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Buckwheat: Nutritional Health Benefits, Side Effects & Recipes

Buckwheat is a nutritious whole grain which possesses abundant health benefits such as promoting weight loss, improving heart health, and managing diabetes, etc.

Buckwheat belongs to a group of foods called pseudocereals - they are seeds that are consumed as cereal grains but do not belong to the grass family. Other examples of pseudocereals are amaranth and quinoa.

There are two types of buckwheat which are common buckwheat and Tartary buckwheat. Buckwheat has higher amount of antioxidants than other cereal grains like rye, wheat, oats, and barley [1] .

Nutritional Value Of Buckwheat

100 g of buckwheat contains 9.75 g water, 343 kcal energy and it also contains

  • 13.25 g protein
  • 3.40 g fat
  • 71.50 g carbohydrate
  • 10.0 g fibre
  • 18 mg calcium
  • 2.20 mg iron
  • 231 mg magnesium
  • 347 mg phosphorus
  • 460 mg potassium
  • 1 mg sodium
  • 2.40 mg zinc
  • 0.101 mg thiamine
  • 0.425 mg riboflavin
  • 7.020 mg niacin
  • 0.210 mg vitamin B6
  • 30 mcg folate

Health Benefits Of Buckwheat

1. Promotes heart health

A study shows that buckwheat has the potent ability to lower inflammation, bad cholesterol and triglycerides levels, thereby preventing cardiovascular diseases [2] . Buckwheat contains a phytonutrient called rutin, an important antioxidant required for keeping your heart healthy and lowering high blood pressure.

Health Benefits Of Buckwheat/Kuttu Flour

2. Helps in losing weight

Buckwheat is high in protein and fibre, which provides a feeling of fullness after a meal. This helps in preventing weight gain and increases satiety levels. Including buckwheat into your diet can help in managing weight effectively.

3. Improves digestion

Buckwheat contains a good amount of fibre, which aids in regulating bowel movements, prevents stomach cancer and stomach infection and helps in the proper functioning of the digestive tract.

A study published in the International Journal of Food Microbiology shows that consuming fermented buckwheat can aid in improving the body's pH level [3] .

4. Prevents diabetes

According to the American Diabetes Association, whole grain foods are a rich source of complex carbohydrates. Complex carbs get absorbed in the blood slowly which don't cause a spike in the blood sugar levels. A study showed that, the phytonutrient rutin present in buckwheat has protective effects in preserving insulin signalling and has the ability to fight insulin resistance [4] .

5. Lowers cancer risk

Buckwheat contain important plant compounds like quercetin and rutin, which has the ability to lower cancer risk and improve inflammation. These antioxidant plant compounds fight against free radical damage, which damages the DNA and leads to the formation of cancer cells.

6. Safe for people with gluten sensitivity

Buckwheat has no gluten which makes it safer to consume for people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. This can help in preventing digestive problems like constipation, diarrhoea, bloating and leaky gut syndrome.

Health Benefits Of Buckwheat Honey And How To Use It

Side Effects Of Buckwheat

Eating buckwheat in excess quantity makes you more likely to develop buckwheat allergy. The symptoms include swelling in the mouth, hives, and skin rashes [5] .

How To Consume Buckwheat

Use the following method to cook buckwheat from dried groats:

  • First, rinse the buckwheat properly and then add water to it.
  • Simmer it for 20 minutes till the seeds swell up.
  • Once the buckwheat swells up, use it for cooking various kind of dishes.

To soak and sprout buckwheat, follow these steps:

  • Soak the dried buckwheat for 30 minutes to 6 hours.
  • Then wash and strain them.
  • Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water and leave them for 2-3 days.
  • As sprouts start forming, you can start eating them.

Ways To Eat Buckwheat

  • Make buckwheat porridge and have it for breakfast.
  • Use buckwheat flour for making pancakes, muffins, and cakes.
  • Add sprouted buckwheat into your salad.
  • Stir-fry buckwheat and have it as a side-dish.

Buckwheat Recipes

1. Buckwheat dhokla recipe

2. Raw banana and buckwheat galettes with sesame and lemon dip recipe

View Article References
  1. [1] Holasova, M., Fiedlerova, V., Smrcinova, H., Orsak, M., Lachman, J., & Vavreinova, S. (2002). Buckwheat—the source of antioxidant activity in functional foods.Food Research International,35(2-3), 207-211.
  2. [2] Li, L., Lietz, G., & Seal, C. (2018). Buckwheat and CVD Risk Markers: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.Nutrients,10(5), 619.
  3. [3] Coman, M. M., Verdenelli, M. C., Cecchini, C., Silvi, S., Vasile, A., Bahrim, G. E., ... & Cresci, A. (2013). Effect of buckwheat flour and oat bran on growth and cell viability of the probiotic strains Lactobacillus rhamnosus IMC 501®, Lactobacillus paracasei IMC 502® and their combination SYNBIO®, in synbiotic fermented milk.International journal of food microbiology,167(2), 261-268.
  4. [4] Qiu, J., Liu, Y., Yue, Y., Qin, Y., & Li, Z. (2016). Dietary tartary buckwheat intake attenuates insulin resistance and improves lipid profiles in patients with type 2 diabetes: a randomized controlled trial.Nutrition Research,36(12), 1392-1401.
  5. [5] Heffler, E., Nebiolo, F., Asero, R., Guida, G., Badiu, I., Pizzimenti, S., ... & Rolla, G. (2011). Clinical manifestations, co‐sensitizations, and immunoblotting profiles of buckwheat‐allergic patients.Allergy,66(2), 264-270.

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