Kuttu (buckwheat) is not a cereal plant, but bears small black or grey seeds that resemble cereal grains. It has a high protein content (up to 11%) and the protein is high in lysine –the limiting amino acid in cereals. The flour does not contain gluten and therefore cannot be used on its own to make a leavened bread. It is usually eaten as porridge, pancakes, pasta, dumplings, and biscuits, often mixed with cereals. Buckwheat may be used with other ingredients, such as rice flour and potato flour, to make a composite glutenfree flour. Gluten free buckwheat flour is rich in protein, fiber and potassium.
Nutrition Table (as per USDA National Nutrient Database)
Health benefits attributed to bw include plasma cholesterol level reduction, neuroprotection, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic effects, and improvement of hypertension conditions. In addition, bw has been reported to possess prebiotic, antioxidant, piles reducing and hemorrhage helping activities.
Buckwheat enhanced gluten-free bread a healthier gluten-free alternative –
Researches from the polish academy of sciences recently published a study suggesting substituting some or all of the corn starch in many traditional gluten-free bread recipes with buckwheat ﬂour. In addition to providing higher levels of antioxidants, b vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium, the study indicated that swapping 40% of the corn starch for buckwheat ﬂour also increased its “overall sensory quality” when compared to the gluten-free bread used in the control. Although recipes were tested with anywhere from 10-40% buckwheat ﬂour, the conclusion clearly points to the 40% buckwheat ﬂour results as having the most nutritional beneﬁts for celiac suﬀerers.
International journal of food science and technology, october 2010; 45(10):1993–2000. Epub august 25, 2010.
Buckwheat starch is a good energy source –
In a study found via the china national knowledge infrastructure (cnki), researchers at the graduate university of the chinese academy of sciences explored the digestibility of starch derived from oats, wheat, buckwheat, and sweet potatoes. The goal of this study was to determine which of the four starch sources might prove useful in high-energy diets. Pigs were fed diets containing vitamins, minerals, and starch from one of the four sources, and after 15 days, it was determined that buckwheat, along with oats and wheat, provided a better source of dietary energy than sweet potatoes.
China’s research of agricultural modernization journal, april 2009
Buckwheat protein shows promise for lowering blood glucose –
A study from the jilin agricultural university in china investigated the blood glucose lowering potential of buckwheat protein, pitting it against a toxic glucose analogue called alloxan. This insidious chemical selectively destroys insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, causing characteristics similar to type 1 diabetes when found in rodents and many other animal species. Diﬀerent doses of buckwheat protein were administered, and researchers discovered that the blood glucose levels of test subjects were indeed lowered when compared to the control group.
Journal of jilin agricultural university, 2009; 31(1):102-4
Germinated buckwheat extract decreases blood pressure –
A team of korean researchers extracted the bioﬂavonoid rutin, thought to have blood-pressure lowering properties, from both raw buckwheat (rbe) and germinated buckwheat (gbe). The team then studied the eﬀects of both extracts on body weight and systolic blood pressure in rats. They also searched for any indication of the formation of peroxynitrite, an oxidant and nitrating agent that can damage a wide array of molecules in cells, including dna and proteins. After ﬁve weeks, the systolic blood pressure of the rats treated with gbe was lower than the group treated with rbe, but both groups showed signiﬁcantly reduced oxidative damage in aortic cells when compared to the control group.
Phytotherapy research, july 2009; 23(7):993–998. Epub january 12, 2009.
Buckwheat provides prebiotic-like benefits and can be considered a healthy foo –
In 2003, a study out of madrid, spain examined the high nutrient levels in buckwheat to determine whether it could behave as a prebiotic and be considered a healthy food. Prebiotics, of course, are indigestible food ingredients that stimulate the helpful bacteria in our digestive systems. Not only did the buckwheat-fed group emerge with a lower bodyweight when compared to the control, some of the best types of helpful bacteria were found, along with a decrease in some types of pathogenic bacteria.
Nutrition research, june 2003; 23(6):803-14
Eating buckwheat products produces lower gi response –
It was buckwheat versus itself in a study to determine the characteristics of buckwheat starch and its potential for a reduced metabolic response after meals. In a joint eﬀort, researchers from slovenia and sweden scored human test subject’s responses to an assortment of buckwheat products, including boiled buckwheat groats, breads baked with 30-70% buckwheat ﬂour, and bread baked from buckwheat groats. The highest level of resistant starch was found in the boiled buckwheat groats, while the resistant starch levels in the buckwheat breads were signiﬁcantly lower and depending on whether ﬂour or grouts had been used. The conclusion? All buckwheat products scored signiﬁcantly lower on the after-meal blood glucose tests, while also scoring higher in satiety, than the control group’s white wheat bread.
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, January 2001; 49(1):490–96. DOI: 10.1021/jf000779w
In India Buckwheat flour is used during the nine day Navratri fast in the preparation of parathas, dhoklas, pancakes, puris etc. It is also used in the preparation of Russian delicacy called Blini, which is nothing but buckwheat pancakes.