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Buckwheat Is a Real Food and It's Healthy

By Paul Rothbart


If you're of a certain age, the word buckwheat probably makes you think of the character from "The Little Rascals." Perhaps it brings to mind Eddie Murphy's impersonation of that character on Saturday Night Live. Buckwheat is a real food, a part of the pseudocereal group, so-called because though they are consumed as cereals, these grains don't grow on grasses. Buckwheat is gluten-free as it is not a type of wheat despite its name. It can be ground into flour and used in almost any recipe that calls for regular flour. Buckwheat pancakes are popular with some people. Like most grains, buckwheat is nutritious and has some nice health benefits.

Nutrition

Buckwheat is one of the most nutritious of all grains. A 3.5-ounce serving contains 13.3 grams of protein and 10 grams of fiber. Protein is necessary for building and repairing muscle tissue and providing amino acids. Fiber aids digestion fills you up and can help lower cholesterol. Buckwheat also has the essential minerals iron, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, and manganese. It contains several antioxidants including quercetin, vitexin, rutin, and D-chiro-inositol. 

It May Help Heart Health

The magnesium, copper, and fiber content of buckwheat are all contributors to heart health and can help prevent stroke and heart attack. Rutin can help prevent blood clots from forming as well as lower blood pressure and inflammation. Research conducted in China with 850 adult test subjects found that rutin can help improve blood lipid profiles, raising good cholesterol levels and lowering bad. 

It Can Improve Blood Sugar Levels

High blood sugar levels are potentially very dangerous as they often lead to type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases. The fiber in buckwheat gives it a low glycemic index. It won't cause blood sugar spikes and can be helpful to the body in controlling blood sugar levels. Research has also found that the D-chiro-inositol in buckwheat may help increase insulin sensitivity in cells. This helps insulin do its job of absorbing sugar in the blood. Buckwheat is a good food choice for people with type 2 diabetes or who are prediabetic.

Be Mindful of Allergies

Although it is gluten-free, there are still people who are allergic to buckwheat. If you've never eaten it, you won't know. Be careful when trying it for the first time and be mindful of any allergy symptoms. They will get more severe the more you eat, so see an allergist to get tested if you notice any allergic reaction.

Grains are one of the best types of food to include in a healthy diet. Don't overlook buckwheat when making your choices. It has plenty of nutrition and can improve your health in several ways.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in El Cajon, Calif.

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