Buckwheat in a bowl

Top 5 health benefits of buckwheat

What is buckwheat and is it healthy? Registered Nutritionist, Nicola Shubrook explains the benefits of this tiny seed.

What is buckwheat?

Despite having ‘wheat’ in its name, buckwheat is actually a seed and sometimes referred to as a ‘pseudo-grain’. Processed into groats, buckwheat has the appearance of small, nugget-type granules that can be used in the same way as rice. You may also find buckwheat as flour, noodles or even as flakes, making it a versatile substitute for wheat flour.

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Discover our full range of health benefit guides or, check out some of our best buckwheat recipes, start the day well with our spinach protein pancakes, and finish with our lamb with buckwheat noodles and tomato dressing.

Nutritional benefits of buckwheat

A 100g serving of buckwheat (boiled) provides:

  • 118 Kcal / 497KJ
  • 4.3g Protein
  • 1.2g Fat
  • 21.3g Carbohydrate
  • 2.1g Fibre
  • 65mg Magnesium
    Teriyaki prawns with soba noodles

Top 5 health benefits of buckwheat

1. It’s gluten free

Buckwheat is naturally gluten free which makes it suitable for those with a condition called Coeliac disease.
However, if avoiding gluten is important for you make sure you check labels when purchasing buckwheat products. This is because some commercial products, such as soba noodles, may be made using buckwheat combined with wheat and, therefore, not be gluten free.

2. Rich in antioxidants

Buckwheat has an enviable antioxidant profile, better than that of many common cereal grains, such as oats or wheat. As well as including plant compounds like rutin, it is one of the richest food sources of d-chiro-inositol.

3. May be beneficial for blood sugar management

Buckwheat supplies fibre and benefits from a low to medium glycaemic index, this means it has a moderate effect on blood sugar levels and may even lower blood levels. Studies suggest this effect may be thanks to a soluble carbohydrate in buckwheat which makes cells more responsive to the hormone insulin and may delay the digestion of sugar.

4. Supports a healthy heart

Buckwheat is rich in heart healthy nutrients including magnesium and fibre. In addition to this it is a good source of plant compounds called rutin and quercetin which have protective antioxidant properties.
Buckwheat may also improve cholesterol balance; animal studies suggest this is due to a protein in the seed which binds with cholesterol inhibiting its absorption to the blood.

5. Source of fibre

Buckwheat is rich in fibre especially insoluble fibre as well as a type known as resistant starch, both of which are of particular benefit to gut health. This is because the beneficial bacteria that live in the gut use these fibres as a source of fuel helping them increase in number and at the same time produce by-products that are valuable for gut health.

Is buckwheat safe for everyone?

Buckwheat is safe for most people, including those with coeliac disease, however some people may be allergic. This maybe relevant for those with an allergy to latex or rice due to a cross-reactivity.
If you have concerns or queries refer to your GP or healthcare professional. More information on allergy may be found at NHS website.

Buckwheat recipes

Cinnamon buckwheat pancakes
Mushroom buckwheat risotto
Date & buckwheat granola with pecans & seeds
Sea trout & buckwheat salad with watercress & asparagus
Chicken soba noodles

Now read…

The health benefits of quinoa
The health benefits of chia seeds
The health benefits of coconut flour


This article was last reviewed on 31 August 2021 by Kerry Torrens.

Nicola Shubrook is a nutritional therapist and works with both private clients and the corporate sector. She is an accredited member of the British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy (BANT) and the Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC). Find out more at urbanwellness.co.uk.

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