Buckwheat is actually not a true grain but a fruit seed that is related to rhubarb. Energizing and nutritious, it is gluten free and has a unique flavor that is stronger than any other grain.
The flavonoid phytonutrients found in buckwheat, such as quercetin and kaempferol, provide powerful antioxidant protection against damage from free radicals. Buckwheat is also a very good source of manganese, a trace mineral necessary to help protect the mitochondria from free-radical scavenging.
Buckwheat can be eaten by people who have celiac disease. This intestinal disease is associated with sensitivity to grains or other foods that contain the protein gluten. Thus, buckwheat can be substituted for gluten-containing grains, such as wheat or rye.
Nutrients and Health Benefits
When selecting buckwheat in bulk, make sure that the bins containing the buckwheat are covered and that the store has a good product turnover to ensure its maximal freshness. Whether purchasing buckwheat in bulk or in a packaged container, it is important that no evidence of moisture is present. Buckwheat products like soba noodles often contain wheat, so be sure to read the labels carefully if you are trying to eliminate wheat from your diet. It is recommended to select organically grown buckwheat when possible.
Place buckwheat in an airtight container and store in a cool, dry place. Buckwheat flour should always be stored in the refrigerator, while other buckwheat products should be kept refrigerated if you live in a warm climate or during periods of warmer weather. Stored properly , whole buckwheat can last for 6 months, while the flour will keep fresh for 3 months.
To ensure the best flavor, before cooking buckwheat, rinse it thoroughly under running water, then remove any dirt or debris you may find.
Buckwheat is a favorite side dish that complements almost any meal and also makes a great breakfast cereal. The most nutritious way to cook buckwheat is to use a water to buckwheat ratio of 2 to 1. But if you want your buckwheat to take on more of a porridge-like texture you can use more water (up to 6 parts to 1 part buckwheat) and cook it until the grain becomes very soft.
Mateljan, G. (2017). Buckwheat. [online] Whfoods.com. Available at: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=11 [Accessed 4 Nov. 2017].
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