Yao Tang, Rong Tsao (2017). Phytochemicals in quinoa and amaranth grains and their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and potential health beneficial effects: a review. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research.
Laboratory for Functional Foods and Human Health, Center for Excellence in Post-Harvest Technologies, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Kannapolis, NC, USA
Guelph Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Guelph, Ontario, Canada
Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) and amaranth (Amaranthus cruentus L.) are pseudocereal grains rich in both macronutrients and micronutrients including vitamins and minerals. The proteins are particularly of high nutritional quality due to the outstanding balance of essential amino acids. However, recent research strongly suggests that the essential nutrients such as phytochemicals of quinoa and amaranth may also with potential health beneficial effects. This review focuses on the phytochemical composition of quinoa and amaranth seeds, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities of hydrophilic (e.g. phenolics, betacyanins) and lipophilic (e.g. fatty acids, tocopherols, and carotenoids) nutrients, and how these contribute to the potential health benefits, especially in lowering the risk of the oxidative stress related diseases e.g. cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. The gap between current knowledge and future research needs to be identified.