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Amaranth grain vs. Quinoa — Health Impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Elen Khachatrian by Elen Khachatrian | Last updated on October 23, 2022
Medically reviewed by Igor Bussel Article author photo Igor Bussel
Amaranth grain
vs
Quinoa

Summary

Amaranth grain is richer in calcium, manganese, and iron. It is also lower in sodium and sugar.

Quinoa has a lower glycemic index and is richer in Vitamin B1, B2, zinc, potassium, and copper.

Introduction

We will discuss quinoa and amaranth similarities and differences, focusing on nutrition and health impact.

What's The Actual Difference?

Both quinoa and amaranth fall into the pseudocereal category; however, they are consumed in the same way: cooked similarly to rice or oats.

Despite similarities, these grains have a few differences, such as appearance and nutritional values.

Amaranth is about the size of sesame seeds and has a yellowish color, while quinoa is about 2 mm in diameter and can be white, red, yellow, purple, brown, or black.

Nutrition

Below, nutrition infographics visually show the differences between cooked quinoa and cooked amaranth.

Calories

Amaranth has 102 calories per 100g, while quinoa contains only 120 calories per 100g.

Vitamins

Quinoa contains more vitamins than amaranth. It has more Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin E, and Folate.

The amount of Vitamin B1 is six times higher in quinoa.

The amounts of Vitamin A and Vitamin B1 are equal in these foods.

Both have no Vitamin D, A, K, or B12.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
:
12
Quinoa
Contains more Vitamin E +231.6%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +613.3%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +400%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +75.3%
Contains more Folate +90.9%
Equal in Vitamin B6 - 0.123
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 0% 4% 0% 0% 4% 6% 5% 0% 27% 17% 0% 0% 0%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 1% 13% 0% 0% 27% 26% 8% 0% 29% 32% 0% 13% 0%
Contains more Vitamin E +231.6%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +613.3%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +400%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +75.3%
Contains more Folate +90.9%
Equal in Vitamin B6 - 0.123

Minerals

Quinoa has more copper, potassium, and zinc.

On the other hand, amaranth has less sodium and more calcium than quinoa.

Both contain an equal amount of phosphorus and magnesium.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
Contains more Calcium +176.5%
Contains more Iron +40.9%
Contains less Sodium -14.3%
Contains more Manganese +35.3%
Contains more Selenium +96.4%
Contains more Potassium +27.4%
Contains more Zinc +26.7%
Contains more Copper +28.9%
Equal in Magnesium - 64
Equal in Phosphorus - 152
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 15% 79% 47% 64% 12% 1% 24% 50% 112% 30%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 6% 56% 46% 66% 16% 1% 30% 64% 83% 16%
Contains more Calcium +176.5%
Contains more Iron +40.9%
Contains less Sodium -14.3%
Contains more Manganese +35.3%
Contains more Selenium +96.4%
Contains more Potassium +27.4%
Contains more Zinc +26.7%
Contains more Copper +28.9%
Equal in Magnesium - 64
Equal in Phosphorus - 152

Glycemic Index

Quinoa also has a glycemic index of 53, making it a low-GI food. The glycemic index of cooked amaranth grain is 97, which is considered high GI.

Fats

Quinoa contains 1.92g of fat, and amaranth has 1.58g of fat.

Carbs

Quinoa has 21.3g per 100g, whereas amaranth has 19g per 100g. They both have high net carbs and fiber.

Cholesterol

Both have no cholesterol.

Health Impact

Diabetes

Quinoa contains essential amino acids like lysine, leucine, and sulfur. According to research, patients with type 2 diabetes who consume amino acids have lower blood glucose levels without changing their plasma insulin levels [1]. Besides, it is high in dietary fiber and can also be beneficial for people with diabetes since fiber and protein are essential for keeping blood sugar under control [2].

The effect of amaranth on blood glucose levels appears to be debatable. Some studies claim that consuming grain or oil may protect against insulin deficiency, while others claim that starch's high glycemic index is a liability for diabetic patients [3].

