Healthy Families

The Super food That Is Amaranth Grain

September 11, 2019


As a health-conscious organization, our mandate is to create awareness on healthy living and one way to go about it is by joining the rest of the world to create awareness on malnutrition.  Malnutrition refers to the deficiencies, excesses or imbalances in a person’s intake of energy and or nutrients. Since 1992,  It was documented that only two forms of malnutrition existed; undernutrition which is described as either stunting (low height for age), wasting (low weight for height) or underweight (low weight for age) and overnutrition which is explained in terms of overweight (Body Mass Index of 25-29.9) and obesity (Body Mass Index of >30).  This was perfectly described as the double burden of malnutrition.

The double burden of malnutrition existed up until 2014 when it was observed that there exists another form of malnutrition known as micronutrient deficiency which is the inadequate intake of vitamins and minerals. This deficiency was and still is known as the hidden hunger since one can have food available but it may not be rich in the vitamins and minerals required by the body to maintain optimal functions and boost immunity.  Moreover, there are no visible or warning signs but the health and socioeconomic status are greatly affected.

As a nation, we face the triple burden of malnutrition. The hidden hunger is, however, one that is of keen interest as it highly contributes to a vicious cycle and an increased disease burden.  In addition to that, it stills lags us behind from achieving the second Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of Zero Hunger. According to the Kenya Micronutrient Survey Report of 2011, the micronutrients of interest are Vitamin A, Zinc, Iodine, Iron, Folate and Vitamin B12. Unfortunately, women and young children are greatly affected by micronutrient deficiency.

Each of these highlighted nutrients plays a vital role in our bodies. Vitamin A plays a role in maintaining proper vision while Zinc aids in boosting immunity and boosting sexual maturity. Iodine, on the other hand, prevents goiter and improves the learning ability of children whereas Iron and Vitamin B12 prevents anemia which is rampant among small children and women. Folate aids in the formation of Red and White Blood Cells, DNA and RNA production and prevention of birth defects such as spina bifida.

Several measures have been put in place by both the public and private sectors to curb the hidden hunger. Among them is food fortification which is a government directive that flours, salt, and cooking oil be fortified in a bid to reduce the burden of Vitamin A, iron, Zinc, Folate, and Iodine deficiency. Besides food fortification, we, however, need to pay close attention to food diversification, which is the inclusion of different food varieties that are rich in multiple vitamins and minerals, to meet our daily dietary requirements.

One food product we highly recommend to include in your diet is the amaranth (Terere) grain. This was a revered grain among the Aztecs and Incas to a point they had deities built from this grain and honey among other ingredients.  For most parts of this country, amaranth grows like a weed making it readily available and for those who are unable to easily find it, we have you sorted through our ground amaranth grain flour that is available in your nearest supermarket.

Winnie’s Pure Health Terere Afya is becoming a favorite for us as it is gluten-free and can be added to at least every meal. It can be that cup of your favorite uji, fluffy pancakes, perfectly round and soft chapatis, healthy ugali, stews, and pastries. In addition to its availability and usability, the product has massive benefits drawn from the high number of nutrients contained. As per the below analysis, the product is a good source of Iron and Zinc which makes it an excellent product for young children, adolescents, women of reproductive age and pregnant and lactating women.

Nutrients

Per 100gms

unit

% Daily Value

Energy

375.43

Kcal

18.77

Total Carbohydrates

49.6

gms

16.53

Total fats

9.98

gms

15.35

Protein

18.18

gms

36.36

Dietary Fibre

10.18

gms

40.72

Iron

11.37

mg

63.17

Magnesium

220.60

mg

55.15

Phosphorus

315.20

mg

31.52

Calcium

180.00

mg

18.00

Manganese

0.61

mg

30.50

Potassium

329.90

mg

9.43

Zinc

 4.80

mg

32.00

Vitamin B1

0.23

mg

15.33

Vitamin B3

2.20

mg

11.00


*The % Daily Value is calculated based on the average adult’s 2000 calorie diet

Well, to reduce the disease burden associated with this form of malnutrition, it is important that we ensure we are eating right and more so through food diversification. Go ahead and try our Winnie’s Pure Health Terere Afya which is a powerhouse of nutrients and let us beat malnutrition one Terere Afya meal at a time.