Here is a very well familiar food item for some yet a totally unknown beast for others. Let me introduce you to buckwheat and you will see – it is truly the new super food.
Buckwheat belongs to a group of foods commonly called pseudocereals.
Pseudocereals are seeds that are consumed as cereal grains but don’t grow on grasses. Other common pseudocereals include quinoa and amaranth.
Despite its name, buckwheat is not related to wheat and is thus gluten-free.
The groats are used in much the same way as rice, are the main ingredient in many traditional European and Asian dishes. Buckwheat can be also milled into flour and used to prepare noodles, crepes, pancakes and other baked goods.
Buckwheat has become popular as a health food due to its high mineral and antioxidant content. Its benefits include improved blood sugar control.
Carbs are the main dietary component of buckwheat. Protein and various minerals and antioxidants are also present.
The nutritional value of buckwheat is considerably higher than that of many other grains. The nutrition facts for 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of raw buckwheat are Trusted Source):
- Calories: 343
- Water: 10%
- Protein: 13.3 grams
- Carbs: 71.5 grams
- Sugar: 0 grams
- Fiber: 10 grams
- Fat: 3.4 grams
Buckwheat contains a decent amount of fiber, which your body cannot digest. This nutrient is good for colon health.
By weight, fiber makes up 2.7% of boiled groats and is mainly composed of cellulose and lignin (2).
Vitamins and minerals
Buckwheat is richer in minerals than many common cereals, such as rice, wheat, and corn (5).
- Manganese. Found in high amounts in whole grains, manganese is essential for healthy metabolism, growth, development, and your body’s antioxidant defenses.
- Copper. Often lacking in the Western diet, copper is an essential trace element that may benefit heart health when eaten in small amounts.
- Magnesium. When present in sufficient amounts in your diet, this essential mineral may lower your risk of various chronic conditions, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
- Iron. Deficiency in this important mineral leads to anemia, a condition characterized by reduced oxygen-carrying capacity of your blood.
- Phosphorus. This mineral plays an essential role in the growth and maintenance of body tissues.
- Rutin. The main antioxidant polyphenol in buckwheat, rutin may lower your risk of cancer and improve inflammation, blood pressure, and your blood lipid profile.
- Quercetin. Found in many plant foods, quercetin is an antioxidant that may have a variety of beneficial health effects, including lowering your risk of cancer and heart disease.
- Vitexin. Animal studies indicate that vitexin may have a number of health benefits. However, excessive intake may contribute to an enlarged thyroid.
- D-chiro-inositol. This is a unique type of soluble carb that reduces blood sugar levels and may benefit diabetes management. Buckwheat is the richest food source of this plant compound.
Compared to other grains, the minerals in cooked buckwheat groats are particularly well absorbed.