Why We Need to be Eating More Buckwheat

Why We Need to be Eating More Buckwheat

The New Quinoa

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get tired of quinoa. You can’t deny that it’s incredibly healthy for you, in addition to its versatility––you can put it in just about any recipe. But there are so many different grains out there besides quinoa, we just haven’t given all of them a fair chance.

Now let me take you back a century ago: new immigrants from Central and Eastern Europe started coming to America, and began introducing a porridge which they called kashi. This type of porridge had been consumed in China for thousands of years, but the Chinese knew it as qiáo. You probably know it as buckwheat. All across the world people have been eating it for thousands of years, but has never fully incorporated into the American diet. The name sounds like it’s inedible and disgusting, but it’s incredibly healthy, and can be easily incorporated into your diet.

Buckwheat, despite the name, is not a type of wheat. It’s gluten free, though people who aren’t gluten free are surely able to enjoy it as well. Buckwheat can fit seamlessly into any type of diet, and can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, and dinner alike. You can eat buckwheat raw, cooked, and may also be eaten in the form of noodles: in Japanese cuisine, buckwheat noodles are known as soba.

According to its nutritional content, buckwheat is a highly functional food. In a research article published last year, researchers declared that buckwheat has a variety of health benefits: neuroprotection, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, antihypertensive, and lowers cholesterol. Buckwheat also contains bound antioxidants, prebiotics, and is high in fiber. Due to buckwheat containing tannins, an astringent phenolic compound, buckwheat can reduce the likelihood of bacterial and viral infections.

Here are some ideas to incorporate buckwheat into your diet:

Breakfast: With raw buckwheat, make a hot cereal, and garnish it with fruit and chia seeds, or use it for an oatmeal replacement. Another idea is buckwheat waffles or pancakes. Buckwheat will give energy throughout your day.

Lunch and Dinner:  Soba noodles will work in lieu of any pasta dish or soup. You can also incorporate buckwheat into salads, ideal for summer barbecues and outdoor dinners. For a post-workout meal, buckwheat contains a substantial amount of protein: one cup contains 23 grams of protein. Another idea is to heat a bowl of buckwheat and throw in some vegetables, a grilled protein like chicken or tofu, and a savory sauce on top. There is beauty in eating from bowls. Now that’s a healthy and nutritious meal.

It may be hard to find buckwheat in your grocery store, but check out the kosher food section and you will probably be able to find it as kasha. Your grocery store may also have soba noodles pre-made. Buckwheat is inexpensive and can be paired with other ingredients deliciously. It also doesn’t hurt that it will improve your health tremendously––stay heart smart.

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