Buckwheat is a highly nutritious whole grain that is widely regarded as a superfood.
Offering a wide range of health benefits, including improved heart health and weight loss, buckwheat is used regularly by people all over the world.
Aside from being highly nutritious, buckwheat is also loaded with protein, energy, and fiber. It doesn’t contain any gluten either.
If you know a lot about grains, you might have already known all this. One thing you might not know though is whether buckwheat is actually wheat or not.
If you don’t know, you’ve come to the right place.
In today’s post, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about buckwheat. More importantly, we’ll tell you if it’s wheat or not.
Let’s get stuck in, shall we?
What Is Buckwheat?
Before we go any further, let us tell you more about what buckwheat is. Buckwheat is a type of seed harvested from a flowering plant that’s related to rhubarb.
It has pyramid-shaped kernels that look quite similar to grains. As a result, it’s often referred to as a grain-like seed.
Buckwheat is also known scientifically as a pseudo-grain or cereal. It has many similar attributes and properties as cereal grains but it doesn’t come from grass like most cereals.
Buckwheat is most commonly used as an ingredient in a wide range of everyday food items. This includes breakfast foods, noodles, flour, and bread.
As far as nutrition is concerned, buckwheat is a superfood. It is packed with healthy nutrients and is a good source of fiber, carbohydrates, and protein.
It is also gluten-free and contains high levels of rutin.
For those that don’t know, rutin is a compound that makes blood vessels more flexible and stronger. Buckwheat is sold roasted and raw in groats. They are brown in color and have an earthy, nutty flavor.
Is Buckwheat A Wheat?
Now you know more about what buckwheat is, we can answer the main question you came here looking for the answer to.
To put it simply, no buckwheat isn’t a type of wheat. Despite its name, buckwheat has nothing to do with wheat. In fact, it isn’t even officially a grain. It is simply a seed.
This may have surprised you, so let us explain where the name buckwheat comes from. Despite originating in Northern China, buckwheat has a German name.
The name buckwheat comes from Buchswein. This is the German word for beech wheat.
Buckwheat was given this name because it has triangular seeds that look like beech nuts.
Above all else though, buckwheat isn’t a type of wheat or grain because it is a seed that grows on a flowering plant.
How Is Buckwheat Used?
Buckwheat has many uses, but its main use is as a food ingredient. From the outer shell of buckwheat seeds, we can make flour.
This flour can then be used similarly to any other flour. Popular uses include making bread, noodles, and pancakes.
Some people also like to use buckwheat seeds to make porridge or granola.
Linking back to what we mentioned earlier, most people use buckwheat because of how nutritious it is. As a result of the seed’s health benefits, buckwheat can also be used as a medicine.
In fact, you can easily buy buckwheat supplements that will help improve heart health, improve circulation, reduce blood pressure, aid diabetes, and relieve constipation.
It is also commonly used to treat high cholesterol.
However, no concrete scientific evidence has been provided to support these claims.
How Nutritious Is Buckwheat?
So just how nutritious is buckwheat? Well, buckwheat is definitely a superfood. It contains a wide variety of healthy and essential nutrients, little fat, and vitamins.
Buckwheat is a good source of fiber, protein, and complex carbohydrates.
Just one cup of buckwheat, which works out at 168 grams, contains 6 grams of protein, 1 gram of fat, 33.5 grams of carbohydrates, and 4.5 grams of fiber.
Other nutrients buckwheat contains are potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, and calcium.
When it comes to vitamins, buckwheat contains riboflavin, thiamin, niacin, folate, vitamin B-6, and vitamin K.
The Key Health Benefits
To give you a good idea as to how beneficial buckwheat can be for our health, we’ve outlined five of the key health benefits below.
These are the best and most important benefits we might expect from eating buckwheat.
1. Improved Digestion
One of the key health benefits we might expect from buckwheat is improved digestion. Buckwheat contains high levels of fiber.
This is important because fiber is responsible for helping our intestines digest food properly.
The fiber from buckwheat will help your body efficiently digest food. This will move food around the digestive tract quicker and easier.
A single cup of buckwheat will also contain 1.5 mg of niacin. Niacin is important as it converts carbohydrates, proteins, and fats into energy.
2. Improved Heart Health
Whole grains are believed to have a wide range of health benefits that can improve heart health. The main reason for this belief is that whole grains like buckwheat contain niacin and fiber.
Both of these nutrients are important for heart health. Recent studies would appear to back this up.
A recent review found a link between those who have a high whole-grain diet and those who have a lower risk of heart disease.
These studies also found that buckwheat might lower blood pressure, which again could improve your heart health.
3. Managing Diabetes
As we mentioned earlier, buckwheat is a rich source of complex carbohydrates. This type of carbohydrate can be used to help people better manage their blood glucose levels.
Our bodies take a longer period of time to break down complex carbohydrates. As a result, digestion is slowed down too. When digestion is slowed down, blood sugar is kept at a stable level for longer.
4. Weight Management
There is also evidence that would suggest buckwheat can help us control our weight. Buckwheat is good for weight management because it promotes satiety.
For those that don’t know, satiety is the feeling of being full after a meal.
This concept is important because foods that promote satiety can reduce our hunger and make us feel fuller for longer periods of time.
This will in turn reduce the number of calories we eat.
Is Buckwheat Safe To Eat?
There have been some conflicts in the past as to whether buckwheat is safe to eat.
Despite these conflicts, buckwheat is perfectly safe to eat. In fact, most adults can eat it every day with no issues whatsoever.
Most of the confusion regarding how safe buckwheat is to eat comes from those with allergies. It is possible for some adults to be allergic to buckwheat.
Therefore, when they eat buckwheat flour or buckwheat supplements, they might experience allergic reactions.
How Can We Eat Buckwheat?
To finish off, we’d like to give you some ideas for how you might bring buckwheat into your diet. We’ve broken this down into breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert.
A great way to include buckwheat in your breakfast is to make porridge. You could also make pancakes using buckwheat flour.
The easiest way to add buckwheat to your lunch is to make a salad that’s topped with buckwheat groats. You should always boil the groats in salty water first.
For dinner, buckwheat can be included in stir-fries. You could even make pizza dough using buckwheat flour.
You can make the most amazing gluten-free muffins using buckwheat.
In this post, we’ve told you everything you need to know about buckwheat. We’ve told you what it is, how it can be used, how nutritious it is, and how it isn’t actually a type of wheat.
We even revealed how it isn’t even a grain. Instead, it is simply a grain-like seed taken from a flowering plant.
Now you’ve read through this post, you should be able to call yourself a buckwheat expert.