It has been proven through research that buckwheat helps in controlling diabetes. Buckwheat is a grain that is used in making pancakes and noodles, and can help in controlling diabetes by maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.
An experiment conducted on rats showed that the extracts of the seed lowered blood glucose by 12 to 19 % when fed to diabetic rats. The rats were bred to have insulin dependent diabetes which is characterized by a lack of insulin- a hormone needed by the cells to use glucose correctly. Under controlled circumstances, the rats were given a dose of buckwheat and they observed that their glucose level dropped.
The researchers claim the new uses of buckwheat as a dietary supplement and functional food to help people with diabetes as it lowers the glucose level. It has also been proven that with absorption of buckwheat in the diet, it will provide an easy and inexpensive way to lower glucose level and reduce the risk of complications of diabetes.
Some experts view that buckwheat is not the treatment of diabetes but it is only a management aid to lower the glucose level in the body.
A similar experiment was done on people with diabetes, and the researchers concluded that it cannot be determined how much extract of buckwheat are beneficial for controlling glucose levels, but it has been proven that it helps in the management of the glucose and diabetes.
The researcher’s mentions that buckwheat contains an ingredient named chiro-inositol which may be responsible for lowering blood sugar because it is present in high percentage in buckwheat and is seldom present in other foods. It plays an important role in the glucose metabolism and cell signaling.
The researchers do not know exactly to what extent, it can control glucose levels and exactly how much amount of buckwheat is enough to control diabetes but, they are sure about the fact that it does helps in controlling the glucose level in the body and also manages the diabetes. They are sure that it makes the cells more sensitive to insulin and also acts as insulin mimic.
Some of the researchers said that there could be other compounds that are also responsible in controlling the glucose levels but they were not clearly identified in the experiment.
That said more studies still needs to be done.
Fagopyrum tataricum (Buckwheat) Improved High-Glucose-Induced Insulin Resistance in Mouse Hepatocytes and Diabetes in Fructose-Rich Diet-Induced Mice
Here’s another benefit of consuming buckwheat – buckwheat helps your skin!
Buckwheat contains rutin. Rutin is a natural bioflavanoid which can help to aid against skin damage from the sun due to its anti-inflammatory properties while flavanoids helps to block free radicals, giving it strong anti-aging and longevity properties. Rutin has the added benefit of aiding blood circulation. The rutin content is higher in tartary buckwheat (fagopyrum tataricum) compared to common buckwheat.
Buckwheat being high in polyunsaturated fatty acids helps enhance skin’s elasticity.
Vitamin B is good for our skin, nails and hair and also helps reduce skin damage caused by sun and environmental factors. Buckwheat contains riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin (vitamin B3), pantothenic acid (B5), thiamine (B1), B6 and folate.
Buckwheat honey comes from the nectar of the flowers of the common buckwheat plant.
Flavor: Malty, rich, pungent, strong molasses like earthy flavor
Color: Dark brown color
Buckwheat honey can be a substitute for molasses in baking or barbecue sauce. Studies have also shown buckwheat honey to be more effective than over-the-counter cough syrup for treating a cough. Buckwheat honey may be an an acquired taste for some people. Its either you like it or you don’t.
Buckwheat honey and dark honeys in general has been found to contain more antioxidant compounds then some lighter honeys. Antioxidants counter the toxic effects of free radicals that can lead to cancer, arthritis and cancer. Polyphenol, the antioxidants that are present in honey are one of the chemicals which give honey its color. Apart from antioxidants, darker honeys also tend to contain more vitamins and minerals.
Honey has been used since ancient times for its health benefits and is used as a sweetener and flavoring for foods and drinks. It is a healthy alternative to table sugar.
Take 1 or 2 teaspoons of buckwheat honey and mix it into your favorite tea!
Here are some buckwheat honey food & drink pairing ideas:
- With any strong cheese, especially blue cheeses
- Paired with grapefruit, is an excellent palate cleanser
- Drizzled over spicy chili
- As a substitute for maple syrup. Drizzle over crepes, pancakes or waffles
- When baking breads or traditional honey cake
- With greek yogurt
- In barbecue sauce
- In hot milk or soy milk
- In Elderflower tea
- In Chicory coffee
Some of the health benefits of honey include:
- Honey contains flavonoids; antioxidants which help reduce the risk of some cancers and heart disease.
- Honey helps with coughs, especially buckwheat honey.
- Honey helps the body regulate blood sugar levels. Some honeys have a low hypoglycemic index, so they cause a spike your blood sugar levels.
- Honey’s anti-bacterial properties are good for the skin, and when combined with other ingredients can also be moisturizing and nourishing. For example, face mask.
- Honey’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties is said help with healing wounds, diabetic foot ulcers, and burns.
Do note that it is not recommended to feed raw honey to young children due to the chance that botulism may be present.
Links to recipes that uses buckwheat honey:
Short Ribs with Beer and Buckwheat Honey
Honey-Tomato Bruschetta with Ricotta
Buckwheat Honey Glazed Lamb Shanks
Buckwheat Honey Roasted Chicken
Buckwheat Honey Ice Cream
Lemon Buckwheat Honey Cake
Smoked Paprika & Buckwheat Honey Chimichurri
Honey Barbecued Chicken Breasts
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.
Soba is the Japanese name for buckwheat. It is a type of thin noodle made from buckwheat flour and wheat flour. Soba noodles can be eaten chilled with a dipping sauce, or in soup. It contains high amounts of fiber, minerals and vitamins B1 and B2.
In Japan, soba is mostly referring to noodles in general and this has been a staple of the Japanese diet.
Consuming soba noodles can be an alternative for dieting. It is low in calories and high in fiber, which makes it a great choice. Being high in fiber, it keeps you feeling full longer thus helping you to stop overeating and controlling your appetite. A great food to include in your weight loss program.
Combine soba noodles with other foods like vegetables, beans and meat (e.g. salmon) to give a healthy meal with plenty of nutrients for your body!
Soba noodles can be bought from supermarkets, or if not try your local organic stores.
Buckwheat contains a high level of tryptophan, an essential amino acid that our body cannot product on its own. In our bodies, tryptophan will change into a brain chemical called serotonin. Serotonin can help improve our sleep.
Turkey, milk, cheese and nuts are some of the foods that contains tryptophan.
Maybe this is why drinking a warm cup of milk at night can make us feel sleepy faster!
Buckwheat is a great choice for weight loss as it is rich in fibre so it makes you fill full quicker and help suppress your appetite.
Incorporating buckwheat into your diet can also help you manage your blood sugar levels, thanks to its glycemic index(GI) of 51 (this means it is low GI !). (Source: http://www.glycemicindex.com)
Keeping your blood sugar levels steady throughout the day is an important factor to your weight loss plan. How does it work? Well, when we eat, our body converts digestible carbohydrates into blood sugar. Our blood sugar level can affect how hungry and how energetic we feel. It also determines whether we burn fat or store it.
If you don’t know what the glycemic index (GI) is, i’ll be talking about it in my next post.