Buckwheat: Properties and Benefits

Buckwheat

Buckwheat is the seed of a plant native to Asia that contains a unique amino acid composition that gives it special biological properties that provide health benefits


Buckwheat, scientific name Fagopyrum esculentum, is an annual herbaceous plant belonging to the family Polygonaceae. Many mistakenly believe that it belongs to the Gramineae, considering it a cereal.

Buckwheat: properties and benefits
Buckwheat: properties and benefits

The buckwheat is probably native to Asia and was introduced in Europe by the Turks during the medieval period. It has excellent nutritional properties. It contains essential amino acids that our body is unable to synthesize.

Index

The plant can reach one meter in height and its grains have a curious triangular shape. The harvest is carried out when the wheat grains begin to take on a dark brown color. They are then left to dry in the sun for about twenty days before being threshed.

Buckwheat is grown essentially in order to obtain from its grains for food use flour. The beans are also used together with the plant to forage farm animals.

For centuries it has been abundantly consumed in Asian countries but now, thanks to its numerous health benefits, it is becoming increasingly popular even in Europe and the United States.

The buckwheat has a unique composition of amino acids which gives it special therapeutic properties. Scientific research certifies that its consumption is useful for lowering cholesterol and improving digestion. ( 1 )

The beneficial effects of buckwheat are due to the wide spectrum of flavonoids which are biologically active phytonutrients with beneficial properties for health. ( 2 )

Compared to rice and wheat, buckwheat seeds are richer in proteins and antioxidants, such as phenolic compounds. ( 3 ) Compared to other cereals, the proteins of this vegetable have a higher biological value due to their high lysine content. ( 3 )

Chemical Composition

Chemical composition for 100 grams of buckwheat
Water g 9,7
Protein g 13,2
Fat g 3,4
Carbohydrates g 71,5
Fiber g 10
Ashes g 2,1
Minerals
Calcium mg 18
Iron mg 2,2
Magnesium mg 231
Phosphorus mg 347
Potassium mg 460
Sodium mg 1
Zinc mg 2,4
Copper mg 1,1
Manganese mg 1,3
Selenium mcg 8,3
Vitamins
B1 mg 0,1
B2 mg 0,4
B3 mg 7
B5 mg 1,2
B6 mg 0,2
Folate mcg 30

Source: Nutritiondata

Amino acids: alanine, arginine, cystine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, glycine, isoleucine,phenylalanine, lysine, methionine, valine, threonine, proline and tyrosine.

Calories

The caloric yield of 100 grams of buckwheat corresponds to 343 Kcal .

Buckwheat: Properties and Benefits

Does Not Contain Gluten

The buckwheat, in the form of flour, is very suitable in the diet of people who suffer from celiac disease, because it contains absolutely no gluten. Pasta, polenta and bread are prepared with its flour. These can be consumed by celiacs with good health benefits. ( 4 )

Digestive Properties

The buckwheat is rich in dietary fiber, soluble and insoluble which favors the passage of food in the intestinal tract. Thus it prevents constipation and promotes digestion.

A Korean animal study found higher antioxidant activity in the liver, colon and rectum of animals that consumed buckwheat. Antioxidants with protective properties have been found in the animals digestive systems. ( 5 )

When this food is fermented for the preparation of alcoholic beverages or bread a natural leavening, it can provide precious prebiotics that nourish the good bacteria of the intestinal flora.

Studies suggest that consumption of products derived from fermented buckwheat can improve the body’s pH level which prevents the formation of harmful bacteria. ( 6 )

High Protein Value

Its consumption, thanks to its high protein value similar to that of meat and soy, is also recommended in case of physical decay. Thanks to the properties of a substance called rutin, helps preserve the elasticity of blood vessel tissues.

The flour is currently being studied to verify if its protein properties can bring benefits  in reducing cholesterol.

Heart Health

All over the world, cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of mortality and represent about one third of all deaths. ( 7 )

There are several epidemiological studies that suggest that diets rich in whole grains are linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality. ( 8 , 9 , 10 )

Studies suggest that buckwheat has useful properties to reduce inflammation and to lower bad cholesterol (LDL). These two factors help prevent heart disease. ( 11 )

Its seeds contain rutin, a powerful antioxidant that brings benefits to heart health. It is a phytonutrient that according to studies supports the cardiovascular system and lowers blood pressure. Together with the good content of dietary fiber it also helps to keep cholesterol under control. ( 12 )

In fact, the fiber has not only digestive properties, but by binding to harmful substances it favors its expulsion from the body. The same effect occurs with the bad LDL cholesterol that is absorbed in a minor way in the colon thus helping to reduce blood levels.

