Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Article # 543. Health benefits of “BUCK WHEAT”
Although buckwheat groats are often used for hot cereal or ground into flour, they are not a cereal grain or type of wheat. Instead, buckwheat groats are the fruit seed of the buckwheat plant. Because of this, buckwheat is an excellent alternative to wheat for those with celiac disease or wheat allergies. You can use cooked buckwheat groats as a hot cereal or as an alternative to rice or barley.
Diets that contain buckwheat have been linked to lowered risk of developing high cholesterol and high blood pressure. The Yi people of China consume a diet high in buckwheat (100 grams per day, about 3.5 ounces). When researchers tested blood lipids of 805 Yi Chinese, they found that buckwheat intake was associated with lower total serum cholesterol, lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL, the form linked to cardiovascular disease), and a high ratio of HDL (health-promoting cholesterol) to total cholesterol.
Buckwheat's beneficial effects are due in part to its rich supply of flavonoids, particularly rutin. Flavonoids are phytonutrients that protect against disease by extending the action of vitamin C and acting as antioxidants.
The nutrients in buckwheat may contribute to blood sugar control. In a test that compared the effect on blood sugar of whole buckwheat groats to bread made from refined wheat flour, buckwheat groats significantly lowered blood glucose and insulin responses. Whole buckwheats also scored highest on their ability to satisfy hunger.
Calories and Protein
One cup of cooked buckwheat groats contains 155 calories. Like most hot cereals, the majority of the calories in buckwheat groats come from carbohydrates. However, buckwheat groats do contain a small amount of protein. One cup contains 5.7 g, which supplies more than 10 percent of the daily value for adults. Protein assists with the growth of your muscles. The amino acids in protein also help you make neurotransmitters, which are necessary for proper brain function.
One cup of buckwheat groats contains 34 g of carbohydrates, most of which are the complex carbohydrates starch and fiber. One cup contains 4.5 g of fiber, which supplies 16 percent of the daily value for women and 13 percent for men. Buckwheat groats contain insoluble fiber, which can help to move food through your intestine. This can help to keep your bowel movements consistent. Fiber may also support the health of your intestines and promote weight loss. Fiber can make you feel full longer than foods high in simple sugars.
Buckwheat groats are high in numerous minerals, including magnesium and manganese. One cup supplies more than 20 percent of the daily value of magnesium. Magnesium is needed for the proper functioning of all your organs, including your heart. It also helps to keep other nutrients, such as calcium, at proper levels in your body. One cup of buckwheat groats also supplies more than 25 percent of the daily value of manganese, which helps to regulate blood sugar. In addition, one cup of buckwheat groats provides 17 percent of phosphorus, 9 percent of zinc, 27 percent of copper and 16 percent of iron for men. Women need more iron than men, so one cup of buckwheat supplies only 7 percent of their daily need.
Buckwheat groats are higher in some B vitamins than other hot cereals, such as oatmeal. For instance, one cup of cooked buckwheat groats provides 10 percent of niacin and B-6, while oatmeal supplies less than 4 percent of both of these vitamins. Niacin helps you make hormones, such as cortisol and testosterone. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, it can also improve your circulation and help lower your cholesterol. Vitamin B-6 boosts your immune system by supporting the organs that make white blood cells.