7 Key Health Benefits of Eating Buckwheat

7 Key Health Benefits of Eating Buckwheat

Buck‘wheat’ is often confused with the similar sounding ‘wheat’, even though it is a fruit seed, and far from a grain! It has for years been considered a fasting food, but has numerous other uses and benefits that we are sharing here with you.

Organic Buckwheat flour, milled with utmost care from whole buckwheat groats is great for the heart, and it’s low cholesterol is really the icing on the cake!

For those wondering what is buckwheat - it is commonly  called ‘kuttu aata’ in Northern India, and has gained immense popularity with Soba noodles in broth or as salads. 

It is often considered a gluten-free alternative to wheat. However, Buckwheat has higher protein content than wheat. 

Key Health Benefits of Eating Buckwheat

1. Buckwheat Nutrition Composition

Buckwheat is an excellent source of minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, and iron. It also contains essential vitamins such as Vitamin B6 and K, folate, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamin.

The nutrition composition may vary based on the serving or the types of Buckwheat food you are eating. Below is the buckwheat nutrition composition for a cup or approximately 163 grams of roasted buckwheat groats. (Buckwheat groats are the hulled seeds of Buckwheat.)

Nutrient

Composition

Protein in buckwheat

5.68 grams

Carbohydrates in buckwheat

33.5 grams

Fiber in buckwheat

4.5 Grams

Fat in buckwheat

1.04 grams



*Data Source: WebMD and MedicalNewsToday

We recommend purchasing Buckwheat products that have low sugar content. Most brands add a high level of sugar content, increasing the empty calories in the flour. You can look for Organic Buckwheat flour for cooking, as this is free of any additives and is totally unadulterated.

2. Gluten-Free Whole Grain Food

Buckwheat is a good alternative for people who suffer from gluten intolerance. Gluten intolerance is non-celiac gluten sensitivity which is quite similar to celiac disease. People with gluten intolerance have short term reactions such as stomach aches and bloating and it usually does not have a long lasting effect on the body.

Celiac disease, on the other hand, is quite severe. Apart from the common symptoms of gluten intolerance, people with celiac disease might experience seizures, itchy skin, and mouth ulcers.

According to the experts at All India Institute of Medical Sciences, around 6-8 million Indians have Celiac disease. Considering that gluten is found in most food products, especially in wheat, barley and rye, which are a staple for the Indian populace, this is a high risk number. Thus, we should consider the importance of adding healthy, nutrition dense alternatives like Buckwheat to our daily diet.

3. High Antioxidant Content

Buckwheat, in general, is a rich source of antioxidants that have been attributed to several health benefits. Tartary buckwheat, especially, has a higher antioxidant content than other varieties. It is also rich in plant compounds that work with antioxidants to improve health.

  • Buckwheat is the richest source of D-chiro-inositol. It is a soluble plant compound that helps manage diabetes by reducing blood sugar levels.

  • Rutin, a flavonoid polyphenol antioxidant found in buckwheat, has been attributed to reducing the risk of cancer. It could also help reduce inflammation, control blood pressure, and improve blood lipid profile.

  • Quercetin, another flavonoid antioxidant found in plenty of food sources, may also help lower the chances of cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

4. Nutritional Powerhouse: Improves Heart Health

Buckwheat's nutrition composition includes a lot of heart-healthy compounds such as fibre, magnesium, copper, quercetin, and rutin. According to a study published in the National Library of medicine, quercetin has been associated with reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, rutin helps in improving blood lipid profile, lowering bad cholesterol and increasing the good cholesterol. They together eliminate major risk factors for heart disease.

According to several reputed sources such as the American Heart Association, whole grains such as buckwheat should be included in at least half of a person's regular grain consumption as they contain a good amount of niacin and fibre, both nutrients essential for a healthy heart.

Dietary fibres that exist in buckwheat help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, and obesity. Buckwheat is also naturally gluten-free and can be consumed by most people.

5. Fibre Rich Food: Improves Digestion

Fibre is crucial to the proper digestion of food. As it makes its way through the intestines, it absorbs water, softening the stool and making it easier to pass. It also solidifies the content of the large intestine, bringing together the indigestible food.

Buckwheat primarily contains insoluble fibre, which remains intact as it passes through our digestive system. It proves effective in improving digestive health and relieves constipation. One cup or approximately 163 grams of roasted buckwheat contains 4.7 grams of fibre.

Insoluble fibre, also known as resistant starch, fermented by the bacteria in your colon produces short-chain fatty acids, such as Butyrate. These short-chain fatty acids act as nutrition for the cells of your colon. It is why Buckwheat is also known to reduce the risk of colon cancer and improves gut health.

Soluble fibres, on the other hand, dissolve into the water. These are the ones that prove beneficial in lowering cholesterol levels. Buckwheat also has a good amount of soluble fibres and therefore aids in healing the digestive system and reducing cholesterol levels.

6. Helps Maintain Blood Sugar Levels

This nutrition powerhouse contains carbohydrates, flavonoids, fibres, and proteins, all of which have proven to be beneficial in improving blood sugar levels.

Complex carbohydrates found in buckwheat play a huge role in managing blood glucose levels. Complex carbohydrates take longer to break down, slowing down digestion. It gives blood sugar levels time to stabilise. Buckwheat and other whole grains foods are rich sources of complex carbohydrates.

Typically, persistently high levels of blood sugar may cause chronic diseases such as diabetes. Several studies have concluded that for people with type 2 diabetes, adding buckwheat to their diet is helpful in the longer run.

7. Aids in Weight Loss

Buckwheat, like most whole grains, is a fulfilling food choice. It makes you feel full long after you have finished eating. The feeling of fullness is of fundamental help in weight loss. Here is how- consuming foods that increase satiety, and the feeling of fullness can significantly lower the number of calories a person consumes daily. As a result one tends to consume less empty calories, and eat limited food during the day. This in turn aids the metabolism and results in weight loss.

Buckwheat's high protein content also helps in keeping weight in check, and aids muscle gain and strength. While there is lesser scientific evidence to support this, there are studies that have found a positive association between protein intake and satiety.

Final Thoughts

Buckwheat is one of the healthiest gluten-free whole grains foods with several ways to cook and consume, including eating raw buckwheat groats that can be soaked in water, making them easier to digest. You can also add them to salads as topping or as the protein base.

Another common buckwheat ingredient is buckwheat flour, which is used in baked goods, pancakes, and bread. Regardless of the Buckwheat recipe you cook, be assured that you will have a healthy and nutritious meal and feel fuller for longer.

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