Buckwheat is a pseudo-cereal, related to sorrel and rhubarb. It is cultivated for its grain like seeds, and is a popular gluten-free alternative to grains such as rice.
Thought to have originated in the Balkans around 4000 BC, buckwheat quickly spread to Asia, the Middle East and Europe, and then to North America with the first western settlers there.
Buckwheat is very high in protein, second only to oats as grains and pseudo-cereals go. It contains all ten essential amino acids, and so is known as a complete protein. With more zinc, copper and manganese than other cereals, it is also a good source of potassium. These essential minerals all play an important part in the body, helping to maintain cell health, electrical activity in the body, strong bones and good cognitive function.
High in soluble fibre, buckwheat helps to slow down the absorption of glucose, thereby balancing blood sugar. It also helps you to feel fuller for longer, and lessens the likelihood of constipation by keeping your digestive system moving.
Buckwheat is also the best known source of rutin, a flavonoid which has been shown to help protect the brain against cognitive deficit and degenerative diseases.