Red Amaranth For Health: 7 Benefits Of Eating Chaulai
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Whether you live in Eastern Indian states or Southern Indian ones, one of the key monsoon leafy veggies you are likely to come across at your local markets is something called red spinach or red amaranth. A deep red or purple leafy vegetable found across India, red amaranth is also known my many local names like chaulai, thotakura, dantina soppu and mulai keerai. Grown across states like West Bengal, Assam, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Odisha, red amaranth is used to make curries and stir-fried dishes. 

"Red amaranth is a great economic source of proteins, some good fats and loads of minerals and antioxidants," says nutritionist Sangeeta Khanna. "Yes, this kind of a common leafy green being a good source of protein may not be valued much because quantity of protein is something everyone is concerned about, quality is overlooked. Note that the seeds of amaranth have a complete protein profile, not very high, just enough for us humans. Most important thing of this wonderful plant based source of nutrition is, that it grows so easily and abundantly."

Red amaranth is not only delicious but also packed with essential nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making it a healthy addition to the diet. It is an excellent source of iron, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin K, and dietary fiber, making it beneficial for overall health and well-being. During monsoon, when the immune system is constantly attacked by weather change, humidity, infections and increased risk of food poisoning, an ingredient like red amaranth should be on your must-have list for all the health benefits it can provide. Here are seven such benefits of eating red amaranth for health this monsoon. 

Video Credit: YouTube/Sanjeev Kapoor Khazana

Rich In Nutrients 

Red amaranth is a powerhouse of essential vitamins and minerals. Vitamin A supports vision, immune function, and skin health. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that boosts the immune system and aids in collagen production for healthy skin. Vitamin K is crucial for blood clotting and bone health. Iron is essential for transporting oxygen in the blood and preventing anemia. Calcium is necessary for strong bones and teeth, and dietary fiber aids in digestion and promotes a healthy gut. 

Antioxidant Properties 

Red amaranth is rich in various antioxidants, which play a critical role in neutralizing free radicals that can damage cells and DNA. By reducing oxidative stress, antioxidants help protect the body from chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, and neurodegenerative disorders. The combination of flavonoids and carotenoids in red amaranth contributes to its potent antioxidant activity. 

Heart Health 

The nitrates present in red amaranth may improve cardiovascular health by dilating blood vessels, which can lower blood pressure. Lowering blood pressure can help reduce the risk of hypertension and related heart conditions. Additionally, red amaranth's antioxidant content may help reduce inflammation in the blood vessels, promoting better heart function. 

Eye Health 

Red amaranth contains the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which are essential for eye health. These compounds accumulate in the retina and protect the eyes from harmful ultraviolet rays and oxidative damage. Lutein and zeaxanthin are associated with a reduced risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts, two common eye conditions in older adults. 

Bone Health 

The combination of calcium and vitamin K in red amaranth is beneficial for bone health. Calcium is a key mineral for building and maintaining strong bones and teeth. Vitamin K is essential for bone mineralization, helping to improve bone density and reduce the risk of fractures and osteoporosis, especially in older individuals. 

Digestive Health 

Red amaranth's dietary fiber supports a healthy digestive system. Fiber adds bulk to stool, making it easier to pass, and promotes regular bowel movements. Additionally, fiber acts as a prebiotic, nourishing beneficial gut bacteria, which contributes to a balanced gut microbiome and overall gut health. 

Boosts Hemoglobin Levels 

Red amaranth is an excellent source of iron, a crucial component of hemoglobin in red blood cells. Hemoglobin carries oxygen from the lungs to other parts of the body. Adequate iron intake is essential for preventing iron deficiency anemia, which can lead to fatigue, weakness, and impaired cognitive function.