Buckwheat Health Benefits
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 Food
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