What is Buckwheat?\nBuckwheat is a gluten-free cereal that is known to provide significant health benefits. It is small but mighty: plant-powered, full of nutrients and easily digestible. Due to its controversial name, buckwheat is largely misunderstood. Many also don’t quite understand what it is, how it’s used, or why it has received so much hype. \nIf you’re one of those people, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we explain what buckwheat is, how it’s commonly used and why it is one of the best fuels for your body.\n \n\n Buckwheat doesn’t actually contain wheat \nDespite its name, buckwheat is actually not a wheat product! It’s a seed rather than a grain, meaning it is gluten-free and safe for those with gluten intolerances, allergies or celiac disease. \nLike quinoa, amaranth and chia seeds, the triangular groats of buckwheat are considered a “pseudocereal”. Pseudocereals are non-grass plants that are used the same way as cereals or grains. Buckwheat can be bought as whole groats, either raw or toasted, or as a flour. \nWhat does Buckwheat taste like?\nBuckwheat has a nutty, earthy and robust flavour, pairing well with dried fruit, dark spices, nuts and earth vegetables. It has a stronger flavour than other popular grains like wheat and rice but has a similar texture and consistency. \nAnother thing to consider – toasting! Raw buckwheat has a much milder taste than its toasted counterpart, helping to bring even more dimension to this super versatile seed!\nHow to use Buckwheat\nIf you’ve ever tried a raw food or gluten-free diet, you’ve probably already tried buckwheat! It is an ingredient that can be used in almost any dish, from savoury to sweet. As a rule of thumb, buckwheat can be prepared like any other wheat grain using the same cooking methods.\nBuckwheat groats are often used in place of other carbs such as rice, couscous, potatoes or pasta. As mentioned before, buckwheat can also be ground and used as a flour. Buckwheat flour has become a very popular pantry staple, used instead of, or as a compliment to, regular flour in quick breads, baked goods, crepes and pancakes. Unlike many grains, whole buckwheat groats are delicate enough to eat. They make a delicious, crunchy salad-topper, and a great addition to granola.\nBuckwheat is also a common ingredient in several traditional dishes. It is the star in Japanese soba noodles, traditional Jewish Kasha, Japanese dumplings, Dutch pancakes and many variations of French Crepes.\n\n \n\nHealth Benefits of Buckwheat\nBuckwheat has made its way into more and more shopping carts due to its rumoured health benefits. But does it live up to the hype? \nAbsolutely! Buckwheat is considered a functional food, which means that it provides health benefits beyond just basic nutrition. It is known to optimize health and reduce the risk of certain diseases. \nBuckwheat has an impressive nutritional profile, providing key nutrients, vitamins and minerals – including magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, and calcium. It is also jammed with health-promoting phytonutrients, like quercetin and rutin. These nutrients contribute to the laundry list of health benefits associated with buckwheat. To list a few: \nBuckwheat is a complete protein\nBuckwheat is one of the few plant-based sources of complete protein – meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids in balanced amounts. Look no further for that plant-based punch of protein!\nStabilizes Blood Sugar\nResearch has shown that buckwheat can stabilize blood sugar levels and lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. Buckwheat has high levels of resistant starch, which lowers the glycemic index response (GI= 34.7). This allows for carbohydrates to be absorbed slowly into the bloodstream, providing a steady amount of energy and preventing spikes in insulin.\nAnti-inflammatory\nBuckwheat contains phytochemicals, rutin and quercetin, which have antioxidant effects and reduce inflammation. These chemicals protect your cells against free radicals and prevent inflammation that can contribute to chronic diseases like cancer. \n\nHeart Healthy \nSeveral studies show that buckwheat can stabilize blood pressure and support healthy blood cholesterol levels, vascular health and proper blood flow. All of which are important for maintaining a healthy heart and reducing the risk of heart disease.\nBuckwheat Contributes to Gut Health (… and mental health!)\nWhole buckwheat is a great source of insoluble fiber and resistant starch. It has prebiotic properties, meaning it nourishes the good bacteria in the gut. Also, buckwheat is a great choice for people with functional gut disorders (such as IBS) because it is low in FODMAPs. \nDietary fibers are essential to promoting good gut bacteria and maintaining good digestive health. However, emerging research shows that the benefits of fiber can extend beyond just promoting gut health and nurture your mind too! Learn more about the mind gut connection. \n \nAll in all… \nBuckwheat goes beyond just satisfying basic nutritional needs. Emerging research shows that buckwheat does more than simply provide essential proteins, minerals and fiber, it can prevent spikes in insulin and reduce inflammation while promoting heart and gut health. \nNot to mention, it’s easy to add into your diet and can be incorporated into any meal. We may be biased, but our favourite buckwheat-containing products are Holy Crap Cereals. \nHoly Crap cereals promote a healthy gut and a happy mind. These gluten-free cereals have three main ingredients: chia seeds, buckwheat and hulled hemp hearts. Check out some of these gluten-free recipes using Holy Crap cereal and feel the benefits of buckwheat for yourself! \nTwo Ingredient Crackers\nMega Berry Homemade Jam \nUltimate Granola \nHoly Crap with Almond Milk \n \n\n\n\nReferences \nGiménez-Bastida, J. A., \u0026amp; Zieliński, H. (2015). Buckwheat as a Functional Food and Its Effects on Health. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 63(36), 7896–7913. https:\/\/doi.org\/10.1021\/acs.jafc.5b02498\nHuda, M. N., Lu, S., Jahan, T., Ding, M., Jha, R., Zhang, K., Zhang, W., Georgiev, M. I., Park, S. U., \u0026amp; Zhou, M. (2021). Treasure from garden: Bioactive compounds of buckwheat. Food chemistry, 335, 127653. https:\/\/doi.org\/10.1016\/j.foodchem.2020.127653\nKumari, A., \u0026amp; Chaudhary, H. K. (2020). Nutraceutical crop buckwheat: a concealed wealth in the lap of Himalayas. Critical reviews in biotechnology, 40(4), 539–554. https:\/\/doi.org\/10.1080\/07388551.2020.1747387\nPréstamo, G. \u0026amp; Pedrazuela, A. \u0026amp; Peñas, Elena \u0026amp; Lasunción, M. \u0026amp; Arroyo, Glover. (2003). Role of buckwheat diet on rats as prebiotic and healthy food. Nutrition Research, 23, 803-814. 10.1016\/S0271-5317(03)00074-5.