Buckwheat

BuckwheatWith health crazes running rampant all across the western world, many people who are going on diets, or being forced to go on diets, are looking for all different kinds of alternatives that they can eat and enjoy in place of the old “sinful” foods that they are trying to get away from.  In fact, there are also many people who, with the abundance of food that is present now, simply choose not to eat certain foods.  Good examples of these would be vegetarians or those who try to go on a bread-free diet.  Recently, a new food became popularized that is called buckwheat.  Of course, many people have never heard of the food before, and even the name sounds a little funny, so we have tried to put together a few of the facts about buckwheat for those who want to learn more about how it may impact their lives.

What is Buckwheat?

The name does sound a little strange, doesn’t it?  Surprisingly enough, buckwheat is actually not a wheat at all, and it is completely gluten free as well.  Buckwheat is actually a seed that is harvested from a plant that produces flowers, and it can be very good for people who are not allowed to eat gluten, who are shooting to eat only raw food items, or are simply trying to live a little healthier.

Buckwheat “groats”, which are what the small seeds are called, are actually used plentifully in many products today.  More often than not, if a product is gluten free, it has buckwheat groats in it.  Moreover, buckwheat groats become a very sticky substance when they are wetted, so they can become great for holding different foods together.  As a result, they are found at the center of many different kinds of foods.  Also, letting the groats sit in water, washing them off, drying them, and repeating the process can make the tiny little seeds into a wonderful kind of snack.

Now, it is important to note, for those people that are trying to eat a purely raw foods diet, that there are two different kinds of buckwheat.  One type is the type of seeds that have been toasted, thus making them no longer raw.  Toasted buckwheat groats are also used in all different kinds of food, and they are actually called by a different name—kasha.  It should be easy for a person to tell whether buckwheat seeds are kasha or just regular groats according to their look and smell.  Buckwheat groats that have been toasted become a real dark red-brown type color and exhibit a very nice “nut” smell.  However, buckwheat that has not been cooked, thereby making it better for those who only want to consume raw food, are usually colored green and don’t have much of a smell at all.

Regardless of which version a person is trying to obtain, buckwheat can be found in the recipes of many leading foods in restaurants, as well as store-bought products, today.  They can be very good for a person to eat, and the toasted ones have a very nice taste, so either way a person would not be in the wrong to enjoy a few buckwheat seeds every now and again.

Benefits

Buckwheat for breakfast While it is assumed that buckwheat groats possess large benefits for the human body, they have not been on the market long enough just yet for there to be any scientific evidence for what those benefits may be.  Still, a small amount of research has been performed on the tiny seedlings to date, and a few things have been discovered.

First, buckwheat can be very good for improving the health of someone with type two diabetes.  It is effective at, if eaten regularly enough, to lower the blood pressure of a person with overly high pressure levels.  Perhaps this is because of the slow speed at which buckwheat groats are digested by the body, or maybe it is due to another property.  Enough research has not been performed yet to determine what is the true answer.

Beyond that, it is supposed that the buckwheat seeds, or groats, could be helpful in ensuring that a person’s overall digestive system is in check.  This means that the seeds should be able to help a person who is having irregular bowel movements to become regular again.  Particularly in the case of constipation, buckwheat groats, like nearly all seeds or nuts, should have a positive effect in returning regularity to the body.

All in all, the benefits to eating buckwheat are surely worth the cost.  If a person is trying to go on a purely raw foods diet, these little seeds will give them another venue of food to shoot for.  If a person is not attempting that diet, then these seeds will at least give them one more tasty, much more healthy snack than others, to pursue daily.  Of course, as shown above, the health benefits of buckwheat have not been fully fleshed out just yet.  But, surely, those listed above are enough of a reason to, at least, try buckwheat groats.  And who knows, there may be many more benefits of buckwheat that simply have not been discovered yet.  Regardless, what does a person have to lose by including just a few of these into their diet on a day-to-day basis?  After all, it could never hurt to try something new.

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