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Buckwheat: a “super” grain

Buckwheat is one of the lesser-known gluten free alternatives. In this video Dr. Starowizcz talks about this grain and its properties.
Hi. My name is Malgorzata Starowicz. We as a society in the last few years started to take great care of our diet. We started reading labels getting rid of some products from our market list which might contain some unhealthy components. We tried to introduce to our diet more fresh vegetables and fruits and more ingredients which might have potential healthy benefits. Superfood is nowadays a very trendy topic, so-called hipster term but not everyone knows that some very common products can be also known as superfood. One of the examples is buckwheat the topic of today’s video.
Buckwheat is a pseudocereal like teff, amaranth and quinoa which means that it doesn’t belong to the same family of grasses as cereals but they have the same similar look of grass as other cereals. Global buckwheat consumption in 2015 was amounted to approximately 2,400 tonnes. Top of buckwheat-consuming countries in the world are Russia, China France, Ukraine and United States. Buckwheat is a resource of proteins micro and macro elements vitamins from group B, flavonoids and also D-chiro-inositol. D-chiro-inositol is responsible for increasing cell sensitivity to insulin and therefore, it can influence on lowering the sugar content in our blood. Because of that buckwheat is recommended for people with diabetes type 2.
Buckwheat has a very low glycemic index which simply means that it makes you full quicker and the state will last for longer. These properties might prevent overweight. As we’ve mentioned previously, buckwheat contains a lot of flavonoids compounds but rutin is the top one flavonoid in buckwheat. Rutin might reduce oxidative stress reduce level of bad cholesterol and increase strength of our immune system. Also, it can reduce risk of cardiovascular diseases.
On the top of that buckwheat doesn’t contain gluten so it’s widely used as a substitute of gluten wheat grains and it’s added to formula of gluten-free products dedicated for people with celiac disease and gluten intolerance.
From buckwheat plant, there are two main products: Groats and flour. Buckwheat kernel is decorticated and roasted to produce Kasha. Therefore, to produce buckwheat flour the decorticated kernel is directly grinded. In that whole process buckwheat shells is a waste which might be reused as a filling of mattresses and pillows. Another reason why buckwheat is so commonly used in meals is also the availability. Buckwheat is consumed in many different meals which preparation depending upon local cultures. For example, the flour is used for making noodles in China and Japan named as soba noodles pancakes and biscuits in Europe and North America porridge and soup in Russia and unleavened bread chapatis in India.
A lot of buckwheat products are nowadays available on the market like bread biscuits, wafers, sprouts and kasha. But besides all of these advantages there are also some downsides. Buckwheat products tend to be quite bitter in taste and has a specific aroma which might be disliked by children. The bitter taste of buckwheat might be mainly due to high content of polyphenols and tannins whereas volatile compounds such as alcohols, ketones, aldehydes pyrazines are responsible for this characteristic aroma. But scientists are also working on buckwheat plant with lower bitter active compounds to encourage consumers to consume buckwheat. In conclusion, eating buckwheat in any forms has many benefits to our health. It’s rich in rutin and minerals.
It prevents overweight reduce oxidative stress and can be successfully added to athletes’ diet because of its high content of proteins.

Why is buckwheat a super grain?

Not all gluten-free alternatives are equally known to the consumer, but buckwheat is a grain with a very long history of human use and tradition in local cuisines, such as crepes in northern France or noodles in places as far as northern Italy and Japan.

Buckwheat has some characteristics that make it a healthy food: a low glycaemic index and good content of micronutrients, as well as flavonoids and other phytochemicals. Buckwheat is one traditional grain with good nutritional properties, but it is not consumed everywhere. It can be added to the diet of everybody, including athletes, and it might help reduce oxidative damage.

Do you know other “ancient” grains, regardless of whether they are gluten-free or not? Do you consume them regularly? Tell us in the comment section!

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