10 Reasons To Include Buckwheat In Your Diet

buckwheatBuckwheat is one of the recommended Sirtfoods.

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 well-researched reasons why you should give the Sirtfood buckwheat a try:

  1. Buckwheat is high in fiber; good for those with constipation.
  2. The protein in buckwheat has all 9 essential amino acids (that the body cannot manufacture), making it closer to being a “complete” protein.
  3. It is high in the amino acid lysine, which is used for tissue growth and repair.
  4. Buckwheat is gluten-free so this makes it suitable for those with wheat allergies.
  5. It is rich in calcium, iron, vitamin E, and B vitamins, magnesium, manganese, zinc and copper.
  6. The magnesium in buckwheat helps relaxes blood vessels; helps improve circulation, decrease blood pressure and reduce cholesterol.
  7. 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.
  8. It’s also low in calories, which is good in helping to reduce fat accumulation.
  9. Buckwheat contains rutin, a chemical that strengthens capillary walls.
  10. This Sirtfood being high in insoluble fiber, can help women avoid gallstones.

A range of buckwheat products is available online.

Buckwheat The Sirtfood

Buckwheat, as one of the Sirtfoods what is it and how do you cook it? buckwheat sirtfood

What is Buckwheat ?
Despite its recent rise to prominence, buckwheat is actually an ancient grain with a long history. It has been eaten in Asian and Eastern European countries for centuries, but is now becoming increasingly popular in the west due to its many health benefits.

While buckwheat is often thought of as a cereal grain, it is actually a fruit seed that is related to rhubarb and sorrel. However, because its seeds are rich in complex carbohydrates, it is sometimes referred to as a pseudo-cereal.

While it is not a true grain, it can be used like one in cooking and is a delicious alternative to couscous, bulgur wheat, rice and pasta.

Buckwheat is super healthy, very versatile and, despite its name, it’s not actually related to wheat. It is naturally gluten free and should therefore be safe to eat for those with coeliac disease and gluten sensitivities.

Buckwheat  also comes in several different forms: buckwheat seeds (often called buckwheat groats, or just buckwheat), noodles, pasta and flour. The groats are available completely raw or sprouted and are also available toasted. The toasted buckwheat groats are commonly referred to as kasha and have an earthier, nuttier flavour than the raw buckwheat.

Why is buckwheat so healthy?
Buckwheat is high in protein and fibre. It is rich in many trace minerals, including manganese, magnesium and copper and is a good source of the B vitamins. It also contains relatively few calories (66 calories for an 80g cooked portion, 40g uncooked) and practically no fat. Buckwheat also ranks low on the glycaemic scale. In fact buckwheat is so packed with nutrients and antioxidants that it is often referred to as a “superfood”.

Diets that contain buckwheat have been linked to a lowered risk of developing high cholesterol and high blood pressure and buckwheat may even help weight loss, reduce food cravings and improve diabetes.

It is an excellent source of plant-based protein, meaning buckwheat is an great choice for vegetarian and vegan diets.

How do you cook buckwheat?
Buckwheat is actually incredibly easy to cook, but our biggest piece of advice would be: be wary of following the packet instructions! The instructions on my packet of Tesco Buckwheat advised me to cook it for 30 minutes – well after 20 minutes it was a horrible tasting mush. Goodness knows what would have happened after 30 minutes! Less is obviously better. Our advice is to cook the buckwheat for 10 to 15 minutes in plenty of boiling water and drain. That’s it.

Whether you cook it for 10 or 15 minutes, it’s a matter for personal taste – a bit like pasta. If you want to add a little extra taste to your buckwheat, try toasting it in the dry pan for 2 to 3 minutes first before adding the boiling water, this will give you some extra nutty flavours and a richer, deeper taste, but is not necessary if you are in a hurry. (Also, do be careful when adding the boiling water to the pan that’s been toasting the buckwheat – it’s liable to bubble up like a volcano!).

Buckwheat can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days, making it a great one to cook up a big batch and use for various salads throughout the week. It can also be frozen.
Does buckwheat taste nice?
Yes but it can be a bit of an acquired taste. We would encourage you to persevere if you don’t like it at first.

What do you do with buckwheat?
Buckwheat can be used in place of other carbs such as rice, couscous, potatoes or pasta. It can be used as a side dish for a curry or stew. It can also be used instead of rice, bulgur wheat or couscous in a salad. Buckwheat can also be used instead of rice to make a risotto-style dish.

 A recommended range of buckwheat products is available online.