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Difference between Amaranth and Quinoa

Amaranth and quinoa have many similarities and look similar, so people often confuse these grain-like super foods with each other. Let us see how Amaranth and Quinoa differ from each other!


Amaranth is an ancient crop native to South America and a staple food in many parts of the world. It is gaining in popularity because it is gluten-free and rich in quality protein, minerals and fibers. Technically, it is not a true cereal grain instead it is a seed and is generally smaller than the quinoa seeds.

Amaranth Benefits:

  • It helps reduce cholesterol levels.
  • It is a gluten-free substance that makes it an ideal food for people suffering from Celiac's disease or gluten intolerance.
  • It is rich in phytonutrients that help control hypertension and diabetes.
  • It contains essential amino acids including lycine, so it helps assimilate calcium and build muscles.
  • It contains almost all essential minerals like calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus etc. These minerals help build strong bones and muscles and prevent graying of hair.


It is a flowering plant that is grown for its edible seeds. The quinoa seeds are known as super grains as they are rich in nutrients like protein, calcium, phosphorus. Technically, it is not a grain but used like any other grain. It is rich in proteins, fatty acids and alpha-linolenic acids. Unlike other whole grains, it is completely gluten-free and rich in fibers. NASA also believes that it can be used as a food by astronauts on long-distance space flights.

Quinoa Benefits:

  • It is rich in proteins and is gluten-free, so it is good for people who want to shed extra pounds.
  • It is good for the heart as it is rich in alpha-linolenic acids.
  • It has a low glycemic index that helps maintain blood sugar levels.
  • It is good for vegetarians or vegans who are looking for plant-based protein-rich foods.
  • It is rich in minerals like iron, zinc, magnesium and potassium.
  • It helps reduce aging as it is high in anti-oxidants that fight free radicals.
  • It is rich in flavonoids and has antiviral, anti-cancer and anti-depressant properties.

Based on the above information, some of the key differences between amaranth and quinoa are as follows:

Amaranth Quinoa
It is a warmer weather plant that is usually planted in June. It is a cool weather crop that is usually planted in the month of April or May in the northern United States.
It is slightly high in protein than Quinoa. It is slightly low in protein than Amaranth.
Amaranth seeds are generally smaller than quinoa seeds. Quinoa seeds are generally larger than the amaranth seeds.
The preparation of amaranth does not require its seeds to be coated with any substance. When harvested, it is coated with saponin to protect it from being eaten by insects and birds. So, it should be rinsed properly before cooking.
It contains more vitamin B-6 than quinoa. It is slightly low in vitamin B-6 than amaranth.
It has more iron than quinoa. It has less iron than quinoa.
It is used in curries, soups, casseroles etc. It is mostly used in salads and fry dishes.
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