I’ve done hours and hours of research, and unfortunately it has been very difficult to summarize. Some sources provide nutritional information for uncooked amaranth seed, others for cooked, some in grams and some in cups. Still others offer the % USDA only. None of them show all the same nutrients as the others. But all agree that amaranth is significantly superior to virtually all other grains.
Of the grains or pseudo-grains that I have reviewed (amaranth, buckwheat, wheat, white rice, brown rice, oats, teff, spelt, barley, quinoa, millet), amaranth and quinoa shine like stars in a dark, dark sky. The superiority of amaranth over any other grain except quinoa is stunning.
The most complete information is on uncooked grains, so here I compare one cup of uncooked amaranth to one cup uncooked hard red winter wheat and white long grain rice. The values would change if cooked, of course, but the ratios would remain similar.
307mg calcium (31% USDA), 5.5 times more than both wheat and rice.
14.7mg iron (82% USDA), 2.5 times more than wheat, 10 times more than rice.
8mg of vitamin C (14% USDA), while wheat and rice have none.
2.3mg of vitamin E (11% USDA), comparable to wheat, but 11 times more than rice.
479mg magnesium (120% USDA), 2 times more than wheat and 10 times more than rice.
1075mg phosphorus (108% USDA), 2 times more than wheat and 5 times more than rice.
980mg potassium (28% USDA), 1.5 times more than wheat and 4.5 times more than rice.
6.4mg manganese (322% USDA) similar to wheat but 3 times more than rice.
And in addition to being high in many nutrients, amaranth is a rare plant source of complete protein, and in an easily digestible form. No other grains (besides quinoa) have complete protein, and few are in a form that the body can easily absorb. Amaranth contains 26g of protein (26% USDA), about the same as wheat but twice that of rice. The amino acid score on the Nutritiondata website (see below) rates the completeness of protein, with 100 being complete. Amaranth got an impressive 108, wheat got a measly 52, and rice got 71 (wheat and rice being entirely lacking in lysine and several other essential amino acids.) Amaranth is truly an amazing food source. Isn't it such a shame that so valuable a food has been replaced with grains that have so little to offer?
Stay tuned for nutritional data on amaranth leaves, and recipes for both!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amaranth, http://dietandfitnesstoday.com/, http://ajol.info/index.php/wsa/article/viewFile/49119/35464%20