Buckwheat is a favorite for people who cannot tolerate gluten. Energizing and extremely nutritious, buckwheat is actually not a true grain but a fruit seed that is related to rhubarb. The French are famous for their buckwheat crepes and the Russians for blinis (crepes filled with caviar). Buckwheat is sold either unroasted or roasted. Unroasted buckwheat has a soft flavor whole roasted buckwheat has a more earthy and nutty taste. You can use buckwheat to make pancakes, crackers, noodles, and in just about everything tradition wheat or flour is used! Here are some of the health benefits of buckwheat.
- New evidence shows that buckwheat may be helpful in the management of diabetes. Single doses of buckwheat seed extract lowered blood glucose levels by 12-19 percent. The component responsible for these effects is chiro-inositol.
- One study found that women who consumed an average of three servings of whole grains daily, such as buckwheat, had a 21 percent lower risk of diabetes compared to those who ate one serving per week.
- Diets that contain buckwheat have been linked to a lowered risk of developing high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
- Buckwheat contains a good concentration of dietary fiber and magnesium. Fiber has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels while magnesium helps to promote blood vessel relaxation and blood circulation.
- People with celiac disease can eat buckwheat. This is an intestinal disease associated with sensitivity to grains or other foods that contain the protein gluten.
- Buckwheat contains sleep-promoting tryptophan.
- A concentrated source of phytonutrients called flavonoids that include rutin, quercetin, and kaempferol are found in buckwheat. They are strong antioxidants that protect the cells from harmful free radicals in the body.
Mateljan, G. (2007). The Worlds Healthiest Foods. Seattle, WA: George Mateljan Foundation.