Healthy Foods: Buckets of nutrition in buckwheat

With all of the bad press wheat’s getting these days, you might be surprised to see buckwheat as the topic of this week’s health food post. But what you might not know is that buckwheat is actually not wheat. It’s not actually a grain at all and it is completely gluten-free.

Buckwheat is an herb. Its flowers turn into triangular little seeds known as “groats” after they’re processed. A native plant of southern China, buckwheat has been eaten by human beings for centuries.

There is a tremendous amount of nutrition in buckwheat. It is a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids. In addition to its high protein, buckwheat provides a host of other health benefits, including:

Cancer prevention. Buckwheat has been shown to protect against colon cancer
Blood sugar and blood pressure regulation. Buckwheat can reduce your blood sugar levels and can help keep blood pressure nice and even.
Gallstone protection. Buckwheat has been shown to protect against gallstone development.
Lower cholesterol. There are properties in buckwheat that can lower your cholesterol levels.

When you’re searching for buckwheat, make sure the ingredient lists: 100% buckwheat flour because sometimes wheat flour is snuck in there.

If you’ve been missing noodles since adopting a grain-free diet, look for buckwheat noodles (also called Soba noodles) for a delicious and nutritious alternative to regular wheat noodles. They also cook more like traditional wheat noodles so they don’t get mushy like other gluten-free noodles.

Buckwheat flour makes wonderful gluten-free pancakes and waffles.

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