Amaranth Seeds May Help Improve Cardiovascular Health
ACE inhibitors are medicines used to treat hypertension and congestive heart failure. A recent study suggests that amaranth seeds have ACE inhibitory activity and may help lower cholesterol and lower the risk of coronary disease.
The researchers for this study found that amaranth seeds contain bioactive peptides, including 11S globulin, 7S globulin, ?-amylase inhibitor, trypsin inhibitor, antimicrobial proteins, nonspecific lipid-transfer-protein-1, superoxide dismutase, ring-zinc finger protein, prosystemin, amaranth albumin 1, glucose-1-phosphate adenyltransferase, glucosyltransferase, polyamine oxidase, granule-bound starch synthase 1, and acetolactate synthase.
The researchers found that the bioactive peptides found in amaranth seeds have ACE inhibitory activity. They are inactive within the amaranth protein but can be activated through gastrointestinal enzymes during digestion or during food processing.
The researchers also found that amaranth is high in protein - up to 20% - and is highly digestible as well as lacking in gluten. Finally, they noted the high antioxidant levels of amaranth.
These findings support the theory that the bioactive peptides found in amaranth seeds may be able to be used to help lower cholesterol and improve cardiovascular health.
Researchers from City University in Mexico and University of Illinois conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on February 2, 2015, in Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety.
Previous studies suggest that amaranth may help improve eyesight, raise feelings of satiety, and provide essential vitamins and nutrients. Because it is a grain, it can be consumed in a variety of ways, ranging from bread to cereals to candy to drinks.