Though its name suggests, buckwheat isn’t a form of wheat. Moreover, it isn’t a grain! Buckwheat is a plant cultivated in Asia and is used for many culinary purposes, especially in breakfast foods, noodles, beverages, etc. It is also used in raw food diet recipes.
It is getting more and more popular, and people have started realizing that it is more just a staple food. They often ask about the buckwheat benefits to health, particularly is buckwheat good for health and does it contain gluten.
Well, first, you need to know a bit about buckwheat. So, let’s get started!
What Is Buckwheat?
Buckwheat is a seed obtained from the plant Fagopyrum esculentum. Not related to wheat in any way, this seed is also known as groats. The plant is cultivated as a cover crop and as a grain-like seed throughout Asia and some parts of North America and Europe.
Buckwheat seeds are rich in fiber, proteins, a variety of antioxidants, and many other nutrients. This is why people consider buckwheat a superfood!
Buckwheat is used similar to rice or whole barley, eaten as a cereal, and converted into porridge. You can consume it whole or ground into flour and use it in cooking or baking.
Buckwheat Seeds Are No Less Than A Superfood
Also known as groats, Buckwheat seeds have become quite popular among the gluten-free crowd. While the word ‘gluten-free’ is enough to attract the health-conscious people, you will be amazed at the nutritional facts of buckwheat!
According to buyorganicsonline.com.au, buckwheat seeds are a high-fiber, high-protein alternative to the traditional white flour. Though it is high in carbohydrates, it has low-fat levels. Thus, it makes a great low-calorie option!
Aside from this, buckwheat also contains manganese, iron, zinc, copper, phosphorus, vitamin B6, vitamin K, vitamin E, and many other vitamins and minerals.
Health Benefits Of Buckwheat Seeds
When someone asks, is buckwheat flour healthy, the answer is resounding yes! Packed with antioxidants, fiber, and a rich supply of essential vitamins and minerals, Buckwheat flour is a perfect addition to your diet.
As it is rich in protein, it is a rich source of lysine. The proteins in buckwheat can be a bit difficult to digest, though. Thus, it is not ideal for kids and people with digestive issues. So, it is better to talk to a dietician or physician to know how much is too much for you.
Now, let’s have a look at the health benefits buckwheat seeds offer!
Improves Heart’s Health
One of the most significant features of buckwheat flour is that it contains a high amount of phytonutrients, specifically flavonoids. These are antioxidants that fight against dangerous free radicals that may cause heart diseases.
The most important flavonoid present in buckwheat is Rutin. They reduce the amount of LDL or bad cholesterol, keep the blood platelets from clotting, thus reduces the chances of heart attacks or stroke.
Moreover, it increases the amount of good cholesterol, helps stabilize blood pressure, and keeps cardiovascular diseases at bay.
Gluten-Free and Non-Allergic
While buckwheat is used in the same way as whole grains, these seeds are gluten-free. Thus, it is god for people with celiac disease. Replacing this seed with other grains containing gluten will be helpful for the people with digestive disturbances.
Helpful In Weight Loss
Buckwheat has lower calories than barley or wheat. It is free of cholesterol, saturated fats and is high in proteins and fiber. It is a powerful combination that aids in suppressing appetite, improving digestive health, regulating blood sugar levels, and building lean muscle mass.
Has Anti-Cancer Potential
The pseudocereal contains phenolic compounds and antioxidants that help the body fight several types of cancer. The fiber in buckwheat seeds minimizes the chances of gastrointestinal issues, even breast cancer, colon, gastric, etc.
Flavonoids like oligomeric proanthocyanidins protect the body cells against free radicals, preventing the inflammation that may contribute to the spread of cancer.
Rich Source Of Vegetarian Proteins
Buckwheat flour is an excellent source of digestible plant proteins. A 100-gram serving contains 14 grams of proteins and different amino acids that support healthy muscle growth. Though the protein content isn’t as high as legumes or beans, it is higher than other whole grains.
If you want to get the best benefits of buckwheat, cook seeds at a ratio of 1:2 with water. Simmer it for around 30 minutes until the grains get tender. Apart from this, you can grind raw groats into regular flour for use in breakfast foods, like a pancake.
Boosts Immune System
Buckwheat has many benefits, and its benefit to the immune system is the most important one. The antioxidant components like selenium, tocopherols, flavonoids, etc. are effective at finding or eliminating free radicals. Other antioxidants like Vitamin C boost the activity of other antioxidants and help protects the organ systems.
Reduces The Risk Of Gallstones
Buckwheat flour is rich in fiber, which means it can decrease your chances of developing gallstones. Not only it increases the transit time of food via the digestive tract, but it also decreases the need for bile acid secretion.
Aids In Diabetes Management
People who have diabetes now have another superfood in their arsenal for constant management of the disease. It contains D-chiro inositol, a compound that helps reduce blood sugar levels. A high amount of fiber in buckwheat also helps in diabetes management.
Buckwheat seeds are high in iron content, which is the key component in red blood cell formation. If your body is deficient in iron, it may cause anemia, a physical condition characterized by fatigue, headaches, cognitive slowness, etc.
A Word Of Caution
Buckwheat isn’t a common crop is some parts of the world. You may not have used it before and may experience allergy. People may also develop an allergy after their prolonged use. The reactions range from a runny nose to intestinal discomfort and even death!
Buckwheat flour is nutritious and provides you with a plethora of benefits. The benefits of buckwheat have made this little seed an effective superfood.