Article author photo Elen Khachatrian
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Last updated: October 23, 2022
Medically reviewed by Igor Bussel

Infographic

Amaranth grain vs Quinoa infographic
Infographic link

Macronutrient Comparison

Macronutrient breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Protein +15.8%
Contains more Fats +21.5%
Contains more Carbs +14%
Equal in Water - 71.61
Equal in Other - 0.77
4% 19% 75%
Protein: 3.8 g
Fats: 1.58 g
Carbs: 18.69 g
Water: 75.16 g
Other: 0.77 g
4% 2% 21% 72%
Protein: 4.4 g
Fats: 1.92 g
Carbs: 21.3 g
Water: 71.61 g
Other: 0.77 g
Contains more Protein +15.8%
Contains more Fats +21.5%
Contains more Carbs +14%
Equal in Water - 71.61
Equal in Other - 0.77

Carbohydrate type comparison

Carbohydrate type breakdown side-by-side comparison
Equal in Starch - 17.63
100%
Starch: 16.23 g
Sucrose: 0 g
Glucose: 0 g
Fructose: 0 g
Lactose: 0 g
Maltose: 0 g
Galactose: 0 g
100%
Starch: 17.63 g
Sucrose: 0 g
Glucose: 0 g
Fructose: 0 g
Lactose: 0 g
Maltose: 0 g
Galactose: 0 g
Equal in Starch - 17.63

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the rightmost column. It displays the amounts side by side, giving a clearer understanding of the difference.
Amaranth grain Quinoa
Lower in Glycemic Index ok
Lower in price ok
Rich in vitamins ok
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Cholesterol ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Rich in minerals Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Amaranth grain Quinoa Opinion
Net carbs 16.59g 18.5g Quinoa
Protein 3.8g 4.4g Quinoa
Fats 1.58g 1.92g Quinoa
Carbs 18.69g 21.3g Quinoa
Calories 102kcal 120kcal Quinoa
Starch 16.23g 17.63g Quinoa
Sugar 0.87g Amaranth grain
Fiber 2.1g 2.8g Quinoa
Calcium 47mg 17mg Amaranth grain
Iron 2.1mg 1.49mg Amaranth grain
Magnesium 65mg 64mg Amaranth grain
Phosphorus 148mg 152mg Quinoa
Potassium 135mg 172mg Quinoa
Sodium 6mg 7mg Amaranth grain
Zinc 0.86mg 1.09mg Quinoa
Copper 0.149mg 0.192mg Quinoa
Manganese 0.854mg 0.631mg Amaranth grain
Selenium 5.5µg 2.8µg Amaranth grain
Vitamin A 5IU Quinoa
Vitamin E 0.19mg 0.63mg Quinoa
Vitamin B1 0.015mg 0.107mg Quinoa
Vitamin B2 0.022mg 0.11mg Quinoa
Vitamin B3 0.235mg 0.412mg Quinoa
Vitamin B6 0.113mg 0.123mg Quinoa
Folate 22µg 42µg Quinoa
Choline 23mg Quinoa
Tryptophan 0.052mg Quinoa
Threonine 0.131mg Quinoa
Isoleucine 0.157mg Quinoa
Leucine 0.261mg Quinoa
Lysine 0.239mg Quinoa
Methionine 0.096mg Quinoa
Phenylalanine 0.185mg Quinoa
Valine 0.185mg Quinoa
Histidine 0.127mg Quinoa
Saturated Fat 0.231g Amaranth grain
Omega-3 - DHA 0.015g Quinoa
Monounsaturated Fat 0.528g Quinoa
Polyunsaturated fat 1.078g Quinoa

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Amaranth grain Quinoa
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low Glycemic Index diet ok

People also compare

Vitamins & Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score

The summary scores indicate the extent to which this food can fulfill your daily vitamin and mineral requirements if you consume 3 servings, consisting of 100 grams of each (an approximation of 3 serving sizes).
Vitamins Daily Need Coverage Score
5%
Amaranth grain
11%
Quinoa
Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
43%
Amaranth grain
38%
Quinoa

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Quinoa
Quinoa is lower in glycemic index (difference - 44)
Which food is cheaper?
Quinoa
Quinoa is cheaper (difference - $3)
Which food is richer in vitamins?
Quinoa
Quinoa is relatively richer in vitamins
Which food is lower in Sugar?
Amaranth grain
Amaranth grain is lower in Sugar (difference - 0.87g)
Which food contains less Sodium?
Amaranth grain
Amaranth grain contains less Sodium (difference - 1mg)
Which food is lower in Cholesterol?
Amaranth grain
Amaranth grain is lower in Cholesterol (difference - 0mg)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Amaranth grain
Amaranth grain is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.231g)
Which food is richer in minerals?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.

References

All the values for which the sources are not specified explicitly are taken from FDA’s Food Central. The exact link to the food presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Amaranth grain - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170683/nutrients
  2. Quinoa - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168917/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000-calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.