The name buckwheat is misleading because it isn’t related to wheat at all. In fact, buckwheat isn’t a true grain, but rather the fruit of a leafy plant belonging to the same family as sorrel and rhubarb. It is often referred to as a pseudo-cereal, since the grain is used in ways similar to cereal grains. Its name comes from a Dutch word that translates as “beechwheat,” most likely a reference to the plant’s triangular fruits, which resemble beechnuts. Most of us are most familiar with buckwheat flour used to make the pancakes, crepes or noodles (Japanese Soba). Here are 10 reasons why you should give buckwheat a try:
- Buckwheat is high in fiber; good for those with constipation.
- The protein in buckwheat has all 9 essential amino acids (that the body cannot manufacture), making it closer to being a “complete” protein.
- Buckwheat is high in the amino acid lysine, which is used for tissue growth and repair.
- Buckwheat is gluten-free so this makes it suitable for those with wheat allergies.
- Buckwheat is rich in calcium, iron, vitamin E, and B vitamins, magnesium, manganese, zinc and copper.
- The magnesium in buckwheat, helps relaxes blood vessels; helps improve circulation, decrease blood pressure and reduce cholesterol.
- Buckwheat helps to stabilize blood sugar levels. Due to the slower breakdown and absorption of the carbohydrates in buckwheat, this helps to raise our blood sugar levels more evenly. This especially good for those suffering with diabetes by helping to control their blood sugar levels.
- Buckwheat is low in calories, good in helping to reduce fat accumulation.
- Buckwheat contains rutin, a chemical that strengthens capillary walls.
- Buckwheat being high in insoluble fiber, can help women avoid gallstones. It is also protective against childhood asthma.
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