For some reason, this seed, which most people think of as a grain, seems to be normally kept deep in the back of the cabinet until it makes its cameo appearance at holiday dinners, only to return to dark recesses of the pantry afterward. It’s thought of as an occasional side dish or a cereal in this country in some homes, but is enjoyed in almost all parts of world, either as groats (hulled buckwheat kernels), kasha(roasted groats) or buckwheat soba noodles. Flour made from buckwheat is a great, earthy alternative to other flours, especially since it’s gluten free.
Buckwheat has been providing healthful nutrients, vitamins and fiber for approximately 8,000 years of human existence. I always have to remind myself that I should be serving it more often than pasta or rice because it’s benefits far surpass them. It’s hardy and substantial enough to make it the centerpiece for the main dish, which is exactly what I did last night!
According to Dr. Perricone, in his article on Oprah’s website,buckwheat is #5 on his list of superfoods, so let’s explore the reasons to put buckwheat in our regular meals and not just on holidays…..
Health Benefits of Buckwheat
1) Great Source of nutrients: provides higher levels of zinc, copper and manganese than other cereal grains and the bioavailibility of zinc, copper and potassium is also quite high. We need potassium to maintain the water and acid balance in blood and tissure cells, zinc to bolster the immune system and copper to prevent neurodegenerative diseases.
2) High in Soluble Fiber: this helps to slow down the rate of glucose absorption, which is important to people with diabetes, by reducing and stabilizing blood sugar levels following meals. High in “resistant starch” which serves to reduce blood sugar level and enhances colon health.
3) Unsurpassed Cholesterol-lowering Capabilities (in food studies to date): specific characteristics of buckwheat proteins and the relative proportions of its amino acids make buckwheat make it a super cholesterol lowering food. A considerable portion of buckwheat dietary fiber is soluble, which yields digestion by-products that reduce blood cholesterol levels and the risk of colon cancer. Reduces LDL (“bad”) cholesterol
4) Reduces Hypertension: buckwheat proteins reduce the activity of angiotensin converting enzyme thereby reducing hypertension like widely prescribed “ACE” hypertension drugs
5) Healthier Fat content: unlike true grains, buckwheat’s low-fat content is skewed toward monounsaturated fatty acids, similar to olive oil
6) Reduces Blood Sugar levels: attributed in part to rare carbohydrate compounds called fagopyritols of which buckwheat is by far the richest food source yet discovered.
7) “Blood-building” Food: buckwheat has high levels of rutin, an antioxidant polyphenol, which supports the circulatory system and helps prevent recurrent bleeding caused by weakened blood vessels as in hemorrhoids and varicose veins. Rutin is thought to also possess anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties.
To read more about the benefits of buckwheat and see 3 great recipes using buckwheat, go to:http://veganamericanprincess.com/buckwheat-the-super-health-food-and-3-delicious-sweet-savory-ways-t...
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