Amaranth Facts

Recipes sometimes call for ingredients that you may not have heard of, like nutritional yeast or agar-agar. Some familiar ingredients like cauliflower, black beans, and lentils may be used in unfamiliar ways to make good-tasting plant-based dishes. You may not be aware of nutritional and medicinal properties of familiar foods like sweet potato or avocado. You can find links to this information on the Glossary page. If you have a question or want to see a particular ingredient featured, send an email to fruitandstuff@wfpbvida.com.

Amaranth is a pseudocereal grown for its edible starchy seeds; it is not in the same botanical family as true cereals such as wheat and rice. Amaranth, which is gluten-free, is a good source of fiber, protein, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and iron. Uncooked amaranth is not digested. It can be boiled and eaten as a cereal like oatmeal or added to granola and many other dishes.

One cup (246 grams) of cooked amaranth contains these nutrients:

  • Calories: 251
  • Protein: 9.3 grams
  • Carbs: 46 grams
  • Fat: 5.2 grams
  • Manganese: 105% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 40% of the RDI
  • Phosphorus: 36% of the RDI
  • Iron: 29% of the RDI
  • Selenium: 19% of the RDI
  • Copper: 18% of the RDI

Sources: Wikipedia / healthline

Chia Facts

Recipes sometimes call for ingredients that you may not have heard of, like nutritional yeast or agar-agar. Some familiar ingredients like cauliflower, black beans, and lentils may be used in unfamiliar ways to make good-tasting plant-based dishes. You may not be aware of nutritional and medicinal properties of familiar foods like sweet potato or avocado. You can find links to this information on the Glossary page. If you have a question or want to see a particular ingredient featured, send an email to fruitandstuff@wfpbvida.com.


Salvia hispanica, commonly known as chia, is a species of flowering plant in the mint family, native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala. It is considered a pseudocereal, cultivated for its edible, seed. The word “chia” is derived from the Nahuatl word chian, meaning oily.

A one-ounce (28 grams) serving of chia seeds contains

  • Fiber: 11 grams
  • Protein: 4 grams
  • Fat: 9 grams (5 of which are omega-3s)
  • Calcium: 18% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 30% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 30% of the RDI
  • Phosphorus: 27% of the RDI
  • They also contain zinc, vitamin B3 (niacin), potassium, vitamin B1 (thiamine) and vitamin B2

Chia seeds may be added to other foods as a topping or put into smoothies, breakfast cereals, tortillas, and bread. They also may be made into a gelatin-like substance or consumed raw. The gel from ground seeds may be used to replace the egg content in cakes and is a common substitute in vegan baking.

Sources: Wikipedia / healthline

Curcumin / Turmeric Facts

Recipes sometimes call for ingredients that you may not have heard of, like nutritional yeast or agar-agar. Some familiar ingredients like cauliflower, black beans, and lentils may be used in unfamiliar ways to make good-tasting plant-based dishes. You may not be aware of nutritional and medicinal properties of familiar foods like sweet potato or avocado. You can find links to this information on the Glossary page. If you have a question or want to see a particular ingredient featured, send an email to fruitandstuff@wfpbvida.com.

Curcumin is a bright yellow chemical produced by Curcuma longa plants. It is the principal curcuminoid of turmeric, a member of the ginger family. There is some confusion in the two names because curcumin is a component of turmeric. Reports say that turmeric is better for some conditions, while curcumin alone is better for others. Turmeric, commonly used in Asian food, is the main spice in curry. It is a bright and tasty addition to everything from smoothies to soups and stir-fry vegetables.

Turmeric or curcumin is recommended for pain and inflammation, such as that associated with osteoarthritis. It is also used for hay fever, depression, high cholesterol, a liver disease, and itching. Some people use turmeric for heartburn, thinking and memory skills, inflammatory bowel disease, stress, and many other conditions, but there no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

In small amounts, turmeric has few reported side effects, though there have been reports of nausea, dizziness or diarrhea. You should consult a health professional if you are taking therapeutic amounts of turmeric or curcumin.

Sources: Wikipedia / WebMD / healthline / Today

Nutritional Yeast Facts

Recipes sometimes call for ingredients that you may not have heard of, like nutritional yeast or agar-agar. Some familiar ingredients like cauliflower, black beans, and lentils may be used in unfamiliar ways to make good-tasting plant-based dishes. You may not be aware of nutritional and medicinal properties of familiar foods like sweet potato or avocado. You can find links to this information on the Glossary page. If you have a question or want to see a particular ingredient featured, send an email to fruitandstuff@wfpbvida.com.

Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast, often a strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae that is sold in the form of flakes or yellow powder. It has a strong flavor often described as nutty, cheesy, or creamy.

Here are just a few uses for nutritional yeast. It is used in cheese substitutes, as a flavor enhancer in mashed or fried potatoes, in scrambled tofu, and as a topping for popcorn.

Even in small amounts, nutritional yeast is a significant source of some Bcomplex vitamins. Some brands are fortified with additional B12. It has approximately 9 grams of protein in 2 tablespoons. It provides 9 amino acids that the human body cannot produce and 5% (unfortified) to 20% (fortified with B12) of recommended daily iron.

In large amounts, the high fiber content of nutritional yeast may cause digestive discomfort, and high niacin content can cause facial flushing. Some brands may contain tyramine, which can trigger migraines in some individuals.

Sources: Wikipedia / healthline

Agar-Agar Facts

Recipes sometimes call for ingredients that you may not have heard of, like nutritional yeast or agar-agar. Some familiar ingredients like cauliflower, black beans, and lentils may be used in unfamiliar ways to make good-tasting plant-based dishes. You may not be aware of nutritional and medicinal properties of familiar foods like sweet potato or avocado. You can find links to this information on the Glossary page. If you have a question or want to see a particular ingredient featured, send an email to fruitandstuff@wfpbvida.com.

Agar or agar-agar is a jelly-like substance, obtained from red algae. Agar has been used as an ingredient in desserts throughout Asia. It is used as a laxative, an appetite suppressant, a gelatin substitute, a thickener for soups, in fruit preserves, ice cream, and other desserts, and as a clarifying agent in brewing.

Source: Wikipedia

7 Steps to Plant-Based Living

ONE: Accept responsibility for your health and your choices.

Advice from others, including health professionals, is helpful, but you have the final say about what you eat and how you live.

TWO: Eliminate animal products from meal plans.

Do what works for you, and take as much time as you need.

THREE: Be conscious of EVERYTHING you take into your body–what it is doing FOR you and TO you and WHY you are taking it in,

If you eat it as food, drink it as beverage, swallow, inject, snort or smoke it as therapeutic or recreational drug, be conscious of what you are doing.

FOUR: Start with what you know.

Meat-based meals and fast food culture make us settle for potatoes as just about the only vegetable, but most of us are familiar with many edible plants. Some are delicious with no more preparation than washing. You can try new foods as you’re ready, but don’t get overwhelmed by making too many changes or trying to understand too many “requirements.”

FIVE: Eat a variety of foods.

Eliminating animal products clears the way for health-building foods to do what they do best, but you have to provide those foods.

SIX: Keep learning.

The more you know about nutrition the more you will be able to choose foods that build and maintain good health. Don’t settle for distorted studies as reported on social media. This Resources link will lead you to some reliable videos, books, studies and articles.

SEVEN: Have fun!

If for you that means keeping it simple, then keep it simple. If it means learning about new and exotic ingredients or making gourmet plant-based meals, go for it!