Amaranth vs Barley: How Do They Compare?
Amaranth and barley belong to the grains food group, one of the staple food groups for people on a plant-based diet.
Grains and grain products are an affordable source of carbohydrates, as well as essential vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins (such as thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin), iron, and zinc, minerals that are usually harder to get on a plant-based diet.
They also provide a small amount of protein and healthy fats.
However, it is important to note that whole grains are generally a better source of these nutrients than refined grains.
This article will thoroughly compare amaranth and barley and help you learn more about their similarities and differences.
Amaranth (Amaranthus spp.) is a group of annual plants that are native to Central and South America.
It is a good source of carbohydrates, dietary fibers, and small amounts of vitamins and minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, and B vitamins. It is also gluten-free and easy to digest, making it a great option for people with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.
Amaranth is an ancient grain that has been used for centuries in traditional cuisine and has a nutty and slightly earthy flavor. It can be used as a side dish, added to soups and stews, ground into flour and used in baking, or popped like popcorn. It is also a valuable food source for people in its native regions, particularly in Mexico and Peru.
Amaranth is considered a functional food, as it has been shown to have a positive impact on health when consumed regularly as part of a balanced diet. It is also a sustainable crop, as it is drought-tolerant and can be grown in poor soil conditions.
Amaranth is an excellent source of Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine).
It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), and Vitamin B9 (Folate) and some Vitamin C, Vitamin B3 (Niacin), and Vitamin E.
Barley (Hordeum vulgare) is a cereal grain widely grown in many parts of the world and has been a staple food for thousands of years. It is closely related to wheat and oats.
Barley is a good source of carbohydrates, dietary fibers, and small amounts of vitamins and minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, and B vitamins. It is also rich in antioxidants and protein, making it a valuable food for vegetarians and vegans.
Barley is commonly used in brewing beer, animal feed, and as a food grain. It can be used in soups, stews, and as a side dish, either whole or ground into flour. It is also gluten-free and easy to digest, making it a great option for people with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.
Barley is considered a functional food, as it has been shown to positively impact health when consumed regularly as part of a balanced diet. It is also a sustainable crop, as it can be grown in poor soil conditions and is resistant to pests and diseases.
Barley is an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), and Vitamin B3 (Niacin).
It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), and Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine) and some Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), Vitamin B9 (Folate), and Vitamin E.
Amaranth vs Barley Nutrition
Now that we’ve described the origin, taste, and usage of these foods, we can move to the most interesting part – comparing amaranth vs barley.
This comparison will start by comparing the caloric value of amaranth and barley and their macronutrients and then go more in-depth by analyzing their vitamin and mineral content.
|Energy||371 kcal||354 kcal|
|Carbs||65.2 g||73.5 g|
|Sugar||1.69 g||0.8 g|
|Fiber||6.7 g||17.3 g|
|Protein||13.6 g||12.5 g|
|Fat||7.02 g||2.3 g|
|Saturated Fat||1.46 g||0.482 g|
Amaranth vs Barley Calories
Most calories in grains come from carbs.
Comparing barley vs amaranth for weight loss, barley is slightly lower in calories, with 354 calories per 100 grams, compared to 371 calories per 100 grams of amaranth.
However, both amaranth and barley can and should be a part of a healthy diet, and neither one shouldn’t be avoided if you’re looking to lose weight.
Amaranth vs Barley Protein
Grains and most grain products, including amaranth and barley, are important sources of plant-based protein.
However, it should be noted that most grains, with the exception of quinoa and buckwheat, for example, are low in lysine and methionine.
That said, you can combine grains with legumes to get a complete protein.
Amaranth offers around 8% more protein than barley.
Amaranth has 13.6 grams of protein per 100 grams, while barley has 12.5 grams of protein per 100 grams.
Amaranth vs Barley Carbs
Counting carbs can be important for some people for different reasons, including blood sugar control, weight management, or athletic performance.
It’s also important for people on a keto diet, so let’s compare the carbs content in amaranth and barley.
The total amount of carbohydrates is around 11% higher in barley than in amaranth. It has 73.5 grams per 100 grams, compared to 65.2 grams in amaranth.
There’s less sugar in barley than in amaranth, 53% precisely.
That said, 100 grams of barley contains 0.8 grams of sugar, while the same amount of amaranth contains 1.7 grams.
Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in amaranth and barley.
Dietary fiber keeps the digestive system healthy and helps with weight management by promoting a sense of fullness.
With 17.3 grams of fiber per 100 grams, barley is a better source of fiber than amaranth which offers 6.7 grams per 100 gram portion.
Amaranth vs Barley Fats
Like most other grains, amaranth and barley are low in fat.
Fats in amaranth and barley are mostly healthy unsaturated fats. They are naturally cholesterol-free and trans-fat-free.
Total fat in amaranth and barley:
- Amaranth: 7 grams per 100 grams
- Barley: 2.3 per 100 grams
Speaking of saturated fats, barley is 67% lower in saturated fats.
Barley and amaranth contain 0.5 grams and 1.5 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.
Amaranth vs Barley Vitamins Content
This section will discuss the vitamin content of amaranth and barley.
Vitamins are micronutrients, meaning we need only a small amount. However, they are very important for many processes in our bodies.
Amaranth has a higher amount of vitamin A, vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B3 (Niacin), and vitamin K.
However, barley has a higher amount of vitamin C, vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), vitamin B9 (Folate), and vitamin E.
Amaranth and barley contain the same amount of vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).
The following table shows the exact amount of vitamins amaranth and barley contain side by side, so you can easily compare them.
|Vitamin A||2 IU||22 IU|
|Vitamin C||4.2 mg||0|
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)||0.116 mg||0.646 mg|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||0.2 mg||0.285 mg|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||0.923 mg||4.6 mg|
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)||1.46 mg||0.282 mg|
|Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)||0.591 mg||0.318 mg|
|Vitamin B9 (Folate)||82 µg||19 µg|
|Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)||0||0|
|Vitamin E||1.19 mg||0.57 mg|
|Vitamin K||0||2.2 µg|
Amaranth vs Barley Minerals Content
Minerals are important for our body to function properly. We need only a small amount of minerals, so they are called micronutrients.
Some minerals, like iron, calcium, zinc, or iodine, are relatively hard to get on a plant-based diet, so it’s important to choose your foods thoughtfully. This part of the amaranth and barley comparison focuses on their mineral content.
Amaranth is a better source of selenium, and sodium than barley.
On the other hand, barley is a higher amount of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc.
Amaranth and barley contain the same amount of fluoride.
Check out the table below to learn how amaranth and barley compare when it comes to mineral content.
|Calcium||159 mg||33 mg|
|Copper||0.525 mg||0.498 mg|
|Iron||7.61 mg||3.6 mg|
|Magnesium||248 mg||133 mg|
|Manganese||3.33 mg||1.94 mg|
|Phosphorus||557 mg||264 mg|
|Potassium||508 mg||452 mg|
|Selenium||18.7 µg||37.7 µg|
|Sodium||4 mg||12 mg|
|Zinc||2.87 mg||2.77 mg|
The Final Word
This article highlighted the similarities and differences between amaranth and barley.
Grains, also known as cereal grains, are an important source of nutrition for many people around the world. They are a rich source of carbohydrates, which provide energy for the body.
Whole grains contain important vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins and iron. Whole grains, in particular, are high in dietary fiber and can help with digestion and weight management.
They may also have other health benefits, such as reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.
Grains are also a staple food and an important source of food security in many parts of the world.
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