Buckwheat: The Gluten-free Grain Substitute/Vegetarian Protein

Most health conscious people don’t think of waffles and pancakes when they think of breakfast, but it turns out that both foods can be highly nutritious and health promoting if the right ingredients are used. Researchers in Madrid, Spain have highlighted several healthy aspects of consuming Buckwheat and the flour made from it. Indulging in a stack of pancakes or waffles made with buckwheat will provide vitamins, minerals, amino acids and prebiotics that can help create health and happiness.

The Spanish researchers found that rats receiving buckwheat had a significantly greater amount of friendly bacteria in their digestive tracts than did those in the control group. They also had three additional types of beneficial bacteria that were not present in the control rats.

You may ask, “What’s so important about intestinal bacteria?” Friendly bacteria inhabit the digestive tract in massive numbers which in turn crowds out harmful bacteria, and provides protection against food-borne illness. They also assist in digestion and support immune system constituents that seek out and destroy cancer cells. Antibiotics can completely kill off all the friendly bacteria in you tract. Whereas drugs such as cortisone, prednisone, birth control, and chemotherapy can upset the balance of friendly bacteria, leaving room for unwanted bacteria to flourish.

Although buckwheat has the look, feel, taste and versatility of grain, buckwheat is not technically grain, and it contains no gluten. What it does contain is a full spectrum of essential amino acids, making it one of the few vegetarian sources of complete protein that equals the protein of fish or meat in quality! Pure buckwheat can replace processed white flour almost across the board.

Buckwheat is available in a number of different forms, each with its own distinct taste and texture.

  • Groats: These are buckwheat kernels that have been stripped of their inedible outer coating.
  • Kasha: Groats that have been roasted for a unique nutty flavor. Available in coarse, medium or fine grains.
  • Buckwheat Flour: Made from ground groats, used to make breakfast pancakes and waffles, along with bread, muffins, cookies and more.

Buckwheat’s exceptional nutritional profile makes it very attractive to bugs, so store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container year round. Like all grains, buckwheat requires thorough rinsing under running water before cooking. Raw sprouted buckwheat offers the ultimate in healthy eating, since the sprouting process releases all of its nutrients and preserves enzymes.

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