Buckwheat: nutritional and beneficial properties. Cultivation, recipes and uses in the kitchen.
Thebuckwheatstands as a valid alternative to white flour. Although the name may bemisleading,thebuckwheatit has nothing to do with cereals, nor with wheat. Thebuckwheat, botanically known asFagopyrum esculentum,is a distant cousin of rhubarb.
The common name of theFagopyrum esculentumit is dictated by the fact that its seeds are used as wheat, for the production of flour products or for the production of beer and whiskey. In agriculture, thebuckwheatit is also used in the green manure technique. The production of thebuckwheatit has drastically decreased with the advent of nitrogen fertilizers which have given more space to the classic cereal-based grass crops.
Thebuckwheatit has an intense, almost wild flavor: I state that I am biased! There buckwheat flour it is among my favorites and often to get the best yields I make it at home for the preparation of bread and pizzas. If you want to prepare buckwheat flour yourself, you can follow my guide in the articlehow to make flour at home. Thebuckwheatyes, it stands out for its flavor, but above all for its own nutritional propertiesand beneficial.
The nutritional properties of buckwheat
Thebuckwheatcontains high percentages ofstarch, from 70 - 78% and therefore a good source of carbohydrates. It is a good source of protein (18%) with a high biological value: it is rich in essential amino acids, especially lysine, threonine, tryptophan and amino acids containing sulfur. It is rich in minerals, phenolic compounds and other antioxidant substances, in particular, thebuckwheatit is a good source of iron (60 - 100 ppm), zinc (20 - 30 ppm) and selenium (20 - 50 ppb). Therebuckwheat flourit is preferable to white flour also, among other things, for the higher quantity of dietary fiber. Therebuckwheat flouris counted among gluten-free flours, therefore it is suitable for the diet of celiacs.
Buckwheat:nutritional values per 100 grams of product
- Calories: 343 kcal
- Carbohydrates: 71.5 g (10 g of dietary fiber)
Fat - 3.4 g, of these:
- saturates: 0.741 g
- monounsaturated: 1.04 g
- polyunsaturated: 1,049 g
-> Omega 3: 0.078 g
-> Omega-6: 0.961 g
Protein: 13.25 g
- Thiamine B1 0.101 mg
- Riboflavin B2: 0.425 mg
- Niacin B3: 7.02 mg
- Pantothetic acid B5: 1,233 mg
- Vitamin B6: 0.21 mg
- Folate B9: 0.21 mcg
- Calcium 18 mg
- Iron 2.2 mg
- Magnesium 231 mg
- Manganese 1.3 mg
- Phosphorus 347 mg
- Potassium 460 mg
- Sodium 1 mg
- Zinc 2.4 mg
- Copper 1.1 mg
- Selenium 8.3 mg
Thenutritional propertieswere taken from the USDA Nutrient Database. How to cook buckwheat? For tasty recipes, I recommend purchasing the book Quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat. Ideas and recipes to discover alternatives to traditional cereals.
Buckwheat, beneficial properties
Thebuckwheatit finds application in various industrial fields. The automotive industry uses the hulls of the seed (the casings) to create durable and eco-sustainable padding. Thebuckwheatit is also used in the pharmaceutical industry for its interesting featurespropertymedicines. Buckwheat contains D-chiro-inositol, a pivotal compound in the transduction phase of the insulin signal. For this reason, thebuckwheatis heavily researched to find a new treatment for type II diabetes. Research on D-chiro-inositol delbuckwheathas shown promising results.
Therebuckwheat flourit has an excellent protein profile and for this reason it has been proposed as a functional food to reduce plasma cholesterol and body fat. Especially recommended for those suffering from gallstones.
Another point in favor of thebuckwheatis the content of antioxidants, especially the called glucosideroutine, this substance seems to be very effective in strengthening the walls of the capillaries. According to a clinical study *, thebuckwheatit could be useful in the treatment of chronic venous insufficiency. To take advantage of the beneficial propertiesof this food, the leaves ofbuckwheatthey are marketed dried to be used in the form of herbal tea.
Buckwheat for the production of beer and whiskey
In recent years, thebuckwheatwas used for the production ofgluten-free beer. Although buckwheat is not a cereal, it can be used just like barley for the production of malt useful for the preparation of a particulargluten-free beer.
As with beer, thebuckwheatit is used for the production of Whiskey. The “Distillerie des Menhirs” offers buckwheat-based whiskeys under the Eddu Silver Whiskey and Eddu Golden Whiskey brands. The production process is similar to that ofgluten-free beerbut then, the final product is distilled and aged in French oak barrels.
Whiskey and thegluten-free beerthey are not the only alcoholic beverages produced sincebuckwheat. Sobajōchū (そ ば 焼 酎) or Buckwheat Shochu, is a fairly common Japanese distillate. It has spread since the seventies and has a more delicate taste than Shochu made from barley malt.
In the photo above, the pyramidal seed of buckwheat.
In the photo in the center, a typical dish of Japanese cuisine based onbuckwheatserved in the Japanese district of Kichijoji
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