unfertilized soils, and is resistant to heat and drought, pathogens.
Due to the large size of the flower, vegetable amaranth is grown in our garden plots mainly as an ornamental plant. This is despite the fact that this plant has unique properties. And according to the Japanese, this plant may soon become a staple food on the planet.
You can also eat young leaves and stems as salads. And the dried leaves can be used as tea. It's delicious, flavorful, and incredibly healthy. Few of our compatriots know that amaranth seeds can also be eaten. They contain substances that cannot be found in any other food product.
The high nutritional properties of amaranth and the great benefits make it very popular among farmers, as well as amateur summer residents. Its popularity and prevalence is evidenced by the fact that today there are about 80 species around the world. Interestingly, the plant is able to keep its flowers fresh for a long time.
Therefore, the plant has received the nickname "winter friend of people." Thus, our gardeners, gardeners and flower growers have a great opportunity to grow this unpretentious, beautiful and very useful plant.
Why is amaranth useful?
Vegetable amaranth has extremely beneficial properties. First, absolutely all of its parts are edible. In addition to their edibility, they also have high nutritional properties. The most valuable and nutritious are seeds. They are high in protein. Also, seeds include almost the entire set of amino acids, including essential ones.
Amaranth also contains the following substances:
- Unsaturated acids
- Bile acid
- Vitamins B
- Pantothenic acid
- Vitamins E, D
The plant contains a complex of unsaturated fatty acids - linoleic, palmitic, stearic, oleic, which makes amaranth indispensable for dietary nutrition. Leaves can be used in dietary nutrition in case of vitamin P deficiency, hemorrhages, arterial hypertension. Recent studies by the Japanese have found that amaranth can be used to treat people from radiation damage.
Amaranth leaves are a rich source of antioxidants and biogenic calcium. It is successfully used as an antacid for diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. And the presence of polyunsaturated fatty acids in the plant makes it useful for those suffering from diseases of the cardiovascular system, central nervous system, and skin diseases. And for colds, you can make a delicious and aromatic tea that will strengthen the immune system and quickly relieve ailments.
There is also experience in the use of germinated amaranth seeds to combat cancer pathologies. And from the seeds of amaranth they make a delicious and very healthy oil. It contains squalene, which has immunomodulatory and anticancer properties.
Such oil effectively fights eczema, psoriasis, trophic ulcers, tuberculosis and even cirrhosis. The oil is extremely useful in chemotherapy as it has regenerative properties.
Amaranth's excellent nutritional and healing properties make it an irreplaceable food and medicine.
How to grow vegetable amaranth
This plant belongs to annuals. The optimum temperature for its development is from 25 to 30 degrees. But, nevertheless, despite the thermophilicity, it can withstand a short-term drop in temperature, even to small frosts.
Amaranth also belongs to the siderates. It will yield great yields if grown in soil where cucumbers, potatoes, tomatoes, legumes and greens were previously grown. Sowing amaranth is necessary at the end of May, when the soil has already warmed up enough.
To have very useful amaranth seeds, you need to grow this plant in seedlings. To get seedlings, you need to sow seeds in the second half of April. Seedlings are best grown in pots. Vegetable amaranth is planted on a permanent place of "residence" only when the threat of frost has passed. When they are unavoidable, the plants need to be covered so that the tender sprouts do not freeze.
It is advisable to fertilize the soil before sowing. For this, a mineral mixture or complex fertilizers are suitable. Seeds should be sown at the rate of 15 grams per 100 square meters. During the sowing process, they can be mixed with sawdust or coarse sand. Seedlings usually appear on the seventh day.
After direct sowing of seeds, the plant develops rather slowly. For it to develop faster, careful weeding is necessary. But when the plant grows up a little, it grows at a very fast pace and itself destroys the weeds around it.
Watering should be done regularly during dry periods. It is most desirable during the period of intensive amaranth growth. During the season, it is necessary to carry out top dressing three to four times (for this, a solution of mullein and ash is used). It is advisable to remove amaranth in dry weather. Please note that up to 500 thousand seeds are obtained from one plant.
Thus, the cultivation of amaranth has great prospects in our country. After all, this is not only a plant that provides nutritious and tasty food, it is also a most valuable and unique medicine. Growing it is not difficult. Any owner will certainly not fail if he takes up this useful business.
How to use amaranth in cooking? Learn from the video: