Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Benefits of Buckwheat

So, Buckwheat is not actually wheat or even a grain, but a gluten-free seed of a plant related to rhubarb and sorrel.

My breakfast concoction has gradually become mostly buckwheat with a little whole oats just because I like the texture (Untoasted buckwheat is kind of mushy when cooked), and coconut and of course spices (ginger and cinnamon), topped with fruit, sprouted sunflower seeds, flax, etc. I knew that oats were a pretty good protein but there was so little in my concoction I was wondering about the protein content. So I looked it up on nutritiondata.com and it turns out both buckwheat and coconut are even better than oats!

Nutritiondata gives buckwheat an Amino Acid score of 99. The omega 6 EFAs seem to be almost entirely linoleic acid which is a good for we acne prone people.  One cup of buckwheat has a low glycemic load. It is very high in minerals with 1 cup providing 98% of the RDA of magnesium. 20 something % of zinc and selenium.

Coconut also has an amino acid rating of 99, low glycemic load and high in minerals similar to buckwheat (98% magnesium RDA, 20 something percent zinc and such) It's very high in healthy medium chain saturated fat and much of the omega 6 content is linoleic acid. 

All three, like most seeds, are rated as strongly inflamamtory,  so you need to counter that with the anti-inflammatory spices and fruit. I use a lot of cinnamon and ginger. Plus have it with my morning cup of white tea with ginger and lemon. Also, I've always soaked my buckwheat which would reduce antinutrients and perhaps the inflammatory effect. And I have begun sprouting it. Nutrition data doesn't have data on sprouted buckwheat, but sprouting generally reduces protein & antinutrient content while boosting the various antioxidant vitamins veggies tend to have such as C, E, etc. So sprouted buckwheat should be less inflammatory.

Buckwheat is beneficial for we acne prone people, people with diabetes or insulin resistance, and PCOS sufferers.

Benefits of Buckwheat.
-Good protein source.
-The buckwheat prolamine inhibits the oxidation of linoleic acid a major component of sebum that works and is defficient in acne & other problem prone skin.
- Buckwheat contains a glucosiderutin , a phytochemical that strengthens capillary walls
-Buckwheat is high in
d-chiro-inositol (DCI) which is a component of "the secondary messenger pathway for insulinsignal transduction found to be deficient in Type II diabetes and polycystic ovary syndrome sufferers." It may also lower testosterone and Blood Pressure as well, likely side effects of improved glucose metabolism. There's a form called Buckwheat Farinetta that is extra high in DCI. Carob is another good source of DCI.

In double-blind studies, women with PCOS who received DCI experienced the following statistically significant benefits when compared with a control group: lowered free and total testosterone, lowered blood pressure, increased insulin sensitivity and a corresponding improvement in glucose disposal, and increased frequency of ovulation.[4][5]

-Easy to sprout. 
-The amount of antinutrients is pretty low compared to grains, even the more benign grains. and the antinutrients it contains are pretty harmless. It contains no gluten.

Sprouting Buckwheat

The trick to sprouting buckwheat is to soak the grains briefly. 20 minutes or so. Too long and they won't sprout. Then drain and rinse, let sit at room temp for about a day. Rinse and drain a couple more times because buckwheat is starchy, then put in the fridge when tiny tails are just visible. They don't taste so good when you let the tails get longer. Then you can cook as usual, or leave raw.

A tea is often made from toasted buckwheat groats. I've seen buckwheat leaf tea mentioned as well but have found very little info on that.

1 comment:

  1. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3106/2

    self.nutritiondata.com lists coconut as an 87 amino acid score. At only 3% of the total calories in coconut meat, the protein quality is going to be of secondary importance - you could never eat enough coconut to satisfy your protein demands. It is a fantastic medium-chain fatty acid fuel source, though :)