Health Benefits of Buckwheat

Health Benefits of Buckwheat

Image courtesy of Apolonia at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Apolonia at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In spite of its name, buckwheat does not represent a kind of wheat, nor it belongs to grains. Namely, buckwheat is a dicotyledon seed highly rich in nutrients, thus showing many health benefits. Together with rhubarb and sorrel, it belongs to the Polygonaceae family. Even though buckwheat has become a popular food in recent years, it had been known long ago, in ancient China. As a staple food, it was cultivated in the plateaus of China and Himalayas. We now know this food by its many benefits on cardiovascular health, digestive system, various metabolic processes in our body, immunity, and energy. The main advantage of buckwheat over other similar foods such as quinoa and amaranth is its specific category of antioxidants that are known as bound antioxidants. They are essential for keeping the gut flora healthy and balanced. Buckwheat also contains amino acids that perfectly combine with this precious food. This composition of amino acids is particularly good for decreasing LDL cholesterol, lowering high blood pressure and regulating digestion. According to some researches, the unique combination of amino acids in buckwheat contributes in lowering the risk of cancer, improves liver health, has a beneficial influence on brain activity and digestive system. There are also many studies that prove buckwheat‘s anti-inflammatory effects. It shows essential in prevention and suppression of heart diseases. To find out more about the health benefits of buckwheat, the article “Buckwheat” describes in the following excerpt some interesting facts.

Health Benefits of Buckwheat

Meta-analysis Explains Whole Grains’ Health Benefits

In many studies, eating whole grains, such as buckwheat, has been linked to protection against atherosclerosis, ischemic stroke, diabetes, insulin resistance, obesity, and premature death. A new study and accompanying editorial, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition explains the likely reasons behind these findings and recommends at least 3 servings of whole grains should be eaten daily.

Whole grains are concentrated sources of fiber. In this meta-analysis of 7 studies including more than 150,000 persons, those whose diets provided the highest dietary fiber intake had a 29% lower risk of cardiovascular disease compared to those with the lowest fiber intake.

But it’s not just fiber’s ability to serve as a bulking agent that is responsible for its beneficial effects as a component of whole grains. Wheat bran, for example, which constitutes 15% of most whole-grain wheat kernels but is virtually non-existent in refined wheat flour, is rich in minerals, antioxidants, lignans, and other phytonutrients—as well as in fiber.

In addition to the matrix of nutrients in their dietary fibers, the whole-grain arsenal includes a wide variety of additional nutrients and phytonutrients that reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Compounds in whole grains that have cholesterol-lowering effects include polyunsaturated fatty acids, oligosaccharides, plant sterols and stanols, and saponins.

Whole grains are also important dietary sources of water-soluble, fat-soluble, and insoluble antioxidants. The long list of cereal antioxidants includes vitamin E, tocotrieonols, selenium, phenolic acids, and phytic acid. These multifunctional antioxidants come in immediate-release to slow-release forms and thus are available throughout the gastrointestinal tract over a long period after being consumed.

Buckwheat comes in three forms on the market – as groats, flour, and noodles. People who have adopted a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle can use buckwheat as food that provides them with protein, fiber, cards and a lot of vitamins and minerals, thus providing them with all essential nutrients. Buckwheat has shown as excellent food for gluten sensitive people or people, diagnosed with celiac. It is a good replacement for wheat and other grains.

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