An English study on animals suggests that the intake of this vegetable reduces total cholesterol from 12 to 54% and triglycerides from 2 to 74%. ( 13 )

The buckwheat is considered a food low glycemic index. It has been shown that diets with a low glycemic index have significantly improved lipid profiles in medium and long-term treatments, in particular as regards the reduction of total cholesterol and LDL concentrations. ( 14 , 15 , 16 )

Antioxidants

The buckwheat contains phenolic  antioxidants which, according to studies, can help fight cancer, heart disease and more. Their benefits in fact extend to cognitive function, to the health of the liver and the digestive system. ( 17 )

Diabetes

Hyperglycemia and insulin resistance are closely related to the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. ( 18 , 19 )

From research conducted in Canada on animals, it would seem that its seeds contain an active ingredient called D-chiro-inositol. This could be beneficial  in treating diabetes mellitus. ( 20 )

According to the results provided by these studies, the substance contained would have the capacity of lowering the blood sugar by 19%. New scenarios would therefore open up in the treatment of this widespread disease. ( 21 , 22 )

In a study conducted on patients with diabetes 2, it was found that buckwheat attenuates insulin resistance and improves lipid profiles. ( 23 )

The buckwheat has a glycemic index of  54. It therefore lowers blood sugars more slowly than rice or wheat-based products. Other human studies have linked the consumption of this pseudo cereal to lower blood sugar levels in diabetic subjects. ( 24 )

Diuretic

It has diuretic properties that can eliminate excess fluids from the swollen areas of the body. Cleans and strengthens the intestine and improves appetite. Thanks to its high content of B-complex vitamins, it is recommended for people suffering from liver disorders .

Skin Benefits

It is rich in vitamin A, B-complex vitamins and zinc. All these substances with properties useful for hair growth. The powerful antioxidants and flavonoids present in buckwheat, on the other hand, prevent skin aging.

Farina di Grano Saraceno - 3 pezzi da 375 g

 

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Enhances Humor

Contains tryptophan, which improves mood, bringing benefits in the event of depression.

Hemorrhoids

The buckwheat contains several polyphenolic compounds with antioxidant properties such as tannins, rutin and catechins. Rutin in particular seems to be able to prevent the formation of clots inside the blood vessels.

Early studies on this substance suggest that rutin may be helpful in treating and preventing hemorrhoids and problems related to blood clotting.

Body Weight

Being overweight carries a high risk of health problems such as insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure, hyperlipidemia and cardiovascular disease.

An Australian study suggests that fiber supplementation can potentially reduce energy intake and contribute to weight loss. A higher fiber intake is associated with greater satiety and reduced energy intake and therefore may be important in the management of obesity. ( 25 , 26 , 27 )

Cooking

Before being cooked, buckwheat needs to be washed. It is also preferable to wash more cold water until the water is clear. Once drained, the beans must be toasted for a couple of minutes, after which they can be cooked in hot salted water for at least 20 minutes.

Buckwheat: properties and benefits

Cultivation

The plant does not tolerate excessive cold and for this reason it needs to be cultivated in the months from spring to autumn. Its biological cycle is particularly fast, if sown in July, it reaches maturity in October. Its color becomes dark brown and indicates that the beans are ready for harvesting.

Curiosity

Sarac grain flower.

It is preferable to buy it in sealed packages, in fact, in the open air, this type of food gets very poor.

The name of this plant is attributed to the population of the Turks (Saracens), who first introduced the plant to Europe.

This plant is believed to have been cultivated since at least 1000 BC in China.

Always better to buy, check the origin of the product that often comes from China and whose quality is undoubtedly lower than that produced in Italy.

In Italy, buckwheat is grown mainly in Valtellina and in South Tyrol. Its flour is used in the preparation of typical dishes of the area such as polenta taragna and pizzoccheri.

The buckwheat is commercially available almost exclusively manufactured at health food stores. It is very difficult to find it in the supermarket counters.

Maybe Not Everyone Knows That

The numerous uses of buckwheat in the production of noodles, pancakes and muffins have made it one of the most consumed products in many countries, including India, China, Japan, Nepal, Canada and Ukraine.

From the flowers of the plant the bees produce a honey with a very dark color and a very tasty taste.

With buckwheat flour you can prepare delicious desserts based on dried fruit and delicious first courses like lasagne.

La macrobiotica lo classifica come un alimento yang, cioè che riscalda. It is therefore recommended nei freddi mesi invernali.

Buckwheat is grown mainly in the northern hemisphere, especially in Europe, Russia, Kazakhstan and China.

Buckwheat: Properties and Benefits

Italian language version

Disclaimer:

This is not a medical newspaper, the information provided by this site is for informational purposes only and is of a general nature, it cannot in any way replace the prescriptions of a doctor or other health professionals authorized by law. The notions of dosage, medical procedures and product descriptions on this site have an illustrative purpose and do not allow to acquire the necessary experience and manual skills for their practice or their use. If you have been prescribed medical care I urge you not to interrupt or modify them, because all the suggestions you find on www.mr-loto.it  must always and in any case be compared with the opinion of your doctor.

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