Buckwheat is a cereal related to knotweed, rhubarb, and sorrel. This fruit seed is like grain with a triangular shape. It has the same size as the wheat kernels. To make the seeds edible, a special milling equipment will remove its outer hull.
It’s a great alternative to wheat for those who can’t tolerate gluten. You may wish to opt for darker buckwheat as it’s more nutritious as its lighter form.
The flowers of buckwheat attract bees. The bees utilize them to produce dark honey, a strongly flavored type. You can also find buckwheat in its roasted or unroasted form. The former is known as kasha and typically used in European dishes. In the US, people here add it to pancakes or porridges.
Health Benefits of Buckwheat
I’d like to start with its effects on the skin. I’m quite curious about it ever since I started using Miyu Skincare from Amway. We all know that we need proper nutrients to achieve healthy skin. Although it depends on some genetic factors, the environment may also influence it.
So, let’s take a look at how buckwheat can help your skin’s health.
One of the components of buckwheat is rutin. It protects the skin against the sun’s effects. You can think of it as your natural suntan.
Buckwheat also contains powerful flavonoids and antioxidants, which are useful in preventing skin aging. It also contains magnesium. It’s a mineral that relaxes blood vessels and alleviates inflammation. As a result, it helps in improving blood circulation, making sure your skin glows.
How about weight loss?
Yes, it may help. How? It has fewer calories than wheat or barley. It’s devoid of saturated fat and cholesterol. Plus, it contains a high amount of protein and fiber. The combination of protein and fiber can help in suppressing your appetite and controlling your blood sugar. It also assists in building leaner muscle mass while aiding your body in proper digestion.
Friendly for diabetics
Because it’s low in calories and no fats, buckwheat is excellent for diabetics. In a study, it states:
“Bioactive components in buckwheat enhance insulin sensitivity in Type 2 diabetes by improving glucose uptake and utilization through a unique mechanism that operates independent of insulin.”
Blood pressure regulator
Since it’s an ideal source of magnesium, it helps in enhancing blood pressure as it relaxes the blood vessels. That said, it naturally regulates blood pressure without the use of harmful chemicals.
In addition to its role in regulating blood pressure, buckwheat is also excellent in improving your cardiovascular health. Since it is rich in B vitamins, buckwheat is beneficial for the health of your heart.
These vitamins are useful in reducing cholesterol concentration in the blood. Niacin, for example, increases the good cholesterol, known as the high-density lipoprotein (HDL). Because of its effects on HDL, it can help remove those plaque-forming triglycerides and LDL from the body. For that reason, it’s beneficial for patients who are suffering from cardiovascular problems.
Against breast cancer
A diet high in fiber from whole grains, like buckwheat, can help reduce breast cancer risk. Pre-menopausal women are at high risk of breast cancer. However, they can minimize that by consuming wholegrain fiber regularly. Buckwheat contains lignans. They are antioxidants that play a significant role in estrogen reception.
Do you have asthma?
Studies showed that eating whole grains can lower the risk of childhood asthma. Thanks to the magnesium and vitamin E contents of buckwheat.
Because it is high in insoluble fiber, this cereal prevents gallstones as it can speed up food movement through the intestines. It also helps in increasing insulin insensitive while it lowers bile acids secretion and blood sugar.
The protein in buckwheat
Buckwheat includes a high-quality protein that offers various health benefits. This protein and amino acids lower cholesterol levels, apart from preventing obesity and diabetes. The proteins in this cereal are beneficial in reducing hypertension as they minimize angiotensin converting enzyme activity.
Apart from protein, buckwheat is also high in manganese. This mineral is used to make sure your bone structure is healthy. It does so by forming vital enzymes to build bones. It also acts as a co-enzyme to assist metabolic progression in the body. It also involves in forming connective tissue, absorbing calcium and metabolism of sugar and fat.
The magnesium content in cereal is vital for dental health and bone. It assists in calcium absorption and prevents osteoporosis development.
Buckwheat is also beneficial to your mental health as it contains tryptophan. It positively influences your mood. It does not only prevent depression, but it also is a natural mood-calmer.
As mentioned earlier, buckwheat is devoid of gluten. It has the same taste, size, and texture as barley. However, buckwheat has no gluten. Thus it’s safe for patients with celiac disease. It is also beneficial for patients with gluten sensitivity.
Buckwheat is not a grain. Thus, swapping in buckwheat can assist in preventing bloating, constipation and other digestive disturbances.
How to prepare buckwheat?
This versatile grain can be added to different types of food. In France, for example, it is made into crepes. In Asia, it is used to make soba noodles. You can also find it in stir-fries and soups. In the US, chefs utilize buckwheat flour to make cookies, bread, muffins and other snacks that are rich in fiber and protein but devoid of gluten.
With its known benefits, you can find different types of buckwheat in grocery stores. When shopping for buckwheat products, you can go for raw buckwheat groats. They are unprocessed and dried. You can find them in various bulk-bin sections of any food health stores. They are great for salads or chili. You can also prepare sweet dishes out of them.
For example, you can opt for creamy buckwheat if you wish to make breakfast porridges. They are the same as oatmeal. In this meal, you can add fruits, yogurt, nut and other breakfast toppings.
Another way you can make a meal out of buckwheat is to use buckwheat flour for baking. Combine it with sprouted whole wheat flour or mix it with gluten-free flours. If you want fresh buckwheat flour, blend raw buckwheat groats.
In Japan, soba means buckwheat. Japanese used it to make vegetable soups that are good for the heart. However, if you’re avoiding gluten, make sure only to use buckwheat soba noodles that don’t contain gluten.
You can try eating buckwheat twice a week for two months. Then, take note of your digestion and your weight. Then, find out how you can move without pain. Evaluate your blood sugar level. You may see good improvements after a few weeks or so.