While buckwheat is often a great substitute for carbs and resembles a wheat, it is not actually a grain. It is, instead, the seed of the broadleaf, a plant related to rhubarb. It has been cultivated for millennia in Asia and Europe, and today even the United States has taken to it - becoming the fourth largest producer on the planet. While carbs, like rice and wheat, rank high on the glycemic scale, buckwheat is low - meaning less blood sugar.
Not only is it low on the glycemic scale, but totally gluten-free - making it suitable for celiacs, people with allergies, or anyone on a gluten-free diet. No longer will you have to scour for gluten-free recipes for your dinner parties - this one is natural, and delicious.
A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that higher consumptions of buckwheat resulted in less LDL cholesterol, and higher HDL cholesterol - i.e. less bad, more good.
It also packs more protein into its punch than rice, barley, corn or millet, and boasts all 12 major amino acids. This allows it to lower and stabilize blood sugar, which is crucial to staving off obesity and diabetes.
Buckwheat's high fiber content keeps you full for longer and helps your body digest. This fiber, along with the high protein levels, aids in normalizing blood sugar levels. A study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry revealed that just one batch of buckwheat seed extract could reduce blood glucose levels by nearly 20% within 2 hours.
One Journal of Gastroenterology study demonstrated how diets rich in insoluble fiber, found in buckwheat, can stave off gallstones in women. What's more, one cup of cooked buckwheat provides nearly a fifth of your daily fiber requirement - lowering the risk of colon cancer.
For those of you with an environmental conscience, it is also eco-friendly, and can be grown with virtually no pesticides.
If that's not enough, it is chock-full of rutin, an antioxidant that supports the cardiovascular system. It is, overall, the best cholesterol-lowering treat ever studied.
1 cup buckwheat groats
2 cups water
½ tsp. salt
12 green or black olives, pitted and quartered
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 cup Beetroot, chopped
¼ cup red onion, finely chopped
50g walnut, chopped
½ cup fresh dill, chopped
2 tbsp. fresh mint, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. flaxseeds
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. black pepper
• Bring water to the boil in a saucepan and add the salt.
• Add buckwheat groats and slowly reduce heat.
• Cover and cook until all water has absorbed (about 10 minutes).
• Remove from pan and allow to cool.
• Add all other ingredients and mix until well combined.
• Serve immediately or refrigerate.
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