Porridge is traditionally made with oats, but since being diagnosed with coeliac disease and becoming more conscious of my digestion I've released oats aren't necessarily the best thing for me personally to be consuming every morning. I find they can make me feel slightly sluggish and my body definitely finds them a little trickier to digest, so I started hunting around for an alternative and came across buckwheat flakes. They look like oats, you cook them like oats, they make a porridge consistency and they taste delicious! But why is buckwheat better than oats? I'll explain...
Buckwheat is actually a seed so is naturally gluten free, high in fibre, high in protein and easier on the digestion than grains. It normally comes in groat or flour form but you can buy buckwheat flakes from health food shops, Waitrose and Ocado which look just like oats and can be cooked in the same way. In fact, I find them better in the mornings because they take far less time to cook....perfect if you're in a rush or just can't wait to get some food in your belly!
So, what's so great about buckwheat? Well, where do I start?! Buckwheat is a true superfood that's loaded with plant-based power, nutrients and all the goodness!
Cholesterol & Blood Pressure
Buckwheat has been proven to lower the risk of developing high cholesterol and high blood pressure, this is partly down to the rich supply of flavonoids, partially rutin, which protect against disease and are powerful antioxidants. These antioxidant compounds help maintain blood flow and protect against free radical oxidation. Buckwheat is also a very good source of magnesium which relaxes blood vessels and allows nutrients to be delivered around the body more efficiently.
If like me you aim to keep your blood sugar levels as steady as possible then buckwheat is a great food to eat. Buckwheat helps to balance blood sugar levels and naturally reduces your risk of type 2 diabetes.
One of the main nutrients oats are famous for is their high fibre content, but did you know buckwheat actually contains more fibre? Fibre is needed for a healthy digestive system, a healthy heart and to keep you feeling full and satisfied for longer. Making sure you have enough fibre in your diet is even more important if you're a woman because studies have shown women eating more than 30 grams of fibre a day more than halved their risk of developing breast cancer compared to women who's diet contained less than 20 grams of fibre per day!
Buckwheat is one of the best sources of plant-based protein and contains 12 amino acids (the building blocks of protein) that supports muscle growth & repair and energy levels. If you're a vegan it can be a little tricky to get all the essential amino acids but buckwheat contains two types of animo acids that are a harder to find on a vegan diet....lysine and arginine. Your body needs these proteins!
Vitamins & Minerals
Buckwheat is a great source of energy-boosting B vitamins, zinc, iron and folate. All the amazing nutrients in buckwheat contribute to healthy hair, good circulation, muscle repair, blood vessel function and they even boost your mood! Yep, buckwheat contains minerals that help the brain fight depression and anxiety.
To summerise, buckwheat is naturally gluten free and non-allergenic, it improves digestion, provides easily digestible protein, contains disease-fighting antioxidants, improves heart health and can boost your happiness levels. PLUS, it tastes absolutely delicious....what's not to love?