Buckwheat or Buckwheat is a pseudocereal native to central Asia. Today the cultivation of Buckwheat has spread and is known as a healthy food in the European and American communities.
Its nutritional properties are comparable to other healthy foods such as quinoa. Buckwheat is a recommended food for people with cardiovascular diseases and diabetes and a source of protein for those who carry out a plant-based diet.
This article describes in detail the nutritional properties and benefits of Buckwheat.
Buckwheat or Buckwheat – What is it?
Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum) is the seed of a herbaceous bog of the Polygonaceae family. It does not belong to the grass family, so it is not a cereal but a pseudocereal.
In the market, it can be found in two ways: in flour under the name Soba flour or the form of seeds, what is known as whole Buckwheat.
A curious fact about Buckwheat is that one of the uses of Buckwheat for more than 500 years is as a filler to make pillows.
These pillows adjust to the shape and weight of each person’s head and are highly durable. For this reason, they have become trendy to relieve lower back pain.
Buckwheat – Nutritional properties
This plant is considered one of the foods richest in vegetable proteins due to its high protein content (10 and 13%). At the same time, it is very rich in certain essential amino acids that are scarce in plants, such as lysine.
Buckwheat’s other nutritional properties are its high iron content and glycemic index medium.
Also, Buckwheat is gluten-free. This makes Buckwheat an excellent substitute for rice or pasta for people with gluten intolerance.
Below are the nutritional properties of Buckwheat:
|Total fat||3.4 g|
|Vegetable fiber||10 g|
Buckwheat nutritional value table. Source
Benefits of Buckwheat
Consuming pseudocereals like Buckwheat is associated with several health benefits. In particular, as a method to regulate sugar levels in people with diabetes and be an essential source of protein for those who carry out a vegan diet. The benefits of Buckwheat are:
- Can regulate blood sugar levels
Buckwheat is a medium glycemic index food: about 30-40 units. Its consumption is recommended for people who have diabetes. Including Buckwheat in dishes regularly is effective in regulating blood sugar levels. (1)
- Does not contain gluten
Buckwheat is a pseudocereal that does not contain gluten making it a permitted food for people who are gluten intolerant or with celiac disease. Carrying out a gluten-free diet is usually more expensive; one of the benefits of this food is that it can be the solution to this problem.
- Source of vegetable proteins
100 g of dry Buckwheat contains approximately 13 g of vegetable protein. This figure is higher than rice and similar to quinoa and oats.
- Improve insulin sensitivity
- Normalize blood pressure
Consuming Buckwheat regularly normalizes blood pressure. Its healthy fat profile explains this. Most of the fats in Buckwheat are monounsaturated, a fat related to regulating blood cholesterol levels. (2.4)
- Prevent lack of minerals
Buckwheat is rich in trace minerals – 100 g of dried buckwheat kernels contain about 80% of the recommended manganese, 55% magnesium, 32% phosphorus, 16% zinc, and 14% iron. If Buckwheat is grown in coastal areas, it can also provide a certain amount of iodine.
- Improved blood circulation
Within the vitamin content of Buckwheat, the presence of vitamins of group B and vitamin E stands out. Buckwheat contains a robust natural antioxidant – Vitamin P (rutin). This vitamin is associated with an improvement in blood circulation. (1) Reduces capillary fragility and increases iodine assimilation.
- Improve collagen synthesis
One of the benefits of Buckwheat is its supply of amino acid lysine. This amino acid is directly related to collagen synthesis and muscle recovery. Lysine deficiency is related to protein synthesis disorders and leads to muscle fatigue and general weakness.
- As a substitute for flour and sugar
Avoiding excess sugar and other simple carbohydrates is essential for regulating body weight and preventing diabetes. The carbohydrates in Buckwheat are complex carbohydrates. This implies that the energy in them will be provided slowly and gradually to the body.
Buckwheat vs. rice vs. quinoa
Buckwheat has more protein than rice. However, it cannot be said that Buckwheat beats quinoa. None of these foods contain gluten, so this cannot be a difference.
The main difference between Buckwheat and rice is their amino acid composition. Lysine is a harsh amino acid to find in plant-based foods. Buckwheat contains three of the eight amino acids most important for muscle recovery: lysine, threonine, and tryptophan.
Compared to quinoa, both are pseudo-cereals and high in protein. However, quinoa has a higher content of vegetable proteins. Just as the phytonutrients are not the same. Regarding the contribution of calories, they are similar, so it cannot be said that there are significant differences.
Nutritional value of Buckwheat vs. other cereals – Comparison table
|Lentils||25.8 g||1.1 g||60 g||353 kcal|
|Avena||17 g||7 g||66 g||389 kcal|
|Buckwheat||13 g||3.4 g||72 g||343 kcal|
|Burgundy wheat||12.8 g||0.6 g||77.4 g||376 kcal|
|Amaranth||17 g||1.0 g||73.3 g||326 kcal|
|Quinoa||18 g||1.3 g||72 g||322 kcal|
|Pearl barley||10 g||1.2 g||78 g||352 kcal|
|Corn flour||8.3 g||1.2 g||75 g||325 kcal|
|Integral rice)||8 g||3 g||77 g||370 kcal|
|White rice)||7 g||0.7 g||80 g||365 kcal|
Nutritional information for 100 g of cereals and pseudo- cereals.
Buckwheat is wheat-free
Despite what its name suggests, Buckwheat does not contain wheat. Among other things, Buckwheat is considered a food with fiber, making it an essential food to improve digestion processes.
Due to its high content of phytonutrients, consuming Buckwheat regularly can help normalize metabolic processes and neutralize oxidation damage that occurs in the body.
In moderate amounts, food is allowed in diets to lose weight and people with diabetes.
How to cook Buckwheat?
Like all whole foods in the shell, Buckwheat must be rinsed before being prepared. In gastronomy, it is used as an ingredient to make pasta and garnishes as well as it is a trendy ingredient in Japan for the preparation of crepes. In Russia, Buckwheat is the main ingredient in a typical dish: kasha.
Cooking buckwheat requires about 12-15 minutes. It should be boiled similarly to rice; the proportions are 2: 1, water: Buckwheat. Combining it with coconut oil, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, and spices is a bomb for the palate. Buckwheat flour can be used to prepare all kinds of desserts and sweet cakes allowed in a healthy diet.
Where to buy Buckwheat?
Buckwheat is sold both in health food stores and in supermarket chains, just as it is possible to buy Buckwheat in online stores.
We recommend buying this product of organic origin. In this way, the support for using pesticides and other chemicals in production is avoided. According to the FAO, organic foods are a way to prevent the negative impact of these compounds on health and promote local biodiversity and ecological balance.
Regarding its production, China is the leader with 55% of the total world production, followed by Russia with 20% of the total.
- Buckwheat is a pseudocereal that should be part of a healthy diet.
- Buckwheat’s properties are high content of vegetable proteins, it has a good amino acid profile, and it does not contain gluten.
- Buckwheat is rich in vitamin P, E, and minerals like iron and zinc.
- Buckwheat provides a high content of lysine, an essential amino acid to improve muscle recovery processes.
- Cooking buckwheat is simple; 15 minutes is enough to achieve an excellent accompaniment to your meals.
- Buckwheat can be bought in natural stores, online stores, and supermarket chains.