Buckwheat belongs to a group of foods called psuedocereals and is a good source of protein, fibre and energy. Despite what its name suggests, it is not related to wheat and does not contain any gluten, so is a good alternative for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerances. Buckwheat contains many different vitamins including thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin K and vitamin B-6.
Buckwheat is a whole grain which contains nutrients that are important for heart health, including fiber and niacin. It is recommended that at least half of the grains in a person’s diet should be whole grains, and a study has found a link between diets higher in whole grain foods and a lower risk of heart disease.
The grain is the richest source of rutin among cereals and pseudocereals, an antioxidant with a number of health benefits. One benefit of rutin may cut the risk of heart disease by preventing the formation of blood clots and decreasing inflammation.
Improved blood sugar control
As it has a low to medium GI, buckwheat should be safe for most people with type 2 diabetes. In fact, it has been shown that buckwheat is linked to lower blood sugar in people with diabetes. This is also supported by a study in which buckwheat concentrate was shown to lower bloody sugar levels in rats with diabetes. This is considered to be related to the unique compound D-chiro-inositol, which has been shown to make cells more sensitive to insulin – the hormone that allows cells to absorb sugar from blood.
Buckwheat flour is a great gluten free substitute for making cakes & bread. Try using buckwheat whole grains in replacement of rice or couscous.