A recent article in The Age explored the top ten superfoods. Over the next couple of weeks I’m examining each of the claims and adding a few of my own. Which ones will live up to the hype?
The claim: ”Gluten-free…It’s high in protein, is a good source of complex B”
The evidence: Amaranth is another gluten-free grain, like quinoa, for a plant food it’s also unusually high in essential amino acids. They both make better plant protein sources than brown rice for example. However the Nutrition Data profile doesn’t back up the B complex claim at all.
Value for money: Amaranth is cheaper than quinoa but more expensive than brown rice. It can sometimes be difficult to find and isn’t a staple supermarket line.
Verdict: Diversifying your diet with a variety of gluten-free wholegrains is nutritionally advantageous. The more the merrier. But don’t kid yourself that it’s a valuable source of B vitamins. If I had to choose between quinoa and amaranth, despite the price I’d go for quinoa, it’s just more versatile to cook with. However, though the Fairfax experts didn’t note the claim, amaranth has four times the amount of calcium than quinoa.
Superfood or superhype? While amaranth is still a good food choice but I don’t think it deserves the superfood label.