Feb 04, 2019
Feb 04, 2019
Buckwheat, called Kuttu in Hindi, is not related to wheat at all (we didn’t see this coming either). Belonging to the group of foods called ‘pseudocereals’, it is a kind of fruit seed that is eaten pretty much the same way as cereal grains. The only difference is that it does not grow on grass, and is consumed like quinoa or amaranth. Buckwheat seeds are also called “groats” in several parts of the world. More interestingly, these seeds are so stuffed with antioxidants and proteins that they are often called Superfoods!
Available all year round in India, buckwheat can be used as an alternative to rice or even cooked into a porridge. There are two types of buckwheats that are grown most commonly for food consumption:
Buckwheat is an underutilized crop in India, and has a lot of benefits that you might not know about.
Should I include buckwheat into my diet?
Buckwheat, especially in European countries, is increasingly becoming a sought-after health food for its multiple health benefits. Full of minerals and antioxidants, it can do wonders for your body!
Carbohydrates form a majority of buckwheat’s components, but it is full of several proteins and minerals as well. In fact, buckwheat has a nutritional value much higher than most other grains. It is also a perfect substitute for anyone who is sensitive to grains like wheat that contain protein glutens.
The table given below gives a detailed breakdown of what buckwheat is made of:
Lower your sugar...So what are the health benefits of including buckwheat into your diet?
If you are suffering from diabetes, or are worried about your blood sugar levels, then buckwheat is the perfect answer for you! As it is full of fiber, buckwheat has a ranking of low-medium (3) on the Glycemic Index. This means that after you eat buckwheat, your rise in blood sugar levels will always be slower and more uniform after eating it.
As a matter of fact, several studies have taken place which prove that buckwheat consumption is directly linked to lower blood sugar levels. What’s more, even the digestion of table sugar is prevented, or at least slowed down, by buckwheat.
….And get a healthier heart!
‘Rutin’ is a type of antioxidant that has powerful health benefits, and is found most commonly in cereals and pseudocereals. Rutin greatly minimises the risk of heart diseases by lowering blood pressure, reducing inflammation and thereby preventing formation of blood clots.
Buckwheat is full of many other heart-beneficial compounds like proteins, fiber, copper and magnesium. All of these have a positive impact on the formulation of blood fats. Several studies on cholesterol have shown that buckwheat consumption is directly linked to decreased levels of LDL (bad cholesterol), and increased levels of HDL (good cholesterol).
Buckwheat is also Gluten-Free, which is a big concern for a lot of people, as Gluten can lead to the development of Celiac Disease. Because of this, it is often used in Gluten free baked goods. It adds proteins and nutrients, which remove allergic outbursts or digestive problems!
Stock up on your protein...
Buckwheat contains 12 essential amino acids, which provide strength, growth and muscle energy. This makes Buckwheat one of the best sources of plant-based protein. In fact, it contains more protein than any type of corn, wheat, rice or millet, or whole grain!
For vegetarians and vegans especially, buckwheat can provide you with the amino acids that you might be missing out on from your normal diet.
...And enjoy better digestion!
Dietary fiber is very important in the process of regulating bowel movements, and eating buckwheat can drastically make the process much faster. And that’s not all. As far as digestive tracts go, buckwheat also protects it from infection, viruses and even cancer!
Buckwheat can also be fermented to produce alcoholic drinks or make bread. Studies actually show that the consumption of fermented buckwheat products might greatly improve your body’s pH level!
Thus, buckwheat has several medicinal properties that most people do not know about. You should definitely start incorporating it into your diet for an energizing and nutritious boost!
Buckwheat, or Kuttu, is also extensively used during fasting seasons. Buckwheat flour is used to make puris, pakodas, and rotis. In fact, it’s the first thing that comes to our mind when we think of Navratri fasts- but ever wondered why?
It’s because it is a superfood loaded with goodness that it is used to detoxify our bodies!
Can I find Buckwheat easily in India?
In India, Buckwheat is mostly grown in the Himalayan region. As it has a very brief growing season, it is most often seen growing in areas which have a short crop-growing period. It is also most commonly grown as a secondary crop.
The top states that grow buckwheat are: