What Are The Nutrients And Health Benefits Of Buckwheat?

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Have you tried including buckwheat in your diet? Nature always reminds us of how good it is in creating nutritious and healthful food.

Why so many of us reach for factory made junk is a mystery when we have nature’s perfect plant food gems like buckwheat?

What is Buckwheat?

Some refer to it as a pseudo-cereal. While the name leads one to believe the buckwheat plant yields a grain, the fruit of a grass plant with a hard exterior or hull, does not.

The buckwheat plant is bright green, having broad heart-shaped leaves and white flowers, and its seeds are harvested for use.

It is actually a type of shrub-like plant native to the temperate regions of East Asia. Currently, buckwheat is cultivated worldwide with most of it growing in China, Japan, and North America.

Over 14 species of the plant exist with two of them being cultivated species and the remaining existing in the wild.

buckwheat-flowers

What Are the Nutritional Contents of Buckwheat?

Buckwheat contains a rich nutritional profile of protein, minerals, and fiber.

check5The levels of copper, zinc, and manganese exceed the levels found in other cereal grains. 

check5Buckwheat does not contain gluten so people with gluten sensitivities or intolerance may safely consume pure buckwheat flour, groats or hulled kernels and grits.

check5The protein content of buckwheat exceeds that of oats, one of the best plant sources of protein.

check5Buckwheat grains contain high quantities B-complex vitamins, especially riboflavin (Vitamin B2) and niacin (Vitamin B3).

check5The grains contain high levels of soluble and insoluble fiber, which helps with digestion and elimination.

check5Gluten free so ideal for those with Celiac Disease or gluten sensitivity.

buckwheat-porridge

What Are Its Health Benefits?

People derive many health benefits from adding buckwheat to their diet.

check5It is good for diabetics. The high fiber content slows the absorption of glucose in the bloodstream, helping to maintain healthy blood sugar levels and possibly lowering A1C.

check5It supports the immune system. Copper, zinc, and potassium are key minerals for establishing and maintaining a healthy immune system. Copper also supports the production of red blood cells.

check5It helps heart health. The magnesium content of buckwheat assists with lowering blood pressure building balanced cholesterol levels.

check5Buckwheat fights inflammation a precursor and symptom of many systemic diseases. 

How to Prepare Buckwheat?

The seeds of the plant are harvested and processed in a variety of ways to make them available for various uses.

After removing the hull from the three-sided triangular shaped seeds, they may be added to cereals, coarsely ground into grits, finely ground into flour or roasted to make kasha.

Preparation methods for buckwheat groats and kasha include boiling, steaming and baking. The dishes serve the same role in meals as potatoes or rice.

Buckwheat flour may also be added to sauces and gravies to thicken them and give them additional color.

This nature’s gift is a versatile and nutritious plant. This gluten-free and nutrient dense food grows quickly making it a plentiful food source. Some people get a skin rash when they eat buckwheat so monitor for sensitivity.

buckwheat soba noodles

Buckwheat is widely available and lends itself to a variety of preparations such as breakfast cereal, porridge pancakes as well as grain salads, pilafs, Asian Soba noodles, snacks and in baked goods.

Another tip, try blending it with other grains when you find the flavor too heavy or bitter.

Cream of Buckwheat with Goji Berries

For people who struggle with wheat allergies and gluten intolerance, buckwheat is an ideal food.

Many people who are having physical and emotional challenges find that removing wheat and other gluten-containing foods from their diet makes a profound difference in how they think and feel.

Buckwheat has plenty of protein and B vitamins and is rich in phosphorus, potassium, iron, and calcium.

Although buckwheat has many grain-like characteristics, it is from an entirely different botanical family and is actually a fruit.

Since buckwheat is unrelated to the classic cereal grains, those who are allergic to wheat can tolerate buckwheat. It is also Delicious!

To make a serving for two people: Bring 2 ½ cups of water to a boil, slowly stir in ½ cup of Cream of Buckwheat, return to boil.

Add a handful of Goji Berries per person. A dash of good quality salt is optional. Reduce heat to low, simmer 10 minutes stirring frequently.

What are the Other Uses for Buckwheat?

In case you are curious, here are interesting notes about other usages of buckwheat.

check5Providing honey bees with nectar which they transform into a dark strongly flavored honey

check5A component of livestock feed to be used in combination with corn, barley or oats

check5As a fertilizer crop to be plowed under to return nutrients and moisture to the soil before planting

check5As a cover crop to prevent weeds before planting another crop

 


POINTS TO REMEMBER

Nutritional Contents

  • Copper, zinc, manganese
  • High in fiber
  • Protein
  • Gluten free

Health Benefits

  • Good for diabetics
  • Supports immune system
  • Helps heart health
  • Fights inflammation

TAKEAWAY QUESTIONS

– Are there available buckwheat products in your area?

– Do you eat some buckwheat?

– Do you have any favorite recipe of buckwheat?

– Do you eat any form of some alternative of buckwheat containing some nutrients?


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Images: pixabay.com

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