The anti-diabetic potential of green amaranth

Green amaranth (Amaranthus hybridus) is used in folk medicine in southern India as a treatment for diabetes. A study published in the Journal of Dietary Supplements confirmed its anti-diabetic potential.

The study was conducted by a team of researchers from Al Shifa College of Pharmacy in India who looked at the effects of the leaf extract of green amaranth in streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice. In addition, the research team also assessed the antioxidant properties of the extract.

For the study, they orally treated mice with green amaranth leaf extract at doses of 200 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) and 400 mg/kg for a period of two weeks. Then, they measured the blood glucose levels of mice on the first, fourth, seventh, and 15th day after orally giving green amaranth leaf extract. They examined the effects of the green amaranth leaf extract on serum glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase, serum glutamate pyruvate transaminase, serum alkaline phosphatase, cholesterol, high- and low-density lipoprotein, antioxidant potential, and histopathological changes.

The results revealed that both doses of green amaranth leaf extract greatly lowered blood sugar levels and significantly decreased hyperglycemia-associated oxidative damage. Moreover, the green amaranth leaf extract also improved serum biochemical parameters associated with diabetes.

Based on the findings of the study, the research team concluded that the leaf extract of green amaranth can potentially be used as a natural remedy for diabetes. (Related: Overcome diabetes with these powerful therapeutic herbs.)

What is green amaranth?

Green amaranth is also known as slim amaranth, smooth pigweed, smooth amaranth, or red amaranth. It is a herbal plant native to the Americas and is now spread all over the world. It is considered as a vegetable and can be eaten raw or cooked. This herbal plant is actually packed with nutrients. For every 100 grams of green amaranth, it contains the following nutrients:

  • 81 grams of calcium
  • 3 grams of protein
  • 3 grams of iron
  • 2 grams of carbohydrates
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Niacin
  • Thiamin
  • Phosphorus
  • Riboflavin
  • Sodium
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium

What are its other benefits and uses?

Given its nutrients, green amaranth can help enhance health and treat several conditions. Here are some of its uses and benefits:

  • Incorporate it into your diet: Green amaranth is a good vegetable that you can add to your diet. It contains 20 percent dietary fiber that can help in digestion, prevent constipation, and keep blood sugar regulated.
  • It may prevent cancer: Green amaranth has flavonoids can prevent or reduce the risk of the development of cancer.
  • It helps keep the eyes healthy: This herbal plant contains vitamin A which is ideal to keep the eyes healthy. It also contains carotenoids, which help prevent cataracts.
  • It is good for the digestive system: Green amaranth contains fiber which can aid in digestion. It also contains vitamins A and C, which also help keep the digestive system healthy by removing free radicals that cause diseases.
  • Green amaranth boosts the immune system: This herbal plant can help boost the immune system because of its vitamin A content, which serves a component of white blood cells.

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