Buckwheat is a pseudo grain – it has grain-like properties but is not a grain. Also, it has no relation to wheat as the name suggests. In Europe, countries like Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine are large producers of buckwheat. Similarly, Russia, the United States and China are main global buckwheat harvesters. Buckwheat is an established nutritional food rich in protein, polyphenols and minerals all of which do your body some good, so read on for our Top 5 Health Benefits of Buckwheat!
1. Complete protein source
Buckwheat is a great source of protein in plant-based diets. The groats contain lysine, an essential amino acid, which is lacking in wheat, for example. For that reason, buckwheat is claimed to be one of the highest lysine containing foods – higher even than oats.
People who suffer with digestive issues caused by gluten can safely consume buckwheat. Buckwheat flour offers a great substitute for regular wheat flour in cooking and baking.
Manganese, copper, magnesium, iron and phosphorus are main minerals found in buckwheat. These elements can be found in other grains too, however, absorption of these minerals is more efficient with the consumption of buckwheat. This is due to the low phytic acid content in the groats which normally reduces the availability of nutrients.
4. High in fibre
The buckwheat groats contain resistant starch. This basically means that that component of the groat is not digestible and passes through the digestive tract. This resistant starch is fermented in the colon, therefore, buckwheat is sometimes called a prebiotic food; it helps to increase the number of good bacteria in the colon.
5. Stabilises blood sugar levels
Buckwheat has a relatively low glycaemic index compared to other whole grains. Therefore a meal made with buckwheat has a lesser effect on blood sugar after eating (making it a good choice for those with diabetes). This is particularly relevant when the energy release needs to be steady such as when fuelling for a longer run or when needing a dependable energy source between meals during strenuous periods of activity.
Overall, buckwheat is a great source of protein, fibre and minerals. It is easy to cook and could be used as a substitute for oat porridge in the morning. It is an invaluable staple food for those with gluten related sensitivities and can be used in so many ways, in sweet and savoury dishes. If you haven’t tried it yet, give it a try and you’ll probably never look back! Got a recipe? Tell us below or @ KeepfitKingdom !