10 Health Benefits of Buckwheat
Contrary to its name, this fruit seed is not in any way related to wheat.
It is becoming very popular for many good reasons.
It is a highly nourishing, energizing and tasty food that can be eaten instead of rice or the usual porridge.
10 Health Benefits:
- Best source of high-quality, easily digestible proteins.
This makes it an excellent meat substitute.
High protein buckwheat flour is being studied for possible use in foods to reduce plasma cholesterol, body fat, and cholesterol gallstones.
- Fat alternative.
Buckwheat starch can also act as a fat alternative in processed foods.
- The high level of rutinis extracted from the leaves for medicine to treat high blood pressure.
- Non allergenic.
Buckwheat hulls are used as pillow stuffing for those allergic to feathers, dust, and pollen.
- May help diabetes.
New evidence has found that buckwheat may be helpful in the management of diabetes according to Canadian researchers in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
With a glycaemic index of 54, it lowers blood sugars more slowly than rice or wheat products.
- Great for the digestion.
“The properties of buckwheat are: Neutral thermal nature; sweet flavour; cleans and strengthens the intestines and improves appetite. Is effective for treating dysentery and chronic diarrhoea.” According to Paul Pitchford in Healing with Whole Foods (1993)
- Chemical free.
Buckwheat grows so quickly that it does not usually require a lot of pesticides or other chemicals to grow well.
- Buckwheat is good at drawing out retained waterand excess fluid from swollen areas of the body.
Read how to make a Buckwheat Plaster.
- Buckwheat is a warming food.
It is classified by macrobiotics as a yang food. It is great for eating in the cold winter months.
- Buckwheat contains no gluten and is not a grain.
It is therefore great for celiac and those on grain free and gluten sensitive diets.
I use it often in my Healthy Web Boot Camps.
All about buckwheat
Buckwheat is actually the seed of a flowering fruit that is related to rhubarb and sorrel. It’s completely gluten-free and unrelated to wheat and all the grasses in the wheat family. So it’s a popular substitute for wheat for those who are gluten-intolerant. It’s also a plant known for its honey; the flowers are attractive to bees and its pollen produces a dark and uniquely flavored honey.
Buckwheat was a common and popular crop in Europe and the United States for many years – but more as animal feed than as human food. It had a resurgence in popularity in the 1970s when its health benefits became understood.
It’s very high in nutrients, and it has even more fiber than oatmeal. See a list of buckwheat’s many, many health properties here:
What can you cook with buckwheat?
Buckwheat isn’t as popular as wheat and oats, perhaps because of its strong nearly bitter flavor. Roasted buckwheat has an intense taste – like darkly toasted bread or a hoppy beer. (In fact, buckwheat has been used to create gluten-free beers!)
We prefer the strong taste of buckwheat, as delicious as it is, in moderation. One popular use is pancakes; we prefer partial buckwheat flour used in proportion to wheat.
A very common use for buckwheat is porridge; the term kasha in the United States has grown to mean buckwheat breakfast porridge. (The original Slavic word could refer to any sort of porridge.) You can also make cold grain salads and hot grain casseroles with the whole groats, as well as bread and many other healthy baked goods with ground buckwheat flour.
How do you use buckwheat? We encourage you to give it a try! (It’s easily found in the bulk sections at the health food grocery store or coop.)