It's said that the Dutch christened this grain in honor of the Holy Scripture, calling the tenacious grain "book wheat" (boek weit)...and were the first to bring it to the New World. Unlike the good book, it lost some luster, and is just beginning to be picked up and appreciated again. That's nice, since buckwheat has been providing humanity with essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals, energy, and fiber for well over 8,000 yrs.
Buckwheat delivers more complete protein than rice, wheat, millet, or corn...but contains no problematic gluten, bcuz...buckwheat isn't really a grain. It's a seed (Fagopyrum esculentum), a plant related to rhubarb.
Buckwheat is higher in vitamins and minerals than grain! Specifically - zinc, copper, potassium, manganese, and magnesium...that most people are severely deficient in. Potassium helps maintain water and acid balance in the blood and tissue cells, zinc helps bolster the immune system, and copper.
The copper in buckwheat helps stave off neurodegenerative diseases/disorders.
It's rich in soluble fiber and flavonoids - buckwheat helps protect the cardiovascular system and lower cholesterol, while slowing down the rate of glucose absorption.
A special flavonoid compound that appears in the red-purple pigment of the plant is RUTIN, believed to help control blood pressure, and have anti-inflammatory and anticarcinogenic properties.
High in magnesium - it relaxes and strengthens blood vessels, improving blood flow and nutrient delivery, while lowering blood pressure. Magnesium, which most people are deficient in...is a co-factor mineral for more than 300 vital enzymes your body needs to function optimally. buckwheat can help relax the body, and improve energy. Buckwheat strengthens veins and small blood vessels, and can help alleviate varicose veins and poor circulation, while preventing hardening of the arteries.
Regularly consuming buckwheat helps manage or stave off diabetes. buckwheat seed extract can lower blood glucose by as much as 12-19%. This blood sugar benefit is attributed in part to a rare carbohydrate called 'fagopritols' (especially D-chiro-inositol), of which - buckwheat is by far the richest food source yet discovered.
Rich in insoluble fiber, it helps prevents gallstones, by not only increasing intestinal transit time, but reducing bile secretions, increasing insulin sensitivity, and lowering triglycerides (blood fats).
Low in calories, high in fiber, gluten-free, very easy to digest, and filling.
It's a powerful (slow-release) antioxidant that increases bone mass, and aids in thyroid function, healthy hormone production, and metabolism.
A good source of tryptophan, the precursor to melatonin...which helps you sleep better.
Great source of copper, that helps metabolism, and aids in the uptake of iron, increases energy production, and helps fight against ageing. Many are deficient in copper.
Buckwheat contains all 8 amino acids, making it a 'complete' protein. It scores 100%, which makes it one of the highest plant sources available.
I just finished the page for the "I Fight Phytic Acid! Quest". Subject to edits, but check it out for info on phytic acid, and how to prepare grains, so they don't harm your health.
Just for fun....THE BUCKWHEAT by Hans Christian Andersen
VERY often, after a violent thunder-storm, a field of buckwheat appears blackened and singed, as if a flame of fire had passed over it. The country people say that this appearance is caused by lightning; but I will tell you what the sparrow says, and the sparrow heard it from an old willow-tree which grew near a field of buckwheat, and is there still. It is a large venerable tree, though a little crippled by age. The trunk has been split, and out of the crevice grass and brambles grow. The tree bends for-ward slightly, and the branches hang quite down to the ground just like green hair. Corn grows in the surrounding fields, not only rye and barley, but oats,-pretty oats that, when ripe, look like a number of little golden canary-birds sitting on a bough. The corn has a smiling look and the heaviest and richest ears bend their heads low as if in pious humility. Once there was also a field of buckwheat, and this field was exactly opposite to old willow-tree. The buckwheat did not bend like the other grain, but erected its head proudly and stiffly on the stem. "I am as valuable as any other corn," said he, "and I am much handsomer; my flowers are as beautiful as the bloom of the apple blossom, and it is a pleasure to look at us. Do you know of anything prettier than we are, you old willow-tree?"
And the willow-tree nodded his head, as if he would say, "Indeed I do."
But the buckwheat spread itself out with pride, and said, "Stupid tree; he is so old that grass grows out of his body."
There arose a very terrible storm. All the field-flowers folded their leaves together, or bowed their little heads, while the storm passed over them, but the buckwheat stood erect in its pride. "Bend your head as we do," said the flowers.
"I have no occasion to do so," replied the buckwheat.
"Bend your head as we do," cried the ears of corn; "the angel of the storm is coming; his wings spread from the sky above to the earth beneath. He will strike you down before you can cry for mercy."
"But I will not bend my head," said the buckwheat.
"Close your flowers and bend your leaves," said the old willow-tree. "Do not look at the lightning when the cloud bursts; even men cannot do that. In a flash of lightning heaven opens, and we can look in; but the sight will strike even human beings blind. What then must happen to us, who only grow out of the earth, and are so inferior to them, if we venture to do so?"
"Inferior, indeed!" said the buckwheat. "Now I intend to have a peep into heaven." Proudly and boldly he looked up, while the lightning flashed across the sky as if the whole world were in flames.
When the dreadful storm had passed, the flowers and the corn raised their drooping heads in the pure still air, refreshed by the rain, but the buckwheat lay like a weed in the field, burnt to blackness by the lightning. The branches of the old willow-tree rustled in the wind, and large water-drops fell from his green leaves as if the old willow were weeping. Then the sparrows asked why he was weeping, when all around him seemed so cheerful. "See," they said, how the sun shines, and the clouds float in the blue sky. Do you not smell the sweet perfume from flower and bush? Wherefore do you weep, old willow-tree?" Then the willow told them of the haughty pride of the buckwheat, and of the punishment which followed in consequence.
This is the story told me by the sparrows one evening when I begged them to relate some tale to me.