Difference Between Amaranth and Quinoa (With Table)

The primary distinction between amaranth and quinoa is that quinoa seeds contain saponin, which is found on their surface and causes them to have a bitter taste. Because of this, quinoa needs to be thoroughly washed before it can be eaten. In contrast, amaranth seeds do not have saponin on them, so they do not need to be washed before cooking.

Amaranth vs Quinoa

The main difference between Amaranth and Quinoa lies is that Amaranth is smaller in size. On the other hand, Quinoa grain is bigger in size in compare to Amaranth. This is due to the Saponins coating on the Quinoa grain, which allows you to rinse it numerous times while cooking.

Amaranth is a gluten-free grain high in fibre, protein, and minerals. Amaranth is a plant native to Mexico and Central America that has a variety of health advantages. Amaranth has different varieties of species, but the grain amaranth belongs to Amaranthus hypochondriacus. This species of amaranth was used by Aztecs for nutritional and religious purposes.

Quinoa is also naturally gluten-free. For this reason, it’s often used as a gluten-free alternative to grains that contain gluten. Plus, the seed is high in minerals like magnesium, manganese and phosphorus. Quinoa is a grain-like seed that’s packed with protein and fibre, making it a filling and nutritious addition to any meal.

Comparison Table Between Amaranth and Quinoa

Parameters of ComparisonAmaranthQuinoa
DescriptionEvery year, in June, plantation amaranth is planted. Every year, in April or May, quinoa is planted.
Level of ProtienAmaranth has a significant amount of protein.When compared to Amaranth, Quinoa has less protein.
Methods of SafetyThe seeds of amaranth are uncoated and may be stored for a long time in your kitchen.Quinoa is frequently contaminated by insects, thus it is coated with saponin artificially.
Iron levelAmaranth has a high iron content.Quinoa is iron-deficient.
UsageSoups and casseroles both contain amaranth.Quinoa is an excellent addition to salads and fried foods.

What is Amaranth?

Amaranth is an ancient food that was used by the Aztecs as early as 1200 BC. Archeologists have also found evidence it was cultivated for food by the Incas in South America about 1,500 years ago.

Amaranth has been used for centuries in religious ceremonies throughout central Mexico and Guatemala. It was also used as currency in ancient Aztec times until the Spanish conquistadors outlawed its cultivation in the 1500s.

Today, amaranth is eaten around the world but still holds great cultural significance for the Aztecs who associate it with immortality and use it for medicinal purposes.

The aztecs believed that the grain was sacred, hence it has also been called the “golden grain of the gods”. The grain can be cooked as porridge or popped like popcorn. It can also be ground into flour to make breads and pastas.

In addition to being gluten-free, amaranth is rich in nutrients and beneficial plant compounds. Because of this, it may benefit your heart health, immunity, digestion and more.

Amaranth is packed with nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, and iron, which are vital for the body’s growth and maintenance. Amaranth can be boiled like rice or made into a dough to make bread. It can also be used as an alternative to wheat flour in baking.

The seeds can be ground into flour and used to make pasta, breakfast cereals, tortillas, and other items. The leaves may also be cooked like spinach.

What is Quinoa?

Although we commonly refer to quinoa as a type of grain, it’s actually a seed. You can find quinoa in different forms, including white, red, black and gold. Quinoa has become more popular in recent years because it’s higher in protein than most other grains and has a mild flavour. Because it’s high in fibre and protein, quinoa can help promote feelings of fullness and keep you feeling satisfied longer after eating.

Quinoa contains saponins, natural chemicals that protect the plant from insects. You should wash quinoa before cooking it to remove these saponins. Quinoa can also be ground into flour to make breads or other baked goods. It can be used as a cereal or added to a salad for extra flavour and nutrition.

It contains all the essential amino acids (protein building blocks) that the body needs for growth and maintenance. Quinoa may help people with diabetes control their blood sugar levels. It may also have properties that reduce the risk of cancer, as well as help with weight loss and constipation.

However, it may cause an allergic reaction in some people who are sensitive to other foods from the same family, such as peanuts or spinach.

Some people believe quinoa is a grain because it is used in place of grains such as rice and barley. However, it is actually a seed from the goosefoot plant that grows in South America.

Main Differences Between Amaranth and Quinoa

  1. Amaranth also has a high protein concentration, although Quinoa has a lower protein content.
  2. Amaranth is commonly used in curries, soups, and other similar dishes. On the other hand, Quinoa is mostly used in salads but may also be found in fried foods.
  3. Amaranth is less costly on the market than Quinoa.
  4. Amaranth has a delicious flavour in any meal, but Quinoa has a harsh taste due to the saponin layer applied to protect it from harm.
  5. Amaranth has a high fibre level, but Quinoa has a lower fibre content.

Conclusion

Amaranth is a seed, not a grain. And it is not related to quinoa, which is also a seed. Amaranth and quinoa are both great sources of protein, vitamins and minerals. They are gluten-free and have a low glycemic index, which means they won’t cause blood sugar levels to spike.

If you have celiac disease or another form of gluten sensitivity, you may want to avoid these foods because they are seeds that grow similarly to wheat. But if you don’t have a gluten issue, amaranth and quinoa can be good additions to your diet.

References

  1. https://www.scielo.br/pdf/cta/v33n2/aop_cta_6025.pdf
  2. https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jag1999/46/3/46_3_233/_article/-char/ja/