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. I don't intend to go into details about all those health benefits for it is beyond the scope of this article. However, allow me to name a few:
- Lowers the risk of high cholesterol and high blood pressure
- Lowers the risk of diabetes and affords better blood sugar control
- Helps prevent gallstones
- Give 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?
If you are interested in making some buckwheat pancakes, here is an easy recipe for a homemade mix!
Florence is an amateur cook and a stay-at-home-mom. Aside from cooking she enjoys, reading, learning, coaching, walking and many more activities. Florence is the owner of http://www.recipesfromhome-online.com where she shares her recipes and always welcomes yours.
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