What is Buckwheat?


by Sylvia Stanley

You may have noticed the new trend on social media about buckwheat and the variety of foods buckwheat can be in. As you have seen the new trend, you may be wondering what exactly is buckwheat. Buckwheat is, in fact, healthy and is a seed that can be consumed the same way as cereal grains.

Buckwheat comes from Northern Europe and Asia. Buckwheat was widely cultivated in China and then made its way to Europe and Russia. From there, buckwheat crossed the ocean to the United States. Russia and Poland mainly produce buckwheat because of the role it plays in their traditional cuisine. The United States, Canada, and France commercially cultivate buckwheat.


Buckwheat is commonly processed into groat and used in buckwheat tea. The groats are used in the same way as rice and are the main ingredient in several European and Asian dishes. Many restaurants are using buckwheat flour to make certain meals. Buckwheat is being used in a variety of noodles as well.

The reason for buckwheat’s recent popularity is the high amount of minerals and various antioxidants. Buckwheat has a variety of health benefits that will astound you.

Health Benefits

Buckwheat has been shown to be beneficial for your cardiovascular system. Having a high intake of buckwheat has been proved to lower total serum cholesterol, lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and a higher ratio of health promoting cholesterol.

The large supply of flavonoids, phytonutrients that protect against disease, are what makes buckwheat so beneficial. A high level of rutin, a hearth healthy compound, cuts the risk of heart disease by preventing blood clots from forming, lowering blood pressure, and reducing inflammation. Other heart healthy compounds such as magnesium, copper, fiber, and particular proteins are also found in buckwheat.


Buckwheat enhances blood sugar control and lowers the risk of diabetes. Buckwheat groats have been shown to lower blood glucose levels and insulin responses. A study in animals showed that an extract of buckwheat seed lowered blood glucose levels by 12%-19%. The belief for this is because of a soluble carbohydrate known as D-chiro inositol which makes cells sensitive to insulin.

One of the other health benefits of buckwheat is the many vitamins and minerals that are contained in buckwheat. Buckwheat actually has more minerals than cereals, rice, wheat, or corn. The most bountiful minerals found in buckwheat are manganese, copper, magnesium, iron, and phosphorus.

Buckwheat also has an abundance of antioxidant plant compounds and provides you with more antioxidants than other cereal grains such as barley, oats, wheat, and rye. The essential plant compounds that buckwheat is composed of are rutin, quercetin, vitexin, and D-chiro inositol.

Buckwheat is also gluten-free and is perfect for people who are allergic to gluten. Vegans and vegetarians alike will enjoy the gluten-free option buckwheat provides.


Preparing and Cooking Buckwheat

Buckwheat needs to be rinsed thoroughly with water before being used for cooking. Make sure any dirt or debris is rinsed off. Once you have rinsed off the buckwheat, add one part buckwheat to two parts boiling water. When the liquid returns to a boil, turn the heat down, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.

There are a variety of ways to enjoy the health benefits of buckwheat. You can combine buckwheat flour with whole wheat flour to make breads, muffins, or pancakes. Buckwheat can be eaten as opposed to oatmeal for an even healthier breakfast. Soups and stews can be made more flavorful by adding cooked buckwheat. Cooked buckwheat can be mixed with chicken, pumpkin seeds, garden peas, or scallions for a delicious salad.

There is no way you can deny buckwheat’s growing popularity throughout the world of healthy foods. Buckwheat brings a health conscious option to your diet. Using buckwheat to cook various meals can only benefit you.