Buckwheat: Health Benefits, Nutrition, And Side Effects

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The buckwheat is a seed even though it has “wheat” in its name. It is also sometimes referred to as “pseudo-grain”. 

It belongs to a food group which is commonly referred to a s pseudo cereals. Buckwheat doesn’t grow on grass, however it can be eaten in the same ways as cereal grains.

What is Buckwheat?

Buckwheat seeds are comparatively small and triangular in shape, ranging about 3-4 millimetres in length and width. It has an earthy and nutty flavour and a unique smell often described as musty or slightly sour.

Buckwheat is mostly used as breakfast cereal or is processed into flour to make a collection of backery products like cookies, bread, pancakes, soba noodles or snacks. Buckwheat can also be found as ingredient in honey, tea, tarhana and sprout dishes.

There are two major types of buckwheat, tartary buckwheat (fagopyrum tartaricum) and common buckwheat (fagopyrum esculentum). The difference between these two types of buckwheat lies in how they are cultivated and the climates they thrive in.

Nutrition Facts of Buckwheat (per 1 cup roasted, cooked groats):

  • 155 calories
  • 5.7g protein
  • 33g carbohydrates
  • 4.5g fibre
  • 1g total fat
  • 1.5g sugar
  • 148mg potassium
  • 118mg phosphorus
  • 86mg magnesium

Buckwheat is rich in nutrients and antioxidants and that’s why many people consider it as superfood. It is also good source of magnesium, manganese, iron, phosphorous and copper. 

Many antioxidants in buckwheat like rutin may improve inflammation, blood pressure and blood lipids. D-chiro-inositol is a soluble carbohydrate that may assist in managing blood sugar levels, and there is no alternative food as rich in this plant compound as buckwheat.

Health Benefits of Buckwheat


Buckwheat has more antioxidants than many other cereals like wheat, rye, oats, and barley. It has an array of compounds that can contribute to high antioxidant activity. The important one is rutin, a polyphenol that can lower the risk of cancer and inflammation. 

Inflammation is a natural bodily response to chemical irritation, tissue injury and disease. One more crucial antioxidant compound is quercetin, which can minimise the possibility of heart disease and cancer.

Buckwheat honey escalates antioxidant activity when added to water or black tea. Tartan buckwheat has more concentration of antioxidants compared to common buckwheat.


Buckwheat is originally gluten-free, making it appropriate for those with coeliac disease. They are minimal in prolamins and glutenins, which are the important components of gluten. 

Coeliac disease is more familiarly known as gluten intolerance. It can occur at any age; at present, the only way to deal with coeliac disease is lifelong adherence to a gluten-free diet.

Heart Health

Buckwheat promotes heart health through heart-healthy compounds like rutin, which may help reduce heart disease risk by stopping the formation of blood clots, decreasing inflammation, and lowering blood pressure.

Digestive Health

Buckwheat is rich in fibre, which helps to maintain a healthy digestive system. Also, it improves bowel movement, making it more regular. It can also assist in preventing constipation and other digestive problems.

It has been recommended that buckwheat and buckwheat-enriched products (roasted groats, wheat bread, sprouts) can have beneficial effects on problems associated with inflammatory bowel diseases.


Buckwheat possess a type of carbohydrate called resistant starch,which can assist in lower blood sugar levels and increase insulin sensitivity. This makes it a great choice for people with diabetes or those at risk developing the condition.

Daily intake of Tartary buckwheat considerably lowers insulin spikes and overall cholesterol levels, which is beneficial for people suffering from type 2 diabetes.

Weight Management

Buckwheat is an abundant source of complex carbohydrates, which are slowly digested and give you a consistent source of energy for the whole day. Buckwheat grains are rich in soluble fibre, which attracts water and slows down digestion, helping keep you full for longer.

Furthermore, buckwheat proteins have been shown to help people to fight obesity. Tartary buckwheat has been proven effective in reducing body weight.

Buckwheat Recipes

Buckwheat pancakes


  • 150g buckwheat flour
  • 150g plain flour
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 400ml buttermilk
  • 50g butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • Vegetable oil for frying


  • Mix the buckwheat flour, plain flour, sugar, baking powder, ½ tsp salt, and bicarbonate of soda in a large bowl. Combine the eggs, melted butter, and buttermilk in a jug and whisk to combine. 
  • Stir the wet ingredients slowly into the dry ingredients until mixed to make a thick batter.
  • Heat a large non-stick pan over medium heat and brush with a layer of vegetable oil. 
  • Add some heaped tablespoons of the mixture into pan and form into a circle. If your pan is big enough, you can do two to three at a time; just don’t overcrowd the pan, too. 
  • Once the edges are set and bubbles emerge on the surface (around 2-3 mins), flip and cook for 2 mins. 
  • The pancakes must be a deep golden brown on both sides. Move it to a warm oven, keep it on low and repeat the process until the batter is all used.

Buckwheat Khichdi


  • 1 cup buckwheat groats (kuttu)
  • 2 tablespoon peanuts – raw
  • 1 tablespoon Ghee or one tablespoon peanut oil
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 green chilli – chopped or one teaspoon chopped
  • 2 potatoes medium-sized, chopped into small cubes
  • 473.18 ml water or add as needed
  • lemon juice as required, optional
  • 1 teaspoon raw sugar or regular sugar, add as required
  • rock salt – edible and food grade, add as required (sendha namak )
  • ½ inch ginger – finely chopped
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves


  • Roast peanuts in a frying pan or tawa until they are crunchy and golden. Allow them to cool.
  • Crush them into a coarse powder using a mortar pestle or a coffee grinder. Set aside the powdered peanuts.
  • Wash the buckwheat thoroughly after picking it up and keep it aside.
  • In a pan or pot, heat ghee or oil. Add cumin and saute on low heat until they start crackling.
  • Next, add green chilli and ginger, and saute for a few seconds.
  • Toss in the potato cubes and saute for two to three minutes on medium heat, stirring frequently until the potatoes turn crisp at the edges. Chopping the potatoes into smaller cubes is recommended for faster cooking.
  • Add the ground peanuts and saute for half a minute. Then, add the rinsed buckwheat. Mix well and saute for one to two minutes on low to medium-low heat.
  • Pour in water, sugar, and edible rock salt. Stir thoroughly.
  • Cover the pan with a lid and let the buckwheat khichdi simmer on low to medium-low heat.
  • Continue cooking until all the water is absorbed and the buckwheat is soft and well-cooked. Check occasionally while simmering to ensure the water hasn’t dried up.
  • If the water seems insufficient and the buckwheat is only half-cooked, add some water as needed and gently stir. Cover and cook further.
  • Finally, add coriander leaves and stir.
  • Serve the buckwheat khichdi hot or warm, optionally drizzled with lemon juice.


Buckwheat has numerous health benefits and there are many creative ways to include buckwheat into your diet. Buckwheat is filled with nutrients like protein, fibre, healthy carbs, calcium and iron. Furthermore, it improves digestion and makes an great option for people with gluten allergies. 


1. What is the toxin in buckwheat?

Buckwheat greens contain fagopyrin, a natural substance present in the buckwheat plant. When ingested in considerable quantity, fagopyrin can create the skin of animals and people to become phototoxic. 


The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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