Last Updated: September 28, 2022

Amaranth refers to plants and plant products from the genus Amarantha. Amaranth is grown and eaten as a leaf vegetable (leaves, roots, and stems) and as a grain in many parts of the world.

Amaranth is most often used for

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Sources and Composition



Amaranth is the common name used to refer to plants in the amaranthus genus (of the Amaranthaceae family).

Species used in supplementation include amaranthus tricolor,[1] amaranthus paniculatus, amaranthus caudatus, and amaranthus cruentus.[2]

While the grain of these plants is used nutritively, the leaves are also sometimes used as dietary supplements.[1]



Amaranth tends to contain:

  • Betacyanins, the pigments that gives amaranth a red colouration.[2] The overall levels varying depending on growing conditions such as soil quality[2] and light levels.[3] Concentrations have been noted to be in the range of 7-30mg/100g fresh weight of sprouts[2]


Cardiovascular Health


Blood Flow

In otherwise healthy subjects, supplementation of 2g amaranth grain was able to increase both salivary and plasma levels of nitrate and nitrite when compared to placebo.[4]


Interactions with Glucose Metabolism


Blood Glucose

One study using the leaves of amaranthus tricolor (9 grams over three months) in postmenopausal women found that supplementation was associated with a 10.4% reduction in fasting glucose compared to control.[1] This change was attributed to the antioxidant properties of the leaves, as benefit was also found in this study with Moringa oleifera which acts via its antioxidant content.[1]


Inflammation and Immunology



When tested in RAW 264.7 macrophages, amaranth seeds and sprouts from amaranthus cruentus (10 μg/mL) appeared to exert an antiinflammatory effect by inhibiting NF-kB translocation and limiting the amount of IL-6 secreted after stimulation from LPS.[2]


Interactions with Oxidation



In postmenopausal women given supplemental amaranth (9 grams of the leaf powder) over the course of three months, supplementation appeared to have a small benefit to the amount of the antioxidant enzyme known as superoxide dismutase (SOD; increase of 10.8%) and concomitant decrease in lipid peroxidation (9.6% assessed by MDA).[1]