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Buckwheat: The “black” treasure

by Clare Louise

With origins from the east, buckwheat or otherwise “black wheat” (scientific name Fagopyrum esculentum) is particularly prevalent in Asian countries, where it is a key ingredient for noodles. 

It is considered a pseudo-cereal” and in essence it is a seed. It is said that the first to have used it was the monks in Tibet, who made pasta from his flour. It belongs to the same family as rhubarb and lapatho. 

Buckwheat is a shrub that reaches 80 cm, is particularly resistant to cold climates and poor soils and blooms in July-September. Its fruits are triangular in shape and brown in color. 

Its nutritional axis is an excellent source of protein. Indicatively, we mention that 100 gr. Buckwheat contain 11-14 g. Protein. 

It is rich in B vitamins and mainly in Riboflavin (B2) and Niacin (B3), in vitamins E and K, and contains many minerals and trace elements (calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, manganese, selenium and copper). 

It also supplies us with several fibers, as well. 100 gr. Buckwheat contain 10 g. Fiber. It also rich in flavonoids, substances with strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action. 

It does not contain gluten and can therefore be consumed by people with gluten intolerance. 

100 g. Buckwheat yield 343 calories. 

How it Benefits us 

It has been observed that eating buckwheat enhances cardiovascular health as it helps regulate cholesterol (lowers LDL levels of “bad” cholesterol and raises HDL “good” cholesterol) and blood pressure. 

Its beneficial properties in the heart are due to its high content both in flavonoids and especially in rutin and in magnesium. Thanks to the fiber it contains, it contributes to regulating blood sugar, as fiber has the property to delay the absorption of glucose after eating a meal. 

At the same time, they help significantly in the proper functioning of the intestine, while they offer fast saturation.

Where to Find it 

Buckwheat is available in organic shops and in selected supermarkets. We can find it in raw or roasted form, whole or milled, in the form of flour or flakes. 

Also marketed are products of buckwheat such as pasta and ramen noodles. It is recommended to store them in an airtight container in a dry and cool place, while the buckwheat flour is advisable to keep it in the refrigerator. 

How to Consume It 

Boil like rice or bulgur in a ratio of 1 cup buckwheat to 2 cups of water. Boiled can be added to yogurt, salads, soups, legumes or other cooked foods (e.g. stuffed meat in the pot). The buckwheat flour can be used as the rest of the flours, to prepare bread, pies, pancakes, pasta, etc. 

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