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Buckwheat vs Grains and Rice In Organic Diet

Updated on October 7, 2011

A little history

Let me introduce you to the Queen of All Grains. At least that is what people are calling buckwheat since the beginning of twentieth century. After you are done reading this article, you will understand why such a fancy title for such an uncommon food.

About four thousand years ago, India was believed to be the first to cultivate a crop similar to buckwheat. It was called “black rice”. Later, when the use of this crop was spread to other countries, it was known as “black wheat”. Technically, we are talking about a seed of a plant, just like a sunflower seed.

For some reason, the reputation of buckwheat was rather biased from the beginning – it was considered a “poor man’s” food. One speculation is that, compared to rice, buckwheat produced a “dirty-looking mush” when cooked, unsuitable for the tender stomachs of the aristocrats. A prime example of how the presentation of food matters, and how it is often prioritized over the nutritional value.

Nevertheless, buckwheat is among the most nutritious, healthful natural foods available today. I cannot even compare it to rice, white or brown!

Nutritional Info and Health Benefits

Here is why I am such a discriminating fan of buckwheat. Never mind my background of European upbringing and my sweet childhood memories of eating this food often. Today, it’s all about science, all about numbers – these things alone can persuade almost anyone to try new foods. Besides, many doctors and naturopaths suggest incorporating buckwheat in one’s diet on a regular basis.

  • Buckwheat contains unique vegetable proteins, among the highest in vitamin B group which are responsible for helping with stress management and sleeplessness, while supporting healthy skin, hair, and nails.
  • Being a seed, buckwheat is gluten-free and is a perfect substitute for grains.
  • It is loaded with minerals such as iron (assists in forming red blood cell), calcium (supports healthy bones), potassium (helps in maintaining optimal blood pressure), magnesium (a natural anti-depressant and weight-reducing function), and many others. One particular element found in buckwheat, called rutin, is of a great importance in combating diseases of cardiovascular system, rheumatism, and arthritis.
  • How about reducing your cholesterol level? You bet! Buckwheat aids in removing excessive levels of cholesterol from the body. In addition, it removes toxins and ions of heavy metals, which is particularly important for those living in metropolitan areas and in highly polluted regions.
  • Here comes one of my favorite reasons to love this food. Since buckwheat plant is highly resilient, it doesn’t require fertilization, or any treatment with herbicides and pesticides! That isn’t true about rice, which has to be protected from weeds and pests with the aid of chemicals. How about that, organic food fans?
  • In reflexotherapy, some specialists suggest gluing buckwheat seeds to a rubber mat and walking barefoot on it several minutes a day. Sharp corners of seeds offer wonderful stimulation for many pressure points on soles, which in turn can tune the functioning of internal organs.

Having so many valuable qualities for a single food, you could call it a Nature’s Apothecary All-In-One, and keep it not only in your pantry, but in your medicine cabinet as well!

Have I compelled you enough to give this wonder-food a try? Do you see why it IS the Queen of All Grains…or seeds? I personally do not care about categorizing it, as long as it does a body good!

Cooking and Handling Tips

There are some tips you should know if you want to have a successful experience with buckwheat. Cooking it the right way is essential in order to preserve the nutrients and reap the health benefits of this super food.

  • Buckwheat should not be soaked in water prior to cooking, or you surely will end up with that “dirty-looking mush” I mentioned earlier.
  • Too much water will have the same effect – the kasha will be too soft. Optimally, liquid should barely cover the dry buckwheat seeds. If you are not comfortable with approximating, the proportion of 1cup buckwheat to 2 cups liquid should work.
  • Like any other dry food, buckwheat should be stored in a cool dry place, in a tightly covered container for about one year. NOTE: Buckwheat flour stays fresh about three to four months when refrigerated.
  • When purchasing buckwheat, make sure to check the expiration date and inspect the package for any signs of moisture or holes. This especially is a good tip if you shop at a local International market, since most of their products are imported from outside of US, where packaging standards could be quite different. My personal experience with buying a small package of buckwheat that had little holes in the bag was rather unpleasant. After I brought it home, I found tiny worms eating my buckwheat!
  • Lastly, after you have enjoyed your delicious meal, I do not suggest you leave your dirty dishes in the sink for a while. Nor you should just put them in the dishwasher without rinsing well. Buckwheat tends to stick to the plate, and it is hard to wash off.


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      Kay McKellar 2 years ago

      I live in Australia and find it difficult to buy locally grown buckwheat most of the year. I need buckwheat as it is one of the few things I can digest. However, I have been cautioned from buying organic buckwheat grown in China as it may have been grown near waterways polluted by heavy metals. Do you have any information about the certification process in China, Victress?

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      Khushbu 4 years ago


      We are manufacture and supplier of buckwheat kernel , buckwheat hulls , watermelon seed kernel , muskmelon seed kernel , hulled sesame seed , Jet Black Sesame seed etc.

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      Visitor 7 years ago

      Sounds very nutritious and also tasty.