Contrary to the way its name sounds, buckwheat is not part of the wheat family which is good new for the people with a wheat or gluten allergy. It is not even a cereal grain. Rather buckwheat is the seed of a fruit! Despite this fact, it is usually classified as a grain because most people use it as such.
The buckwheat seed is found inside a very hard shell which must be removed before the seed can be used. When the buckwheat seed is roasted it is then called "kasha."
Buckwheat can be used as a rice alternative and/or as flour when it is ground.
So to recap...what is buckwheat? If you answered a seed, you are correct!
Aside from being delicious in pancakes or other dishes, does buckwheat have any health benefits?
The answer to this question is a resounding yes:
- Lowers the risk of high cholesterol and high blood pressure
- Lowers the risk of diabetes and affords better blood sugar control
- Helps prevent gallstones
- Gives you better nutrition than fruits and vegetables
- Protects against heart disease and heart failure
- Gives post-menopausal women significant cardiovascular benefits
- Protects against breast cancer (thanks to its high fiber content)
- Protects against childhood asthma
So now the answer to "what is buckwheat" should be: a delicious seed than is good for you in many many ways. Don't you think?