Could Buckwheat be the new superfood?

Posted on: 18 August 2017 by 50connect editorial

Buckwheat probably isn’t a food you hear about all that often, yet it’s a highly nourishing and tasty food that can be used as an alternative to rice or pasta.

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Despite often being confused with a grain because of the way it is cooked and used, Buckwheat is, in fact, a ‘pseudo-cereal’ super seed related to rhubarb and sorrel. With its many health benefits, this delicious, naturally gluten free and wonderfully versatile ingredient should certainly be one of your kitchen cupboard essentials, particularly if you follow a gluten free diet.

Nutritionist Cassandra Barns reveals reasons why buckwheat is so beneficial to our health.

It’s naturally gluten-free

Despite its name, buckwheat is not related to wheat at all and contains no gluten. This makes buckwheat a great alternative for those with coeliac disease or a gluten intolerance, and can also be a gentler alternative for those with digestive problems. 

Aids sleep and relaxation

One of the standout qualities of buckwheat is that it’s high in magnesium, a mineral that many of us may be lacking in our diets. One of magnesium’s roles is to help muscle relaxation. It’s also associated with having a calming effect on the body and mind, helping us to cope with stress and aiding restful sleep. A bowl of organic buckwheat pasta is an easy way to get more magnesium and will have you feeling much more refreshed the following morning, compared to the post pasta gorge that is so easy to fall into after a long days work.

Help manage your weight

Buckwheat has a low glycaemic load (GL), which means that the carbohydrates it contains break down and release slowly into your blood. This helps maintain a steady blood sugar level and avoid the ‘swings’ that can happen after eating higher-GL foods such as white bread, rice or corn. You’ll find it easier to manage your appetite and eliminate cravings for sugary foods. 

Balance your energy

Having a steady blood sugar level is also good for maintaining your energy levels throughout the day. So you can say goodbye to that afternoon energy slump. In addition, buckwheat is a good source of vitamins B2, B3, as well as magnesium, all of which are essential to help your body turn food into energy. Our Organic Instant Buckwheat is extremely versatile and is a great alternative to pasta, rice and potatoes.

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Could help prevent varicose veins

Buckwheat is high in rutin, a type of flavonoid. Although it may have many health benefits, rutin is especially associated with toning and strengthening veins and capillaries. It may even help prevent or reduce venous insufficiency – the weakening of the valves or walls of the veins that can lead to varicose veins. 

Provide antioxidant protection

Rutin and other flavonoids in buckwheat are similar to, or the same as, those found in fresh fruits and vegetables. For this reason, it’s thought that buckwheat and some other whole grains could have just as good antioxidant properties as fruits and veggies.

Help lower cholesterol 

Studies comparing populations who eat a lot of buckwheat, to those who don’t, show that the buckwheat-eaters have lower cholesterol. Although this doesn’t prove that buckwheat lowers cholesterol, it’s an indication that it may be of benefit.  

Keep your blood pressure in check

As well as keeping cholesterol levels down, buckwheat could help maintain a healthy blood pressure too. This could be partly due to buckwheat’s magnesium content. As it plays a role in relaxing muscle, magnesium also relaxes artery walls too – which are partly made up of muscle. As the artery walls relax, the vessels dilate, easing pressure and allowing better blood flow. 

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