Contrary to general belief, buckwheat is not a cereal grain, but rather a fruit seed that is closely related to rhubarb and sorrel. This makes it an excellent substitute for gluten-containing grains, such as wheat, for people who are gluten-intolerant. Moreover, buckwheat flowers are very sweet-smelling which makes them attractive to bees that use them to produce a special, strongly flavored, dark honey.
This gluten-free seed is both energizing and nutritious. Best of all, it’s available all year long and can be served as an alternative to rice or made into porridge.
NUTRITIONAL VALUE OF BUCKWHEAT
Not many people know that this fruit seed is more nutritious than many other grains. Although carbohydrates are its main dietary component, buckwheat is also a rich source of protein and various minerals and antioxidants.
Moreover, the carbs in buckwheat are in the form of starch, which gives this this seed a low glycemic index. That’s why buckwheat doesn’t cause unhealthy spikes in blood sugar levels.
Plus, buckwheat also contains an ample amount of fiber and resistant starch, which is important for your colon health.
Although buckwheat contains small amounts of proteins, these are with a very good nutritional value. Buckwheat is also abundant in amino acids, especially in lysine and arginine. According to research, buckwheat protein can effectively reduce blood cholesterol, inhibit gallstone formation and lower the risk of colon cancer in animals.
On the plus side, this seed has higher mineral content than many common cereals, including rice, wheat and corn. The most abundant minerals found in buckwheat are manganese, copper, magnesium, iron, and phosphorus, which compared to other grains, are particularly well absorbed in cooked buckwheat groats.
Last, but not least, buckwheat is abundant in various antioxidant plant compounds, which account for many of its health benefits. Actually, it provides more antioxidants that many other cereal grains, including barley, oats, wheat and rye.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF BUCKWHEAT
Regular consumption of buckwheat can improve your health on many levels, such as:
- it improves blood sugar balance,
- it reduces high blood pressure,
- it improves blood lipid profile,
- it reduces the risk of cancer, especially colon and breast cancer,
- it improves digestive health,
- it improves immune system health,
- it improves bone health.
Note: People who are allergic to latex or rice may also show intolerance to buckwheat. In case of buckwheat allergy, symptoms include skin rashes, swelling, digestive distress and the most serious, a severe allergic shock.